TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Authorities are calling a horrific crash over the holiday weekend the deadliest car accident in the country in almost a decade. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now calling for tougher enforcement of transportation regulations that guarantee greater safety on the roads. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley resigns. We have the latest. City and State New York is here with this week’s political winners and losers. Trump speechwriter and transition advisor, F.H. Buckley will join us to explain why he believes that there is now a Republican Workers Party. Monty Python’s flying circus crash landed on American public television more than four decades ago. Now, in a MetroFocus exclusive, comedy ringmaster and Monty Python co-creator, John Cleese, reminisces about his wild ride with this legendary group. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” has captured the imaginations of readers for nearly a century. Now, we go back in time to show you the Long Island mansions that inspired this American classic.

Aired on October 2, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' A HORRIFIC CRASH ON A HOLIDAY WEEKEND THAT AUTHORITIES ARE CALLING THE DEADLIEST TRANSPORTATION ACCIDENT IN THE COUNTRY IN ALMOST A DECADE.

THE GOVERNOR IS NOW CALLING FOR TOUGHER ENFORCEMENT OF THE RULES THAT GUARANTEE GREATER SAFETY ON OUR ROADS.

> CITY AND STATE IS HERE WITH THIS WEEK'S WINNERS AND LOSERS.

THEN TRUMP NATIONALISM VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM.

BUCKLEY IS HERE TO EXPLAIN WHY HE BELIEVES THE GOP IS NOW THE REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY.

> IT WAS A VERITABLE LAUGH FACTORY.

'MONTY PYTHON' CRASH LANDED ON AMERICAN TELEVISION NEARLY FOUR DECADES AGO.

COMEDY RINGMASTER JOHN CLEESE REMINISCES ABOUT THE WILD RIDE OF THIS LEGENDARY GROUP.

PLUS A JAZZ MASTERPIECE COMES TO LIFE.

'THE GREAT GATSBY' HAS CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF READERS FORRER INIALLY A CENTURY.

WE GO BACK IN TIME TO SHOW YOU THE LONG ISLAND MANSIONS THAT INSPIRED THIS AMERICAN CLASSIC.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM, III, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

IT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ON THE ROAD.

THAT WAS THE MESSAGE FROM GOVERNOR CUOMO AS HE RESPONDED TO THE LIMOUSINE CRASH THAT KILLED 20 PEOPLE IN NEW YORK ON SATURDAY.

AFTER RUNNING A STOP SIGN, THE VEHICLE SHOT ACROSS A JUNCTION AND HIT ANOTHER CAR BEFORE PLOWING INTO PEOPLE IN A PARKING LOT.

AUTHORITIES HAVE YET TO SAY HOW FAST THE LIMO WAS GOING OR DETERMINE WHY IT FAILED TO STOP.

WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT IT WAS THE DEADLIEST CRASH IN AMERICA SINCE 2009.

FOR MORE ON THAT AND A DEEP DIVE INTO THIS WEEK'S WINNERS AND LOSERS IN LOCAL POLITICS, I'M PLEASED TO WELCOME CITY AND STATE'S EDITOR IN CHIEF JOHN LENTZ BACK THAT THE PROGRAM.

WELCOME BACK.

GLAD TO BE HERE.

I WANT TO START OFF WITH A SOMBER, SERIOUS STORY.

A HORRIFIC CRASH UP IN AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK.

STILL THINGS ARE BEING DETERMINED AS TO WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED.

I'M WONDERING FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DO YOU THINK WE CAN SEE COMING OUT OF THIS.

IS IT A MATTER OF MORE REGULATION THAT'S NEEDED, BETTER SAFETY PROCEDURES.

INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH THE GOVERNOR WAS ASKED WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT HERE.

HE SAID HE DOESN'T SEE IT'S NECESSARILY A PLACE FOR NEW REGULATIONS OR NEW LAWS, THAT IT'S MORE A MATTER OF ENFORCEMENT.

APPARENTLY THIS DRIVER OF THE STRETCH LIMO POSSIBLY DIDN'T HAVE THE CORRECT LICENSE.

THE CAR IN QUESTION HAD BEEN FLAGGED FOR SOME SAFETY ISSUES SOMETIME WITHIN THE PAST MONTH.

ALSO A QUESTION OF A LOOPHOLE WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS, IF YOU BUY ONE OF THESE SUVs AND CONVERTED IT TO A LIMO, THE SAME RULES DON'T APPLY.

