Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ministry of Silly Comedians (or Nobody Expects Monty Python!)


In comedy, their influence is compared to the Beatles' impact in modern music. I couldn't agree more. They are the Beatles of comedy. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, collectively known as Monty Python, can lay claim to shaping how postmodern absurdist and surrealist humor exists today.

My introduction to the group was through "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." I still consider this the funniest film I've ever seen. Now I finally got a copy of "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and hope to have time this weekend to give it a thorough viewing.
Just this year, I was able to see all 45 episodes of the historic run of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" in DVD. Arguably the most intellectually written collection of humorous, ironic, sarcastic, and sardonic, and pie-in-the-face-banana-peel slip-ful skits attacking the ills of modern times, the series deserves to be used as a tool in colleges and universities for education in such fields as sociology, philosophy, political science, and even economics.

If you get a chance to see these episode, try and look at the "Dead Parrot Sketch" as an allusion to the reluctance of government to accept its own faults, the "Dennis Moore Sketch" showing the pitfalls of a misguided poverty alleviation program, and the "Ron Obvious Sketch" as a tragicomic vision of man exploiting man.

Or then again, just laugh at the sheer comic brilliance of the "Upper Class Twit of the Year Sketch," the "Ministry of Silly Walks Sketch," and the "Spanish Inquisition Sketch."

The best way to honor these guys would be to drop a 16-ton weight on my Monty Python DVDs. But I can't do that to my collection.

Because I don't have a 16-ton weight.

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