November 19, 2010


So, how do you feel about Monty Python?

Is this a divisive question?  I think maybe it is.  I've been on both sides of the fence when asked the same thing.

I've been married twice and both my husbies like Monty Python.  Okay, let me rephrase that - Dan, my first husband, likes Monty Python.  Brian, my second and last husband, loves Monty Python (which will, from here on out, be abbreviated MP).

Brian loves MP so much that he can quote almost verbatim from their first movie, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".  He also has the entire "Flying Circus" series on DVD and many t-shirts with MP quotes.  He even has a Black Knight doll with detachable limbs (if you've seen "Grail", you know what I'm talking about).  Have I mentioned that Brian is a geek?  :D

I've tried, since about 1990, to enjoy and understand this British phenomenon.  I do appreciate the silliness and the troupe is undoubtedly brilliant (anyone who has seen Terry Gilliam's movies or Michael Palin's travel series or Eric Idle's/John Cleese's acting parts knows this to be true).  But I'm also perplexed a lot of the time, because I'll be honest - I don't get a lot of it.

Because I like humor with some "history" to it (think of inside jokes or obscure pop culture references), I must admit that the "Knights who say 'ni'" bit from "Grail" is, well, odd to me.  To what are they referring?  Is there a back story here?  No?  Then what does it mean?  Nothing?  Hmm.  Interesting.  "Ha ha ha - yes, that's amusing.  No, I do like it!  It's funny!" (This has probably been said, by me, a thousand times while watching MP stuff).

But then, last Sunday, our friend Todd was able to procure some half-price tickets to see Spamalot, the musical "lovingly ripped off from" the aforementioned film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".  Todd's wife Dawn and I were both a little concerned that we were going to be totally lost; I was in the fortunate position to at least understand the movie references, but Dawn had never seen it. 

Well, it turns out that this musical, aside from the usual schtick you'll see from the movie, was easy to "get" and very well done - and anyone could enjoy it.  Talk about silly - the musical is 100 times sillier than the movie, but with the added bonus of singin' and dancin'.  There were actual women in the musical, too (if you've seen any of  the MP movies and/or Flying Circus, you know that the guys play ALL the roles).  It was, as I like to say, a "hoot"!

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give it a solid 8.  Not bad for a musical I didn't even think I was going to comprehend.  I even bought a magnet!


  1. Glad you survived Spamalot better than the woman who sat next to me and was so confused :D I can't explain why Python is so funny, but I still get a kick out of occasionally tossing quotes back and forth with complete strangers. "It's just a flesh wound."

    MP did have their token women - usually Carol Cleveland and occasionally Connie Booth (who was married to John Cleese for a time and co-wrote & co-starred in Fawlty Towers with him even after they divorced). Both of 'em are in the original Holy Grail. Yes, I am a geek.

  2. Carolyn, I love the fact that I have friends like you who are able to school me on the merits of MP (and I realize there are many!). Up next - Fawlty Towers! I know Brian would love it too! :D

  3. I can't believe Brian has never seen Fawlty Towers?! The classic '70s Brit-com. (And there are only 12 episodes so you should catch up on your Python Pop Culture fairly quickly ;o)