SO I DON'T KNOW THAT ANYTHING WILL CHANGE AT THE STATE LEVEL, BUT CERTAINLY SOMETHING TO WATCH.

WE'VE GOT A LOT OF THINGS TO COVER.

WE'VE BEEN COVERING THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES AROUND THE STATE.

A CANDIDATE UP IN THE FINGER LAKES.

I BELIEVE HER NAME IS DANA BATLER WHO RAISED A LOT OF MONEY.

SET A RECORD FOR THAT DISTRICT, $1.5 MILLION IN THE LAST QUARTER.

GREAT NEWS FOR HER.

SHE'S BEEN SEEN AS LAGGING BEHIND HER REPUBLICAN INCUMBENT, CAT CO-. HE SEEMED TO BE DOING PRETTY WELL.

ALSO SOME PUNDITS HAVE MADE THAT RACE, DEEMED IT MORE COMPETITIVE.

A POTENTIAL PICKUP FOR DEMOCRATS IN NEW YORK.

YOU'VE SEEN A FEW RACES LIKE THAT, SHIFT MORE FAVORABLE TOWARDS DEMOCRATS.

TURNING TOWARDS THE STATE, WINNERS AND LOSERS IN THE STATE, GOVERNOR CUOMO TURNS OUT TO BE A WINNER OVER THE ISSUE OF HIS I LOVE NEW YORK HIGHWAY SIGNS.

FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW, WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH THE SIGNS?

KIND OF A BIZARRE FIGHT.

THESE TOURISM SIGNS PROMOTING NEW YORK ALONG HIGHWAYS ALL AROUND THE STATE.

THE REAL ISSUE IS READABILITY.

IF DRIVERS ARE DRIVING ALONG TRYING TO READ THESE SIGNS, TOO MUCH LANGUAGE, IT COULD BE A SAFETY ISSUE.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TRIED TO TAKE THEM DOWN.

THERE ARE QUESTIONS LIKE THE I LOVE NEW YORK WEBSITE, TAKE SOME OF THE LANGUAGE OFF.

BUT THERE WAS A DEAL REACHED TO AVOID A MAJOR FINE, BASICALLY GOING TO PHASE A LOT OF THESE SIGNS OUT.

WE ALSO FIND OUT HE'S WAY AHEAD IN THE POLLS IN THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR AT LEAST AGAINST MAIN CANDIDATE MARK MOLINARO.

REPUBLICANS BEHIND 22 POINTS, NOT SURPRISING GIVEN THE HEAVY DEMOCRATIC ENROLLMENT STATE.

THIRD THING IS THE THIRD PARTY LINE THEY HAD GOTTEN BEHIND CYNTHIA NIXON, A QUESTION OF WHAT TO DO NEXT.

THEY GOT BACK BEHIND THE GOVERNOR.

A BIT OF AN AWKWARD SITUATION.

YES, FOLLOWING THE DEVELOPMENTS, IT WAS ODD TO WATCH ON TWITTER.

WHO WE WON'T SEE RETURNING, FORMER STATE SENATOR JEFF KLEIN.

HE HAD A HUGE CAMPAIGN WAR CHEST.

HE USED A LOT OF IT TO RUN FOR HIS SEAT.

HE DID NOT WIN.

DO WE KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH HIM AND ALL THAT MONEY NOW?

NO.

HE'S BEEN VERY QUIET.

SUSPICIOUSLY QUIET.

THERE'S BEEN SOME SPECULATION HE'D TRY TO RUN ON A THIRD PARTY LINE, MAYBE GET INSTALLED AS A JUDGE.

THE NOBLE THING IS HE SPENT A RECORD AMOUNT IN TERMS OF MONEY PER VOTE HE GOT.

YOU SAID HE WAS KNOWN FOR FUND-RAISING.

THAT WAS THE REAL STRENGTH OVER THE YEARS FOR THE IDC, INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CONFERENCE.

ONE REASON TO RECRUIT PEOPLE.

IN THE END MONEY DIDN'T PAY OFF FOR HIM.

IT WASN'T QUITE ENOUGH TO GET HIM OVER THE EDGE.

> SPEAKING OF MONEY AND GETTING OVER, LET'S SAY, 'THE TIMES' STORY ABOUT DONALD TRUMP AND THE TRUMP FAMILY'S INHERITANCE FROM HIS FATHER FRED TRUMP.

