I just found this awesome tip in the Apple SE:
Start a quick webserver from any directory:
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8000
Is there a way to have this parse php scripts, or is this for html-only sites?
The SimpleHTTPServer python library, called in that way, will only serve files, and will not interpret PHP (or python, for that matter). However, you can get it to serve whatever you want (including PHP - check out CGIHTTPServer) with some custom python wrapped around it.