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Monty Python 40 Years Old Today!

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the nobody-expects-the-spanish-inquisition dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 298

cheros was one of several readers to note that today, Oct 5, in 1969 was the very first airing of Monty Python. Although not every sketch has aged particularly well, you'd be hard pressed to find a more influential and funny show. Heck, look at the Icon we use here to indicate humorous stories! Who among us can't claim to have viewed the Holy Grail at least somewhere in the double digits.

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298 comments

And now..... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644103)

For something completely different.

Re:And now..... (1)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644169)

I figured the same old Parrot Sketch jokes wouldn't be the best choice, so from one of my favourites...

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Riding through the land
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Without a merry band
He steals from the poor.
And gives to the rich
Stupid bitch.

Re:And now..... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644181)

Shut your noise, you! And get that suit on! And no singing!

Monty Python is gay as AIDS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644457)

Copulate with a bear trap and die.

Re:Monty Python is gay as AIDS (0, Offtopic)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644757)

Copulate with a bear trap and die.

Okay, THAT is just about the funniest damn thing I've read in the last couple of days.

Ni! (2, Funny)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644113)

Ni!

Re:Ni! (1, Insightful)

txoof (553270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644185)

This is an excellent opportunity to honor Monty Python by honoring the group's mastery of shock and irreverence and stop quoting, word for word skits and films! The irony is killing me slowly.

Highly apropos XKCD comic [xkcd.com] on the subject.

Re:Ni! (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644301)

This is an excellent opportunity to honor Monty Python by honoring the group's mastery of shock and irreverence and stop quoting, word for word skits and films! The irony is killing me slowly.

Highly apropos XKCD comic [xkcd.com] on the subject.

I disagree. Because you are quoting something surreal does not make it any less surreal. Monty Python is surreal humor, not original humor. Of course, the shock and awe of seeing it the first time is very effective. But that should in no way prevent you from continually enjoying it. If it being original was a requisite to the innate humor, the very act of placing it statically on a medium would remove the humor from it.

Of course it's quotable in the same way David Lynch is quotable or Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory is replicated in anything from The Simpsons to T-shirts. I think that XKCD comic has little to no merit in claiming that Python was loved for their mastery of shock or defiance of convention. They were loved for their humor--be it unique, it was still not entirely original [icons.org.uk]. Quoting Monty Python should make no one more depressed than quoting Shakespeare or Homer. Stop fretting about being unoriginal and enjoy it.

Re:Ni! (4, Insightful)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644365)

Strangely appropriate for this thread, and really /. in general.

Q: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
M: Well, I was told outside that...
Q: Don't give me that, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings!
M: What?
Q: Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, maloderous, pervert!!!
M: Look, I CAME HERE FOR AN ARGUMENT, I'm not going to just stand...!!
Q: OH, oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse.
M: Oh, I see, well, that explains it.
Q: Ah yes, you want room 12A, Just along the corridor.
M: Oh, Thank you very much. Sorry.
Q: Not at all.
M: Thank You.
(Under his breath) Stupid git!!

Re:Ni! (2, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644439)

"I disagree. Because you are quoting something surreal does not make it any less surreal."

Yeah, and you can't quote Caddyshack and Ferris Bueller all day long, you gotta break it up with something...

:)

Re:Ni! (1, Offtopic)

Nihixul (1430251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644563)

Why on Earth is the parent modded "Troll"? Please people, and I know this is said here quite often, but troll != disagree.

Re:Ni! (2, Insightful)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644537)

And years from now people will quote that comic, word for word. Look how close you are already! Pop culture is incestuous, and to create new works, old works must be cannibalized. When copyrights become no-expiring, creative thought will be a crime.
HEX

Re:Ni! (3, Informative)

Subm (79417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644781)

This is an excellent opportunity to honor Monty Python by honoring the group's mastery of shock and irreverence and stop quoting, word for word skits and films! The irony is killing me slowly.

Highly apropos XKCD comic [xkcd.com] on the subject.

People repetitively quoting them is exactly what makes Monty Python so influential, great, and popular. The world is full of people who quote unoriginally -- that's what creates the value in originality. So while all the people quoting them aren't themselves originally funny, there is no other way it could be. Nothing wrong with that.

I notice your own criticism of word-for-word quoting was little more than a word-for-word quote of someone else. At least the people you are trying to criticize are just trying to be funny and honor people they like.

The irony in your post wasn't what was killing you, but your self-inflicted venom.