FOR ANYONE ELSE, THIS MIGHT BE CAREER ENDING FOR A POLITICIAN.

WHAT DO WE KNOW AFTER THIS STORY CAME OUT?

A LOT OF QUESTIONS THAT CAME OUT IN THIS PIECE FROM 'THE TIMES' QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE DONALD TRUMP GOT HIS WEALTH.

MORE THAN HE KNEW WAS FROM HIS FATHER, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

EVEN MORE SO, THERE ARE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TACTICS THEY USED TO EVADE GIFT TAXES, OTHER THINGS.

KIND OF GOT BURIED THIS WEEK WITH THE KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION.

THE STATE IS INVESTIGATING TO SEE IF ANY LAWS WERE BROKEN, TO SEE IF THERE'S MONEY TO BE REFUNDED.

NEW YORK CITY IS INVESTIGATING AS WELL.

JOHN, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AGAIN AND GIVING US AN UPDATE ON THE WHO IS WINNING AND WHO'S LOSING AROUND NEW YORK STATE AND EVEN AT THE FED RELIGION LEVEL, BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS TIES TO NEW YORK.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

> THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT DONALD TRUMP'S MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN CAMPAIGN SLOGAN RESONATED WITH MILLIONS OF VOTERS WHO FELT THE COUNTRY WAS IN DECLINE, AND HIS IMPROBABLE ASCENT OF THE WHITE HOUSE SERVED AS VINDICATION FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVED ELITES FROM BOTH PARTIES HAD ABANDONED THE AMERICAN WORKING CLASS.

TRUMP MADE THE CREATION OF JOBS AND REJECTION OF GLOBALIZATION KEY PARTS OF HIS CAMPAIGN, A STRATEGY WHICH CERTAINLY PAID OFF ACROSS THE RUST BELT AND WHICH, IN THE PROCESS, SHIFTED THE VERY IDENTITY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AT LEAST TEMPORARILY.

IN HIS NEW BOOK 'THE REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY,' FORMER TRUMP ADVISER F.H. BUCKLEY GIVES US HIS TAKE ON WHAT THE REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY IS AND HOW IT PROMISES TO RENEW THE AMERICAN DREAM.

FRANK, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM?

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

I WAS WATCHING AN INTERVIEW.

ONE OF THE CALLERS SAID REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY, THAT'S AN OXYMORON.

GIVEN THE RECENT HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, HOW IS IT NOT AN OXYMORON?

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OLD REPUBLICAN PARTY.

THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WAS FOUGHT ON THE GROUND OF CULTURAL NATIONALISM AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON, BUT IT WAS ALSO ECONOMICALLY NATIONALIST AND QUITE UNLIKE THE OLD REPUBLICAN PARTY WHICH STILL IS IN SHOCK.

THIS IS A PARTY, TRUMP'S PARTY THAT EMPHASIZED JOBS.

JOBS ARE PRETTY MUCH ALL YOU WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO DO, RIGHT?

IF YOU HAD TO WRITE A PROGRAM FOR THE GOVERNMENT, CREATE THE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS FOR JOBS IS ALL YOU NEED.

AFTER JOBS, ALL THE GOOD STUFF FOLLOWS.

WE'LL TALK ABOUT HOW WELL HE'S DONE IN THAT RESPECT IN A MOMENT.

THE OLD REPUBLICAN PARTY IS STILL AROUND.

THE LIBERTARIAN WING, THE NEOCON WING, THEY'RE STILL AROUND AND THE CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICAN PARTY WHICH IS ITS OWN THING, IS STILL THERE.

WHAT'S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIS REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY AND THOSE WINGS OF THE PARTY AND OF THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT?

THEY'RE TOTALLY IN SHOCK.

THEY HAVEN'T FIGURED IT OUT.

I THINK A TRUMP WING IS EMERGING CONGRESSIONALLY, BUT CRUCIALLY TRUMP FOUND THE SWEET SPOT IN AMERICAN POLITICS, AND THE SWEET SPOT IS MIDDLE OF THE ROAD ON ECONOMICS AND VERY CONSERVATIVE ON CULTURAL MATTERS.

BUT MIDDLE OF THE ROAD ON ECONOMIC MATTERS MEANS WE DIDN'T WANT TO GO INTO ENTITLEMENTS.

