Last Call: Before Bourdain, there was Michael Palin the travel host

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Before Bourdain, there was Michael Palin the travel host
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Anthony Bourdain and his team created the greatest travel television show in history. But before Bourdain, there was Michael Palin. Who could’ve thought the Monty Python cast member’s second act on television would be through his BBC series, which would take him around the world in 80 days, from the North Pole down to the South, and my favorite of his shows, Full Circle, which took Palin on a circuitous route around the Pacific Ocean.


So I’ve been dying to watch Palin’s latest series for Channel 5, which took him to the hermit country of North Korea. Here’s the two-part, 90-minute special from last September. Palin’s interactions with “locals” are very strange and very mesmerizing.

(If you haven’t seen Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin, which Palin has a memorable role, watch it tonight.)

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

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I absolutely love fellow Python alumni Terry Jones documentary history series Crusades (1995). He had a way of making the times come alive and seem a little silly. I love his other history documentaries too when they show up. Heck, John Cleese did a great documentary on wines once.