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Monty Python 40 Years Old Today! 298

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the nobody-expects-the-spanish-inquisition dept.
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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Monty Python 40 Years Old Today!

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:36AM (#29644103)
    For something completely different.
    • 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.

    • by melikamp (631205)
      No. 1. THE LARCH. THE LARCH.
    • For something completely different.

      Oh, you have it lucky. Back in my day we didn't have anything completely different. Everything was a bit of everything else, and we were grateful to have such a homogeneous reality!

    • Re:And now..... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by apoc.famine (621563) <apoc@famine.gmail@com> on Monday October 05, 2009 @09:06PM (#29652397) Homepage Journal

      That's unlikely here on slashdot. You see, we in nerdom have taken what Python once stood for, and now venerate the group's work in an entirely inappropriate way. We are worshiping the golden calf, not the god. There will be nothing different here, just a parroting of the same lines, over and over, and over.
       
      Long ago, before most slashdotters, Python was funny because they were doing something that NOBODY else had done. They were pushing boundaries. They were making the establishment feel uncomfortable. They were the Rock&Roll of TV, fighting to sail in their own direction. They were giving glimpses of nudity on television, using inappropriate language, naming characters "Biggus Dickus", and other inappropriate things.
       
      In short, Python was great because they were new, they were fresh, they pushed the boundaries of what was considered indecent back, and they didn't resort to the same tired gag over and over and over.
       
      They were the Shakespeare of their day, hiding grossly offensive material under clever linguistics. They took characters from around us, around history, around time, and put them in places they didn't belong. Then they explored that human dynamic. The English-speaking Brian in Roman lands, failing at Latin; The Viking and King Arthur in modern times; The Grannies in biker gangs; The accountant in places of danger and excitement.
       
      They, like Shakespeare, Longfellow, and David Foley before them took us to a place we knew, and then perverted it while we stood there, slack-jawed. They, like Hisenberg and Bohr, kept us continuously uncertain of where we stood. Of where we started, and of where we would end up.
       
      While many books have been written on the social commentary of the themes within Python's works, the one most cited is that of dying cats. From explosions to old women beating them on posts, it was clear that Python had something out for the furry pussy. While most have glossed over this theme as a histamine sensitivity, it clearly ties into their long-running theme of the uncertainty of the human condition. For them, the human condition has been observed. And it is a dead cat.
       
      For that reason, I put off coming here. I knew that all I would find would be anti-Python. A repetition of lines; against all they stood for; all that made them great. While we can treasure the memories of enjoyment that their shows and movies brought us, we should remember the golden calf.
       
      For that reason, I come here not to repeat a line, but to leave a brief message in their honor.
       
      Do not look at the glass - look through the window. And out that window is a dead cat, having been observed by Python.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SL Baur (19540)

        may I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in Slashdot. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new accounts are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they're to tell Cmdr Taco immediately so that he can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up.

  • Ni! (Score:2, Funny)

    Ni!

    • by daid303 (843777)

      I'll bite your legs off!

    • Re:Ni! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted @ s l a s h d ot.org> on Monday October 05, 2009 @01:12PM (#29646577)

      Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old Slashdotters. There is a pestilence upon this site, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design non-stories are under considerable economic stress in this period in history.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:40AM (#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!!

  • by adnonsense (826530) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:41AM (#29644161) Homepage Journal

    Just pining for the fjords.

  • by charleste (537078) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:41AM (#29644165)

    NObody expects the anniversary of Python!

  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@gmaiSTRAWl.com minus berry> on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:44AM (#29644225) Homepage
    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].

    • by xjimhb (234034)

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

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "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

    • Thanks for answering my (YMMV, redundant?) post 28 minutes before I made it.
      Mod parent up.

    • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Monday October 05, 2009 @12:32PM (#29645901)

      Holy Grail is great and all, but I think "Life Of Brian" is the best Monty Python movie.

      Actually, in an interview about a year ago, John Clease mentioned that, in his experience, Americans tended to favor Holy Grail and Britons tended to favour Life of Brian. He thought it had something to do with the way in which both countries tend to enjoy their humo(u)r. Life of Brian has a continuous plot, whereas Holy Grail is more of a connected series of sketches.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Landshark17 (807664)
      I recently re-watched Holy Grail and followed it up with Life of Brian, and I noticed that while both are funny, they're funny in very different ways.