YOU DIDN'T WANT TO CUT ENTITLEMENTS.

WE DIDN'T WANT TO CUT THEM, DIDN'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THEM, DIDN'T WANT TO GO AFTER BERNIE SANDERS.

CAN A WORKERS PARTY BE A WORKERS PARTY --

WE DIDN'T WANT TO GO AFTER PRIVATE SECTOR UNIONS.

WE THOUGHT THEY WERE EXACTLY THE KIND OF PEOPLE WE WANTED VOTING FOR US.

PUBLIC SECTOR IS SOMETHING ELSE.

NOT GOING AGAINST UNIONS, IT'S NOT THE SAME THING AS BEING SUPPORTIVE OF UNIONS.

IT'S MAKING -- PASSING LEGISLATION AND SUPPORTING LEGISLATION THAT MAKES IT EASY TO ORGANIZE IN THE WORKPLACE.

ARE THERE PLANS FOR THAT?

THERE AREN'T.

IN FACT, THE APPOINTEES ARE VERY -- PRETTY RIGHT WING ON LABOR MATTERS.

THAT'S NOT WHERE WE STARTED OUT, BUT BETWEEN -- THERE'S ALWAYS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MYSTIQUE OF A CAMPAIGN AND THE REALITY OF WHAT HAPPENS AFTER.

SO YOU MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN PRIVATE UNIONS AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS.

YES.

WHY?

BECAUSE IT WAS THOUGHT THE PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS WERE MORE POLITICAL AND DIDN'T CARE ABOUT THE ECONOMY WHEREAS THE PRIVATE SECTOR UNIONS WOULD CARE ABOUT THE ECONOMY.

THE ECONOMY IS COMING ROARING BACK.

THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR A PRIVATE SECTOR UNION MEMBER IS MAKE SURE HE'S GOT A JOB.

THE BOOK MAKES THE ARGUMENT CLEARLY THAT THE UNITED STATES AS THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, THOSE DAYS ARE GONE, THAT THERE ARE MANY, MANY MORE COUNTRIES WHOSE CITIZENS ARE MORE MOBILE AND MORE EQUAL.

AMONG THOSE COUNTRIES ARE -- ALMOST ALL OF THOSE COUNTRIES GOT MORE MOBILE AND MORE EQUAL NOT THROUGH CONSERVATIVE WORKING CLASSICO LIGSS, BUT THROUGH GOOD OLD SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC OR DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, IF YOU WILL, COALITIONS OR MAJORITY, THE NORDIC COUNTRIES.

WHY CAN'T THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THE BERNIE SANDERS WING OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BEGIN TO APPEAL TO THE WORKING CLASS AND BEGIN TO ACHIEVE THIS MOBILITY AND EQUALITY?

VERY EARLY ON IN THE CAMPAIGN I HAD DINNER WITH A CONGRESSMAN WHO RAILED ABOUT WHAT HE CALLED RIGHT WING MARXIST.

RIGHT WING MARXIST, I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HE MEANT BY THAT.

I SAID THAT'S ME.

I'M A MARXIST BECAUSE I THINK THERE'S A CLASS DIVIDE WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT.

SO IS BERNIE ANSWERS.

BERNIE ANSWERS WOULD SEEK THE SOCIALIST ENDS THROUGH SOCIALEST MEANS.

TRUMP WOULD SEEK THE SAME ENDS THROUGH RIGHT WING MEANS OR FREE MARKET MEANS.

I THINK THAT WILL WIN.

I THINK THAT'S GOING TO BE THE DEBATE IN THE FUTURE.

WE SHOULD ALL SAY WE'VE COME TO THE POINT WHERE WE'RE A CLASS SOCIETY.

WE'RE NOT MOBILE.

I THINK THAT'S CHANGING BY THE WAY.

THIS WAS CERTAINLY A PROBLEM BACK THREE OR FOUR YEARS AGO.

IT'S BEGINNING TO CHANGE.

THAT'S A GREAT ISSUE.

YOU MENTIONED THE COUNTRIES THAT ARE MORE MOBILE.

I WAS COMING FROM CANADA, VASTLY MORE MOBILE.

BY THE WAY, MEDICARE PROBABLY HELPS IN THAT RESPECT.

INDEED, IN MANY RESPECTS ALL THAT TRUMP IS TRYING TO DO IS KHAN NEEDIANIZE THE POLITICS.

