- Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and Girls
name = Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and Girls
image_caption = The cover of "Bert Fegg's Nasty Book" (1974 edition)
Terry Jonesand Michael Palin
illustrator = Martin Honeysett, Lolly Honeysett, Frank Bellamy, Paul Buckle
cover_artist = Lolly Honeysett
language = English
genre = Humour
pub_date = 1974
english_pub_date = Print (
isbn = ISBN 0-413-32740-X
"Bert Fegg's Nasty Book For Boys And Girls" is a humorous book first published by Methuen in 1974 which purports to have been written by a psychopathic character, Dr. Fegg. In fact, the book is the work of
Terry Jonesand Michael Palin, who adapted a range of material from scripts written for the television comedy series, " Monty Python's Flying Circus". Some material was later used in Palin's 1977 TV series, " Ripping Yarns". The first edition was sold bearing a sticker on the front cover which read "A Monty Python Educational Product".
The book may be seen as a satire of children's education literature; whether it is actually written for children or is intended as a parody aimed at adults is open to interpretation. It satirises elements of educational text books, as well as annuals, which were popular hardcover publications for children featuring short stories, comic strips, and games, often based upon television series and films of the day.
tyle of humour
The book uses the characteristic
absurdisthumour associated with the "Monty Python" series and relies on the use of non sequitur, parody, anarchic humour, juvenile references to bodily functions and black comedy-style descriptions of gory violence for comedic effect. A fictional character, Dr. Bert Fegg, is presented as the author of the book. His bloodthirsty, psychopathiccharacter is depicted in constant conflict with the publishers, as they attempt to raise the moral tone of the book and censor violent content.
The exchange between author and publishers is presented through textual interjections such as "That's enough - the Publishers", in the style often used in the satirical magazine Private Eye. Dr. Fegg's angry comments are scrawled handwriting printed on the pages.
Recurring jokes throughout the book include a number of parody advertisements for exotic household gadgets, appearances by the sinister West
BromleyFighting Haddock, and passing references to "the BournemouthKillings".
Authors and contributors
Python writers Terry Jones and Michael Palin wrote the content, with artwork provided by several British illustrators. Contributors to the book include British comics artist
Frank Bellamy(A Cowboy Story), cartoonists Martin Honeysettand Lolly Honeysett, and Paul Buckle, an illustrator who worked on a number of instructional football skills books in the 1970s.
Among the bizarre topics covered in the book are:
*The Wonderful World of Nature - descriptions of several fictional animals, such as the Patagonian Bursting Rabbit and the West Bromley Fighting Haddock
*Across the Andes by Frog - a burlesque of a travel diary in a
mock-heroicstyle; this material was later used in the TV series Ripping Yarns(1977)
*Soccer My Way by the Supremes - a
parodyof football tactics books featuring the popular singing groups the Supremesand Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, illustrated by Paul Buckle
*Interesting Machines - illustrated in the style of
Heath Robinson, this page describes a range of fantastical devices including the "Tally-Ho" Automatic Bed Wetter and the "Hygena" Automatic Nose Picker.
*The Famous Five go Pillaging - a short story which parodies of the writing style of
Enid Blyton; five children witness the collapse of Roman imperialism and their friends and family are slaughtered by 9000 invading Vikings.
*Great Men of History - in fact a collection of nonsensical poems about three women:
Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Boadiceaand Lady Godiva
*A Cowboy Story - a pastiche of a Western comic strip, in which cowboy "Kid" Masterton's horse develops bronchial
pneumoniaand is taken for to a clinic for treatment; illustrations are by British comics artist Frank Bellamy.
*Aladdin and his Terrible Problem - a humorous
pantomimescript following the exploits of Aladdinand his sidekick, Pisso the Alcoholic Dog. The script ends abruptly with "Curtain. End of Act Two. Theatre goes out of business." The original hardcover featured a page of paper dolls of the play's characters that, in theory, could be cut out and used to perform the play.
*How to Destroy this Book - a final exhortation by Dr. Fegg to his young readers to wanton destruction, censored by the publishers.
*The original UK edition also included references to a faux contest whereby readers were invited to look for a "deliferate mistale" (sic) located "somewhat" in the book.
*The book climaxes with a two-page, gory illustration of Bert Fegg chopping open a monster with an axe (presented in the style of Monty Python alumnus
Terry Gilliam's animations), followed by profuse apologies by the book's publishers and a final scrawled rant by Fegg.
An expanded edition of the book, "Dr. Fegg's Nasty Book of Knowledge", was printed for the US market in 1976, with additional material addressed at American audiences, with some British-specific text removed or revised. A revised and expanded version, "Dr. Fegg's Encyclopeadia "(sic)" of all World Knowledge", was published in the UK in 1984.
*"Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and Girls" w/Terry Jones (1974) ISBN 0-413-32740-X
*"Dr. Fegg's Nasty Book of Knowledge" w/Terry Jones (1976) ISBN 425-03084-395
*"Bert Fegg's Encyclopeadia (sic) of all World Knowledge" w/Terry Jones (1974) ISBN 0-413-56430-4
* [http://www.dailyllama.com/spam/books/jones.html Terry Jones Books] - PythOnline's Daily Llama
* [http://www.terry-jones.net/books.htm Books by Terry Jones]
* [http://gadsircomics.blogspot.com/2007/05/nasty-frank.html Nasty Frank] - a review of Bellamy's illustrations
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