Happy Monty Python Day!

Back on October 5, 1969, the first episode of the sketch comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus premiered, bringing something completely different to UK television, inspiring many a young comedian, and brilliantly warping the fragile minds of a whole generation. Oxbridge-educated Terry Jones, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, and animator Terry Gilliam became The Beatles of comedy, stomping a big, heavy foot on all of the staid TV humor that came before. And they infuriated their bosses at the BBC, who found the show to be “disgusting”, “nihilistic” and “in appalling taste,” and more damningly, they predicted it to be a bad investment. Boy, were they ever wrong. The show went on for five seasons, spawning award-winning movies, blockbuster musicals, and legendary individual acting and directing careers.

What are your favorite Flying Circus sketches from each of the boys? Here are some suggestions:

Graham Chapman – “Woody and Tinny Words”

John Cleese – “Dead Parrot”

Terry Gilliam – “Dancing Teeth” animation

Eric Idle – “Nudge Nudge”

Terry Jones – “Spam”

Michael Palin – “The Lumberjack Song”

by Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
View all posts by Kevin Wicks.