IN THE 20 SECONDS WE HAVE LEFT, WHAT'S THE LIKELIHOOD THIS NEW REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY WILL PREVAIL AGAINST ALL THE FACTIONS IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WHO DON'T WANT IT AND AGAINST THE ERRATIC PERSONALITY AND EXECUTIVE BEHAVIOR OF PRESIDENT TRUMP?

I WON'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT, BECAUSE, GOD, WHAT CAN I SAY?

WHAT I CAN SAY, HOWEVER, IS THAT OLD RIGHT WING PARTY, THE PARTY OF JUST PURE FREE MARKETS, THAT'S DEAD.

FRANK, THE BOOK, VERY INTERESTING BOOK. IT'S CALLED THE REPUBLICAN WORKERS PARTY, SUBTITLED, HOW THE TRUMP VICTORY DROVE EVERYONE CRAZY AND WHY IT WAS JUST WHAT WE NEEDED.

THE FIRST PART OF THAT SUBTITLE IS CERTAINLY TRUE.

THANK YOU.

THANKS SO MUCH, FRANK.

> THIS PARROT IS NO MORE.

IT HAS CEASED TO BE.

THIS IS A LATE PARROT.

THE CLASSIC DEAD PARROT SKETCH.

IN 1969 THE BBC INTRODUCED THE WORLD TO A NEW BRAND OF COMEDY, A GROUP OF SKETCH COMEDIANS PUT TOGETHER A PROGRAM SO UNIQUE AND DIFFICULT, THAT IT Q ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A FLYING CIRCUS.

'MONTY PYTHON'S' FLYING CIRCUS.

JOHN CLEESE RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN TO REFLECT ON THE ORIGINS OF THE SHOW'S COMEDIAN CHEMISTRY AND ITS HISTORIC RUN HERE ON PBS.

WE NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD HAVE A CHANCE IN THE UNITED STATES.

WE NEVER HAD ANY IDEA IT WAS GOING TO CATCH ON.

OF COURSE, IT DIDN'T CATCH ON UNTIL WE STOPPED MAKING TELEVISION SHOWS.

IT STARTED IN DALLAS IN '74.

THE PBS STATION.

YES.

ALL HIS FRIENDS RANG THE NEXT MORNING AND SAID, HAVE THEY BURNED THE STATION?

IT'S ALL RIGHT.

IT'S OKAY.

IT CAUGHT ON.

AND THEN SOMEBODY ON PBS ONCE SAID IF IT WASN'T FOR 'MONTY PYTHON,' WE MIGHT NOT STILL BE AROUND BECAUSE WE DREW A LOT OF PEOPLE.

HOW DID THE SIX OF YOU COME TOGETHER, THE SIX UPON ANY PYTHONERS?

WE KNEW EACH OTHER IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

GILLIAM SAW ME ON STAGE AND SAID HE LIKED THE FACES I PULLED.

ENORMOUS COMPLIMENT.

CHAPMAN I KNEW FROM CAMBRIDGE IN '62.

I JUST MET ERIC, IT WAS MY LAST YEAR.

IT WAS HIS FIRST.

WE SORT OF KNEW EACH OTHER.

AND THEN THESE ARE THE GUYS, THE OXFORD GUYS, MIKE AND TERRY.

THEY HAD DONE A SHOW IN LONDON, AND THEN THEY WERE AT A FESTIVAL WHEN ERIC WAS THERE.

WE KNEW THEM PERIPHERALLY.

WHEN DAVID KNEW THE SHOW, THEY WERE ON THE WRITER'S TABLE.

THE SCRIPT EDITOR, THERE WAS MYSELF, CHAPMAN, PALIN, JONES.

AND THEN, OF COURSE, THERE WERE OLDER THAN US.

WE ALL GOT ON TERRIBLY WELL TOGETHER THE VERY FIRST MEETING WHEN WE WENT ALONG TO THE HEAD WRITER AT BBC AND THE GUY WHO GREETED US AND HE SAID I'VE HEARD YOU WANT TO DO A SERIES.

WE SAID YES.

HE SAID, WHAT ARE YOU PROPOSING TO DO?

SO TYPICAL OF PYTHON.

THERE WAS AN AWKWARD SILENCE BECAUSE WE HADN'T DISCUSSED IT.

NO IDEA WHAT KIND OF SHOW YOU WANTED.

HE SORT OF ASKED US.