      Holy Grail is mostly a light-hearted parody of Arthurian legend. They took the framework of the quest for the Holy Grail, and injected it with the kind of surreal humor they're best remembered for. The closest thing to social satire in it is the oft-quoted scene where Arthur and the peasant argue over how he came to power, and that's more funny because it's t
  • No it doesn't.
  • by Tsar (536185) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:46AM (#29644247) Homepage Journal

    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?

  • by Stone Rhino (532581) <mparke@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:46AM (#29644257) Homepage Journal
    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]
  • by copponex (13876) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:47AM (#29644271) Homepage

    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]

  • ...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).
  • by jacksdl (552055) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:56AM (#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!'''
  • by hansraj (458504) on Monday October 05, 2009 @11:07AM (#29644533)

    But what did Monty Python ever do that is worth noting?

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday October 05, 2009 @11:27AM (#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.
    • 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.

    • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Monday October 05, 2009 @12:11PM (#29645555)

      They addressed this yesterday in a BBC special. Firstly Graham Chapman is dead and secondly they felt like they were repeating themselves at the end of the original series which is why they quit. Terry Gilliam said that if they would come back they should make the first 4 episodes absolutely awful so by the next one only 2 people would be watching and then when they made their most brilliant show ever these guys would rush out and try to explain to incredulous people how brilliant it was. (Oh, and remakes suck.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Threni (635302)

      > 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.

      And why don't people make some more Beatles songs while they're at it?

  • Not to worry! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday October 05, 2009 @11:27AM (#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.
  • Dead Parrot
    Hungarian Phrase Book
    nudge nudge, wink wink
    lumberjack song

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chaim79 (898507)

      My favs:

      • Lumberjack Song
      • Dead Parrot
      • Worlds Deadliest Joke
      • How to defend yourself against someone armed with a banana
  • by FiloEleven (602040) on Monday October 05, 2009 @11:38AM (#29645009)

    My nipples explode with delight!

  • I've been watching that since I was... Damn. I'm starting to get old...
  • by Murrdox (601048) on Monday October 05, 2009 @11:50AM (#29645229)
    And now...

    #1

    The Larch.
  • Maybe I'm the only geek on the planet that doesn't like Monty Python, but I never got it. Yeah, some skits are mildly amusing, but so totally funny as to have watched everything? Multiple times? No, it's just not that funny to me.

    Am I seriously the only one?
  • I am singularly disgusted and appalled that Google have no Python graphic. Spam them!
  • by Bazman (4849) on Monday October 05, 2009 @01:23PM (#29646767) Journal

    On this day, make every Anonymous Coward show up as 'Bruce'.

  • Not aged well?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joe Mucchiello (1030) on Monday October 05, 2009 @01:24PM (#29646791) Homepage

    The number of sketches that have not aged well is a very small number. One of the best things about MP was that it stayed as far away from topical subjects as possible. Most MP aged very well (ubiquitous runny cheese jokes).

    Where has Monty Python not aged well?

  • by nuckfuts (690967) on Monday October 05, 2009 @01:41PM (#29647037)

    I got this from a friend, and while I can't prove or disprove its veracity, I like to believe it really happened:

    Here in Vancouver there are often sightings of celebrities in town for the filming of some project. So one day several years ago, a fellow is walking along downtown and is amazed to see John Cleese walking toward him. This fellow happens to be a Monty Python fanatic. We all know the type; he can (and does) quote many of their skits verbatim.

    So the story goes, as he sees his comedic idol walking toward him on the street, he is suddenly in a panic as to what he should say to him. As Cleese is about to walk past he blurts out "Is this the place for an argument"? Without pausing or missing a step, Cleese exclaims "I TOLD YOU ONCE"!

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday October 05, 2009 @01:58PM (#29647283)
    Tell your significant other to "Sit on my face, and tell me that you love me!"

    Oh wait, this is slashdot...
    Never mind.

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