Monty Python, Comedy Group, (1969 – 1974)
Origin: England, Wales, USA
Education: Graham Chapman – medicine in Cambridge and London, John Cleese – law in Cambridge, Eric Idle – English philology in Cambridge /all three participate in the theater school in Cambridge/, Michael Palin – history in Oxford, Terry Jones – English philology in Oxford , Terry Gilliam – College of the Arts, Los Angeles
Interests: absurdity, humor, television, cinema, theater, music, history, philosophy
Known for: ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ – BBC TV series, 5 films – ‘And Now Something Completely Different’, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, ‘Life of Brian’,
Monty Python Live in Hollywood, The Meaning of Life According to Monty Python, 7 music albums
Acknowledgment: According to serious critics: “To the world of television, pageantry and the absurd, Monty Python is what The Beatles are to music.”
Who is the dumbest band in the world? Many consider the palm of stupidity to be held by the Monty Pythons, a gang of British idiots from the 1970s. They have been exposed for 4 years with the TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus and feature films that could make molten iron drip from your nose.
The six of them individually are complete jerks, but they work together without fighting with shovels
But I consider Monty Python not the dumbest, but perhaps the smartest band in the world. And not only because five of the six have degrees from Oxford and Cambridge, but only the American Terry Gilliam, who always appears at the end, exposes the troupe with a simple art college. There are three other reasons. First, the six of them individually are complete jerks, but they work together without fighting with shovels. At least not most of the time. Second, they approach the absurd so cleverly that they break the notions of it as something foreign and scary to man. And third, their sense of humor is sublime and refutes the critical thesis that humor is antithetical to modern art. Here comes Terry Gilliam in a jumbled knight’s armor, hitting me over the head with a rubber chicken until I shut up so I don’t bother people anymore.
“Actually, there was no real reason for doing what we were doing – explains Michael Palin: – But there was a reason for doing things for no reason at all.” Palin studied modern history at Oxford and wrote sketches. With Terry Jones, who studies literature and medieval history, they make one writing couple.
In the flying circus, Palin mostly plays the “It’s…” guy – forever wanting to explain something but never getting to finish because they play music or the episode credits, chase him off the stage, or just throw him out into the eerie landscape behind. Palin develops the image of a “gambi” whose iconic line is “my brain hurts.” Terry Jones is most famous as the naked guy who plays an organ placed in a lake, on a high rock, in a coop. He has no lines.
The other Monty Python couple who wrote together was Graham Chapman – John Cleese. They meet in Cambridge, at an amateur theater club. Cleese has the key role of The Host with the line: “Now for something completely different.” His friend Chapman, on the other hand, is irresistible as the Colonel, who authoritatively steps in to interrupt a skit if he decides it’s too stupid even for Monty Python.
The lone writer is Eric Idle. He studied English literature at Cambridge, understood music and composed some of Python’s most famous songs. Otherwise, the roles include a person obsessed with language – the one who speaks in anagrams, the other who switches the places of words or the butcher, who is sometimes polite, sometimes rude in the same speech. Idol’s skits are often about rock, sex, drugs, they are beyond the edge of what is acceptable – in England they get away with it, but in the States they censor them and the guys make a lot of money from the cases.
The other loner in the midst of Monty Python is Terry Gilliam, who always appears at the end. He doesn’t write, but draws and animates, his trademarks like the giant foot that stomps on the current scene as soon as it crosses any boundaries. “Cutting things out and moving them around was the simplest form of animation I knew, and I used it all the time,” says Gilliam. Well, sometimes he has to step in with a role and he does, but anonymously –
However, the boys do not just play this or that role, they often create something like collective images
it’s usually the knight in armor who chases away the troublemakers, or the viking who parodies TV principles and throws in a nonsensical word. A big hit is, for example, the word “spam”, which is transferred from the show to e-mail.
However, the boys don’t just play this or that role, they often create something like collective images – the Spanish Inquisition, which appears whenever you least expect it. Or women pretending to be men playing women.
The group had a blast from 1969 to 1974, making 45 episodes of The Flying Circus and taking the world by storm. Part of the audience laughs and loves them, another part can’t watch them, thinks they’re too big idiots – but can’t stop watching them either. Critics say that Monty Python is to the world of television, pageantry and the absurd what The Beatles are to music.
In the meantime, however, the six notice that they are running out of steam, causing a simmering dissatisfaction with themselves. And it explodes – the show ends, but somehow they both break up and stay together. They were brought together by three great films – 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1979’s Life of Brian and 1983’s The Meaning of Life.
After the split, John Cleese wrote and acted in A Fish Called Wanda and the TV series Fawlty Towers. Michael Palin is an author of travel documentaries, has a knighthood. Eric Idle did skits for the Air Force, created the parody rock band The Rutles, wrote the libretto for a Broadway musical, received a Tony Award, and shot several films. Graham Chapman also has a successful acting career. In his uniform as a funny colonel, he organizes and manages a charity football match “Monty Python vs. the rest of the world”, in which celebrities such as George Harrison, Keith Moon and others play for the “rest of the world”. Terry Jones is a history buff, making documentaries about the Air Force and writing children’s books. And what about Terry Gilliam, who always appears at the end. He became one of the greatest film directors with Brazil, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, The Brothers Grimm, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.
No, these guys are not spitting – not as a group or individually. And George Perry, a Monty Python researcher, wrote: “It was something anarchic and completely innovative.”
It is. But I’m sure that, upon reading it, the living Monty Pythons exclaimed, individually but in unison, “Enough of the bullshit!” Say one more thing that smart and the heavy end credits will fall on your head.”