WELL, WE'RE GOING TO DO A HUMOROUS SHOW TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH WITH COMEDY MATERIAL AND JOKES AND VISUAL GAGS.

HE SAID GO MAKE 13 PROGRAMS.

EVEN WITHOUT A PILOT?

WITHOUT A PILOT.

HE GAVE US A WHOLE SERIES.

HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO.

AND WE DIDN'T KNOW.

BUT I LEARNED FROM THAT, YOU SEE.

I THINK THAT'S WHY IT WAS SO CREATIVE.

PEOPLE WILL BE SURPRISED.

IF WE COME UP WITH A CONCEPT AFTER THAT, WE WOULD HAVE BENEFITTING OUR STUFF INTO THE CONCEPT.

BY STARTING OUT LITERALLY NOT KNOWING WHAT WE WERE DOING.

A BLANK SLATE.

EXACTLY.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHICH SKETCH WOULD GO ON THE AIR?

WE'D ALL GO AWAY AND WRITE AND WE'D SIT AROUND THE TABLE AND READ IT OUT.

AND IF PEOPLE LAUGHED, IT WAS IN THE SHOW.

IF PEOPLE LAUGHED AT HALF OF IT WE'D SAY WE'LL KEEP THE FUNNY BIT.

WE GOT THIS WAY OF DOING IT WITH KIND OF A FLOW BY CUTTING SKETCHES OFF AT THE MOMENT.

THERE WAS NO COMPETITION AS TO WHO WOULD PLAY WHAT PART.

NONE AT ALL.

WE WERE WRITERS.

PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE ME.

IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND PYTHON, WE WERE SIX WRITERS WHO HAPPEN TO PERFORM OUR OWN STUFF.

SO THE SQUABBLING WAS ABOUT MATERIAL.

IN A SENSE THE MOTIVATION WAS VERY ARTISTIC.

WHAT'S THE BEST WAY OF DOING IT?

SHOULD THE SKETCH GO THIS DIRECTION OR THAT DIRECTION?

IS THIS PARTICULAR PIECE FUNNY OR SHOULD IT BE REWRITTEN?

THAT'S WHAT WE ARGUED ABOUT LIKE CATS AND DOGS.

EITHER WAY IT WAS GOOD BECAUSE WE CARED.

ONCE WE GOT TO CASTING, IF I HAD WRITTEN A SKETCH WHERE I KNEW.

A LOT OF THE SKETCHES WOULD BE CONSIDERED TODAY INSENSITIVE, IF NOT DOWN RIGHT OFFENSIVE, RIGHT?

I LOVE INSENSITIVE.

DOWNRIGHT OFFENSIVE.

IT BEGS THE QUESTION COULD 'MONTY PYTHON' BE BORN TODAY?

NO.

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

WE'D NEVER GET AWAY WITH IT.

BACK IN '69 WE NEVER THOUGHT WE COULD GET AWAY WITH IT ON AMERICAN TELEVISION.

NOW WE'VE GOT BACK THERE WHICH IS A LITTLE BIT SAD.

THE WONDERFUL THING IS THAT PYTHONS SEEMED TO HAVE A LICENSE.

PEOPLE THOUGHT, WELL, YOU ALWAYS DID THIS.

IT'S NOT AS IF YOU SUDDENLY STARTED DOING IT.

ANOTHER THING IS IF PEOPLE GET OLD, IF PEOPLE COME TO SEE ME, THEY'RE THERE BECAUSE THEY LIKE MY STUFF.

THEY'RE PRESELECTED TO BE OKAY WITH THE KIND OF MATERIALLY DO.

I LIKE PLAYING WITH THIS BECAUSE IT'S VERY FUNNY SOMETIMES WHEN THE AUDIENCE GOES [ GASP ]. IT'S FUN TO PLAY WITH THAT STUFF INSTEAD OF IMAGINING THAT EVERYONE IS SO FRAGILE, THAT IF YOU MAKE A JOKE ABOUT THEM, THEY'RE GOING TO FALL APART.

I HAVE TO ASK YOU BECAUSE I WANT TO KNOW.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ALL-TIME 'MONTY PYTHON' SKIT?

PROBABLY THE --

A NOR WEEJIAN --

WHEN I READ THAT OUT, I HAD THE HAPPYIEST MOST OF MY ENTIRE PYTHON CAREER WHICH WAS THAT MICHAEL STARTED TO LAUGH AT 30 SECONDS.