Re:Ni! (5, Insightful)

howlingfrog (211151) | more than 4 years ago | (#29645193)

"Seems random" != "is random"

Big xkcd fan, but that particular one is totally without merit--the Pythons were obsessive rewriters. Every sketch went through multiple drafts, they chose their topics and precise wording very carefully. They put a lot of effort into finding the absolute most effective way of surprising the audience, and they usually succeeded. The brilliance of Python is that they took the kind of humor that doesn't rely on surprise (a la Laurel and Hardy), and made it so surprising that everyone mistakes it for surprise-humor. Most comedy incorporates surprise, but nothing stays surprising forever--the comedy that stands the test of time is the comedy that doesn't depend on it. Take surprise out of Python and you still have some of the best-written jokes the world has ever produced. The most common format for their sketches was essentially to repeat the same joke over and over again with different wording--Dead Parrot, Crunchy Frog, Spam, Spanish Inquisition, Self-Defense, etc. After the first twenty seconds, there's nothing left to surprise you even the first time you see it. The humor is in the flawless execution--and that's why it's so obsessively quoted and rewatched.

Stop making a fuss. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644153)

Monty Python was a long time ago.

It is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker!

It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it'd be pushing up the daisies!
Its metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off the twig!
It's kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!

Re:Stop making a fuss. (1)

rrhal (88665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644303)

Always look on the bright side of life ...

Request For Comment (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644591)

My Dad was a big fan of the TV show, but he claims he didn't like the films. I've been trying to get him to watch "Life Of Brian", as I believe it is more linear and coherent than the others. (And simply too good to miss). What say you?

Re:Stop making a fuss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29645061)

No, no - they're pinning for the fjords.

Icon ? (1)

slb (72208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644173)

I always wondwered why /. used this strange icon of a barefoot, now I understand but I'm wondering to which skit it is related.

Re:Icon ? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644213)

None of the above. It comes down at the end of the opening bits of the program, squashing the words on the screen, near the end of the "Liberty Bell March"

Re:Icon ? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644215)

You must be ne... wait a minute, 5 digit ID? who did you buy that off?! :P

Re:Icon ? (4, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644567)

For most of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the opening credits consisted of the Liberty Bell March played over surreal animations from Terry G., with the last note replaced by a loud `squish' sound as a giant foot squashed the rest of the animated stuff.

You don't need to watch it a ton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644175)

I'm 33, British and I've probably not even seen Holy Grail more than a handful of times, let alone 10+. What i think is most important about it is how memorable it is, after the first viewing you can start quoting half of the movie, a second viewing and you can repeat back nearly every line.

It's memorable, its lasting, its humor that never ends. That's not what matters, not massive repeat watchings.

Now if you don't mind I'll go back to my soundtrack of the live broadcasting of Holy Grail, seems something is up with the Llama and I can't wait to find out.

I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (0, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644199)

The I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners shows are arguably much more influential (and funnier) than Monty Python, as far as actual influence goes. MP may have been funny and set the standard for sketch comedy, it doesn't really have much influence on popular culture. The two shows mentioned above have essentially defined the groundwork and format for all sitcoms to follow.

Whether popular culture should be used to judge the positive influence of something could be debated, of course.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (5, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644261)

The I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners shows are arguably much more influential (and funnier) than Monty Python, as far as actual influence goes.

No they aren't.

MP may have been funny and set the standard for sketch comedy, it doesn't really have much influence on popular culture.

Yes it does.

The two shows mentioned above have essentially defined the groundwork and format for all sitcoms to follow.

No they haven't.

Whether popular culture should be used to judge the positive influence of something could be debated, of course.

No it couldn't.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (4, Funny)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644323)

I believe the GP was looking for an argument, not contradiction.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644437)

he came in here for an argument? this is "abuse'. You want Room 12-A just along the corridor.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644489)

"I believe the GP was looking for an argument, not contradiction."

Look, if I'm going to argue with you, I have to take up a contrary position...

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644351)

The I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners shows are arguably much more influential (and funnier) than Monty Python, as far as actual influence goes.

No they aren't.

Yes, they bloody well are. Besides, parents said arguably, and was not stating it as a fact.

MP may have been funny and set the standard for sketch comedy, it doesn't really have much influence on popular culture.

Yes it does.

Sure. A minimal amount. Which was parents point.

The two shows mentioned above have essentially defined the groundwork and format for all sitcoms to follow.

No they haven't.

They certainly did. Can you show how most sitcoms were not in some way influenced by them, or did not follow the same basic format?

Whether popular culture should be used to judge the positive influence of something could be debated, of course.

No it couldn't.

How can it not?

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (2, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644643)

The I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners shows are arguably much more influential (and funnier) than Monty Python, as far as actual influence goes.

No they aren't.

Yes, they bloody well are. Besides, parents said arguably, and was not stating it as a fact.

No they're not. And he was not doing any such thing.

MP may have been funny and set the standard for sketch comedy, it doesn't really have much influence on popular culture.

