“Sit on my Face” and “Every Sperm is Sacred” are titles of just 2 songs of the many in Monty Python’s repertoire. The irreverent and exuberant humor of the (mostly) British comedy ensemble known as MONTY PYTHON has influenced many comedians around the globe and across generations. Before there was South Park and Family Guy, before there was Jackass, even before there was Saturday Night Live– there was Monty Python’s Flying Circus. A comedy sketch show that broke boundaries and television norms as society (especially British) knew them back in the 1960’s.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired from 1969 to 1974 and featured 5 gentlemen from Britain (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin) and 1 American (Terry Gilliam) whom also doubled as the show’s animator. The show was unlike anything the entertainment world had seen. For example, an episode’s opening title sequence would appear halfway through the episode. Some sketch-related topics would include cross-dressing lumberjacks, eating one’s dead mother, and death-inducing jokes.
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Its format and content disconcerted viewers and even incited ire and opposition from conservative groups (government, Catholic Church). Despite the notoriety, Monty Python went on to produce several films (Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Life of Brian; Meaning of Life). This in turn led to more polemic attention and ultimately, more fans and enthusiasts like me! The Pythons’ remained active (for the most part) in different entertainment mediums. Just watch Will & Grace (starring John Cleese) or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (directed by Terry Gilliam) and you’ll realize their influence and careers are more pervasive than you think.
The first time I was introduced to Monty Python was 10 years ago as a senior in high school theatre class. Our Theatre Arts teacher shared his cool story about hanging out and working with Monty Python on some cool project at some point in his life. His enthusiasm radiated as he prepared to show us a movie titled “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” As the entire class watched it against their will, I remember laughing every now and then, and thinking “These guys are so f***ing weird!”
ATTACK OF THE BUNNIE
Not until I watched the movie again a few years later was I able to truly appreciate and understand the humor behind Monty Python. It was love at second sight! Since then, I’ve been an avid endorser of Monty Python and their works. I’ve been hooked. I want more. And this summer in London, Monty Python (minus Graham Chapman) have given us more. They’ve reunited (for the last time probably) to give us “MONTY PYTHON LIVE (mostly) – One down, Five to go”- a theatrical rendition of their best-known sketches and songs. Think of MONTY PYTHON LIVE as a theatrical mix-tape of yesteryear dedicated to your ex-hippie Nana with a penchant for cursing and telling dirty jokes.
First, watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s like the marijuana of Monty Python intoxicants, the gateway drug to the rest of the comedy that you might get hooked on. After that, watch the old farts together for one last time on MONTY PYTHON LIVE!
Subscribe to the Monty Python YouTube channel for giggles and kicks.