IT WAS SHEAR PREDICTABILITY, AND HE STARTED TO LAUGH AND HE COMPLETELY LOST IT, AND I HAD NEVER SEEN HIM LAUGH LIKE THAT.

HE SLID OFF HIS CHAIR ONTO THE FLOOR AND ROLLED AROUND ON THE FLOOR, UNABLE TO STAND UP.

IS IT REALLY A SURPRISE 'THE GREAT GATSBY' MADE IT TO THE LIST OF 100 OF AMERICA'S MOST LOVED NOVELS.

WRITTEN IN 1925 BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, IT'S REFERRED TO AS ONE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVELS OF THE 20th CENTURY, PAINTS A PICTURE OF THE ROARING '20s DURING THE SUMMER OF 1922.

FILLED WITH LOTS OF DRINKING, OVER THE TOP PARTIES AND ALL THE DECADENCE YOU'D EXPECT IN THE JAZZ AGE.

AT THE CENTER, A LOVE STORY BETWEEN JAY GATSBY AND DAISY BUCHANAN.

MUCH OF THE STORY TAKES PLACE IN THE PALATIAL MANSIONS OF LONG ISLAND.

THAT'S WHERE WE'D HEADED TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT JAY GATSBY WOULD DO FOR LOVE.

I'M ONE OF THE ONES THAT SAYS THIS IS A MASTERPIECE, THIS IS A MASTERPIECE OF LITERATURE.

THIS IS AUTHOR AND PROFESSOR DR. CHARLES RILEY.

HIS LATEST BOOK IS ALL ABOUT THE JAZZ AGE AND ITS INFLUENCE.

HE'S ALSO THE DIRECTOR OF THE NASSAU COUNTY ART MUSEUM IN LONG ISLAND WHICH HAPPENS TO BE IN THE FRICK MANSION, BUILT IN 1900 AND FAMOUSLY BOUGHT BY FORMER STEEL MOGUL HENRY CLAY FRICK IN 1919.

IT WAS A GIFT TO HIS SON.

THE MANSION WAS TAKEN OVER BY NASSAU COUNTY IN 1969 AND TURNED INTO AN ART MUSEUM, BUT STILL FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE MANSION DESCRIBED IN 'THE GREAT GATSBY.'

THIS IS HIS FORMAL GARDEN.

JUST LIKE GATSBY'S FORMAL GARDEN, I LOOK AT THIS AND SAY THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE THE PARTY SCENE COULD HAVE BEEN SHOT.

THESE WERE THESE WONDERFUL PARADISES THAT THE SUPER RICH WERE USING.

THIS WAS SO FASCINATING FOR F.

SCOTT FITZGERALD WHEN HE LIVED NOT HERE, OBVIOUSLY, BUT ON THE OTHER PART.

BUT HE WOULD COME OVER HERE AND SEE THE WAY THESE GUYS LIVED AND SEE THE FORMAL GARDEN SUCH AS THIS ONE.

HE WOULD SAY TO HIMSELF, WOW, HOW DO I GET TO THIS, BUT ALSO HOW DO I PUT THIS ON THE PAGE.

I THINK THIS WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE PLACES WHERE HE CAME.

SO IT'S ALWAYS RATHER EXCITING TO THINK ABOUT F. SCOTT FITS JARLTD WALKING ALONG THESE BORDERS.

IN THE MASTERPIECE, NARRATOR NICK PLAYED BY TOBY MAGUIRE IN THE 2013 FILM PLAYS THE GATSBY, CONTINUOUSLY THROWING WILD PARTIES IN HOPES HIS LONG LOST LOVE HE MET EARLIER, DAZE BY BUCHANAN, CAREY MULLIGAN WILL SEE THE PARTIES FROM ACROSS THE BAY AND FIND HIM.

BY THE WAY, DAISY IS MARRIED TO TOM BUCHANAN, PLAYED BY JOEL EDGERTON.

HE CREATED THIS CRAZY WORLD JUST IN VIEW OF HER MANSION AND THEN MADE SURE THROUGH NICK THAT SHE WOULD FIND OUT HOW GREAT 'THE GREAT GATSBY' WAS AND, TWO, HOW AVAILABLE HE STILL WAS.