Yes it does.

Sure. A minimal amount. Which was parents point.

No it wasn't.

The two shows mentioned above have essentially defined the groundwork and format for all sitcoms to follow.

No they haven't.

They certainly did. Can you show how most sitcoms were not in some way influenced by them, or did not follow the same basic format?

Can you show me how most were?

Whether popular culture should be used to judge the positive influence of something could be debated, of course.

No it couldn't.

How can it not?

How can it?

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (2, Funny)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644927)

I'm not sure if this response is intended to be this dry - could well be a whoosh!!

Lemon Curry ?

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644983)

Oh... if the comment *was* intended to be parched, bereft of moisture and hence brilliantly crafted humour, please own up now whilst its still definitely way too late.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644935)

Here we see exactly what happens when the subject is exposed to the pedestrian humour of the genre typified by "I Love Lucy" and "The Honeymooners", while the more sophisticated Bonofskian humour exemplified by the Pythons soars albatrosslike over the head the individual. The juxtaposition of the two styles in the appropriate contextual form demonstrates vividly the technique in paramorphigenesis of the plentariationization after the dextratr.......

Stop that now! That's just silly.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (2, Funny)

Tomun (144651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644363)

That's just contradiction. He came here for an argument.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644421)

Wait wait wait this is the "Argument" sketch, right?

Ding. Time's up.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644427)

The I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners shows are arguably much more influential (and funnier) than Monty Python, as far as actual influence goes.

No they aren't.

MP may have been funny and set the standard for sketch comedy, it doesn't really have much influence on popular culture.

Yes it does.

The two shows mentioned above have essentially defined the groundwork and format for all sitcoms to follow.

No they haven't.

Whether popular culture should be used to judge the positive influence of something could be debated, of course.

No it couldn't.

I disagree.

YMMV (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29645177)

The Honeymooners spawned The Flintstones (good), and I Love Lucy has been regrettably imitated by virtually every sitcom on American TV since (I hate Lucy). As far as influence goes, IMO the good shows have been influenced by Monty Python, and I Love Lucy can take credit for influencing practically every sucky sitcom in the years since.

Re:I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644433)

I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners ...

... are two shows that no-one outside of the USA has seen or even heard of.

I'm actually a heretic. (4, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644225)

Holy Grail is great and all, but I think "Life Of Brian" is the best Monty Python movie. It's the only one where they maintained a coherent plot thread through the whole proceedings, and still had drop-dead-funny stuff.

"It says 'Romans Go Home'." "No it doesn't!"

"He has a wife, you know..."

Oh, heck, just see here [imdb.com].

Re:I'm actually a heretic. (1)

xjimhb (234034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644327)

I enjoy both "Holy Grail" and "Brian" but neither is my favorite. **I** think "The Meaning of Life" was their masterpiece.

Re:I'm actually a heretic. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644887)

"I enjoy both "Holy Grail" and "Brian" but neither is my favorite. **I** think "The Meaning of Life" was their masterpiece."

For the longest time, the Meaning of Life was my least favorite of the three. I was pretty young when I saw it in the movie theater, and I was expecting something along the lines of Grail or Brian, and was kinda disappointed.

However, as I've watched it over the years, I've seen more and more in Meaning...so much stuff going on in that movie, references to itself, and of course, with age, I'm starting to appreciate some of what they were saying about life, especially when you start to reach middle age.

I'd still have to say that Brian is still my favorite out of the three, but, by a small margin. I am eager to watch any of them if someone offers to throw them on. I may have to get the DVD's of mine out and watch them this week.

LOL...I've not see their Live and the Hollywood bowl in awhile, I may actually have to start with that one.

"Albatross.....!!"

Re:I'm actually a heretic. (1)

KatchooNJ (173554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644701)

Ah, yes! I agree completely. I always say exactly what you just said. "Life Of Brian" is definitely their best movie, but who can't hold endless love for The Holy Grail, as well. :-) I need to crack into my DVD collection tonight, I think.

Obligatory... (4, Funny)

Tsar (536185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644247)

Who among us can't claim to have viewed the Holy Grail at least somewhere in the double digits.

What, the American or the European version?

Re:Obligatory... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644633)

Lemon Curry?

Re:Obligatory... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644655)

I don't know that!

Aaaaiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

The essence of Python... (4, Interesting)

Stone Rhino (532581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644257)

Monty Python, when it started, was about doing something different, absurd, and rebellious. Humo(u)r was stale and repetitive at the time. The devolution of their innovative comedy into a mine for endlessly repeated quotes is antithetical to its spirit. That's why my favorite Monty Python sketch is their performance of the Dead Parrot Sketch at the Secret Policeman's Ball: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTV3lQc4AmQ [youtube.com]

Re:The essence of Python... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644435)

Stale? Repetitive? I'm not sure that's true - given Python was heavily influenced by Spike Milligan et al.

