By the time I first heard of Monty Python’s Flying Circus it had already been off the air in Britain for at least a year. At first it was just cool to watch this wacky bunch of occasional cross-dressers with English accents and animation with that often contained naughty bits. It was funny just because it was so different and so completely, utterly absurd. Though I didn’t understand many of the political references, issues in contemporary British society (though they were several years in the past even then), or other cultural references, pop and otherwise, the engagement with the absurd appealed to me. It still does.
Something else I failed to appreciate was how influential this brief experiment in comedy would be (though it would spawn films, stage performances, record albums, and an endless selection of merchandise). To be fair, I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it without having it pointed out in a story I was listening to on the way home this evening, even though I intuitively recognized it as something “completely different” from anything I had experienced before seeing it for the first time some thirty years ago.
On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the first airing of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on British television (which, I was reminded, it would be a shame not to note), I would like to publicly thank the pommie bastards for my never being able to look at a parrot, a box of chocolates, a cheese shop, a tobacconist’s (not like there are many left), or llama again without having snippets of Python dialog play in my head (and sometimes slip out).
P.S. Who knows? I may be able to get a gig in a Python tribute group, as I’m told I become more John Cleese-ian the older I get. You decide (I’m the one on the right).