OF COURSE, THEN YOU GET TO THIS FASCINATING -- THE WAY HE MANIPULATES NOT JUST HIS NEIGHBOR, BUT A CAST OF THOUSANDS INCLUDING HIS SERVANTS AND THE GUESTS TO JUST SET THE SCENE FOR THE GREAT ENCOUNTER WHEN THE TWO OF THEM ARE BACK TOGETHER AGAIN.

JUST A FEW MILES AWAY FROM THE FRICK MANSION IS THE FAMOUS CASTLE GOULD.

THE CASTLE-LIKE FACADE, IT'S NOT HARD TO IMAGINE THE DECADENT PARTIES OF THE '20s.

IT HAS A VIEW THAT LOOKS LIKE --

QUITE TOUCHING IN MANY WAYS THAT HE WOULD SHOW NOT THAT MUCH MONEY, BUT THAT MUCH EFFORT, SO MUCH OF YOUR LIFE INTO TRYING TO GET DAISY TO LOOK LIKE THAT, INSTEAD OF LOOKING THIS WAY TO THE REST OF THE OLD MONEY AND THE PARTIES SHE WOULD HAVE HAD HERE AND THE POLO TOM WAS PLAYING, HE WAS TRYING TO SAY LOOK MY WAY AGAIN.

ONCE GATSBY WAS ABLE TO MEET HIS LONG LOST LOVE, HE TRIED TO IMPRESSIVE ON A TOUR OF HIS MANSION.

TAKE A LISTEN TO CHARLES AS HE'S READING AN EXCERPT FROM 'THE GREAT GATSBY' AS WE TOURED THE INSIDE OF THE FRICK MANSION.

RIGHT NOW WE'RE IN THE DINING ROOM OF THE FRICK MANSION.

EVERY TIME I COME IN HERE AND LOOK AT THE GORGEOUS DETAILS AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF IT, FOR INSTANCE, THIS ITALIAN MANTLEPIECE THAT WAS OBVIOUSLY ONCE THAT OF A NOBLEMAN IN CUSS CANNY, I WONDER TO MYSELF, IF YOU'RE NOT AN ITALIAN NOBLEMAN YOU CAN BUY IT AND BRING IT TO LONG ISLAND AND HAVE IT IN YOUR MANSION TO SHOW OFF.

THE MOST WONDERFUL MOMENT I THINK IN TERMS OF ROMANCE IN THE NOVEL IS WHEN GATSBY TAKES DAISY AROUND AND GIVES HER A TOUR OF THE HOUSE IN PRIVATE, NOT A BIG PARTY GOING ON.

NICK IS KIND OF FOLLOWING AROUND BEHIND.

THAT'S HOW HE KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON.

AS HE WOULD POINT OUT THE BEAUTIFUL MARBLE MANTLE PIECE, HE WOULD LOOK AT HER.

THIS IS THE WAY IT READS.

HE HADN'T ONE CEASED LOOKING AT DAISY, AND I THINK HE REVALUED EVERYTHING IN HIS HOUSE ACCORDING TO THE MEASURE OF RESPONSE IT DREW FROM HER WELL-LOVED EYES.

LOOK AT MY MANTLEPIECE, AND THEN HE'D LOOK AT HER AND SEE, DID SHE LIKE IT.

HERE COMES THE NEARLY 100-YEAR-OLD SPOILER ALERT.

IT'S A TRAGEDY, AND LET'S JUST SAY IT DOESN'T END WELL FOR GATSBY.

HE AND DAISY CERTAINLY DON'T RIDE INTO THE SUNSET TOGETHER.

IN ALL THE THINGS HE DID FOR LOVE WERE FOR NOTHING.

I ALSO THINK THAT, LOOK AROUND YOU AND YOU SEE HOW GREEN THIS IS.

AT THE VERY, VERY END OF 'THE GREAT GATSBY' WHEN NICK IS HAVING THIS MEDITATION ON HOW QUICKLY GATSBY'S LIFE PASSED, BUT ALSO HOW FAST THE WORLD IS CHANGING AND HOW QUICKLY THE GREAT GREEN BREAST OF THE WORLD, IS THE PHRASE THAT I LOVE.

WHAT HE'S SAYING IS RIGHT OUTSIDE THE GATES, AND IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE, DEVELOPMENT IS COMING, THE STREETS ARE BEING PAVED, THE CITY IS EXPANDING.

AND ALL THIS EDEN IS ABOUT TO DISAPPEAR.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM, III, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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