Re:The essence of Python... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644571)

... Humo(u)r was stale and repetitive at the time.

Humor without the "u" still is.

Life of Brian (5, Funny)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644271)

The Life of Brian is especially worth a second view if you saw it when you were younger.

Matthias: Look, I don't think it should be a sin, just for saying "Jehovah".
[Everyone gasps]
Jewish Official: You're only making it worse for yourself!
Matthias: Making it worse? How can it be worse? Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!
Jewish Official: I'm warning you! If you say "Jehovah" one more time (gets hit with rock) RIGHT! Who did that? Come on, who did it?
Stoners: She did! She did! (suddenly speaking as men) He! He did! He!
Jewish Official: Was it you?
Stoner: Yes.
Jewish Official: Right...
Stoner: Well you did say "Jehovah. "
[Crowd throws rocks at the stoner]
Jewish Official: STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! All right, no one is to stone _anyone_ until I blow this whistle. Even... and I want to make this absolutely clear... even if they do say, "Jehovah. "
[Crowd stones the Jewish Official to death]

Re:Life of Brian (5, Funny)

qc_dk (734452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644419)

The Life of Brian is especially worth a second view if you saw it when you were younger.

I'm not going to bother then. I saw it when I was older.

Re:Life of Brian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29645129)

The Life of Brian is especially worth a second view

Seconded!

if you saw it when you were younger.

How comes it that you think that the really funny scene you quoted was difficult to understand for the "younger"?

I can. (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644273)

Who among us can't claim to have viewed the Holy Grail at least somewhere in the double digits.

I saw it once and wondered what the big deal was. The same goes for the show. PBS had some specials running a while ago where they highlighted each member of the troupe and showed the relevant episodes. I couldn't sit through it - it's just not my kind of humor.

That's the one thing that was really awkward when I was working IT: how to politely get away from folks when they start the one man Monty Python recitation of skits.

1..n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644325)

Who among us can't claim to have viewed the Holy Grail at least somewhere in the double digits.

In decimal or binary?

Sewer Workers on Our Way to a Convention (1)

cawley (1168055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644353)

For Easter when the oldest was 15, the Easter Bunny brought her The Life of Brian. She was just home from college for the weekend and took back the Holy Grail. Meanwhile the 12 yr old younger brother, just got to watch The Life of Brian and had to pause it to pee numerous times.

If you really want to show Monty Python... (3, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644357)

...at it's best to someone who hasn't seen it or doesn't (but might) get it, show them the Spanish Inquisition episode. It has all the right Python-esque elements put together in a perfect way (for them).

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition (3, Interesting)

jacksdl (552055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644393)

One of today's Nobel Prize winners (Carol W. Greider) was quoted in the New York Times:

People might make predictions of who might win, but one never expects it, she said, adding that ''It's like the Monty Python sketch, 'Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!'''

The foot icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29644763)

Wow. And all this time I thought the slashdot editors just liked Bronzino [wikipedia.org].

so successful, yet never remade - why? (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644801)

Considering what an effect and what a huge fanbase the programmes have, I can't help wondering why no-one has ever tried to make any more. Although you probably couldn't get any of the original caste to take part (and would probably disappoint, if they did - 40 years on), it seems like a wasted opportunity. Especially as so much of todays TV and film output is remakes of stuff from that era.

Re:so successful, yet never remade - why? (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29645331)

Because the Pythons won't let them use their trademarks, I suspect. They know as well as we all do that a remake would be very likely to be terrible, and aren't going to want any part of it until they are a lot more desperate for money than they are now.

Not to worry! (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644803)

If history is any indication, Hollywood will be doing an American version any day now--complete with a cast of throw-offs from assorted Comedy Central shows, former SNL cast members, and various improv troupes. It will be bland and not as good as the original, but it will make the stars a lot more money than the original cast ever got and it will run for about 20 years.

favorite sketches (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644821)

Dead Parrot
Hungarian Phrase Book
nudge nudge, wink wink
lumberjack song

Re:favorite sketches (2, Insightful)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 4 years ago | (#29645169)

My favs:

  • Lumberjack Song
  • Dead Parrot
  • Worlds Deadliest Joke
  • How to defend yourself against someone armed with a banana

Funnier Shows (-1, Offtopic)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29644943)

Fawlty Towers
The Young Ones
Bottom
Blackadder
Joking Apart
Coupling (UK Version)

More influential shows:
None

Modern Day Monty Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29645279)

While not as largely successful and more juvenile, I think WKUK is a modern version of Monty Python.

You should watch their classroom sketch/skit

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