And Now For Something Completely Different

By Kevin Zwick
Outlook Editor

The year was 1969. It was a hallmark year for many reasons: Woodstock and the end of the Hippie Era; the Manson murders; the Beatles’ rooftop concert; and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

It was also the year in which comedy was changed forever.

It was the year in which five Brits and one American wrote and performed for the first time as the comedy troupe the “Monty Python” on a sketch comedy T.V. show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

The five Brits, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, wrote the majority of the skits, while American Terry Gilliam created his trademark surrealist collage stop-motion animation, which was shown in between skits, giving the show a coherent flow.

The “Flying Circus” aired on the BBC from 1969-1974. After the show went off the air, the troupe wrote and starred in films which became cult classics, such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983).

The troupe’s brand of irreverent, absurdist humor struck a chord with the Baby Boomer generation, and the Monty Python name became a household name around the world.

Now, 40 years later, the Monty Python label is still gaining popularity, not only with their cult classic films, which were handed down from generation to generation, but also with clips of their classic sketch show being discovered by today’s youth on the Monty Python YouTube page. The Monty Python page says that after 3 years of YouTubers posting “crap quality” clips of their show, they decided to post high-quality versions straight from the vault. While the quality is much better, an ad does appear on the screen at the beginning of the video, but it can be closed.

It has been 40 years since the conception of Monty Python and hopefully generations to come will continue to seek the Holy Grail, or visit the Ministry of Silly Walks or just complain about their Dead Parrot.