Category Archives: Monty Python

Monty Python legend confirm to take part in The Simpsons season 32

Michael Palin will play the role of a museum curator in the new season of The Simpsons.

Monty Python legend Michael Palin, a veteran actor and TV presenter, has confirmed that he will make a guest appearance on the new season 32 of The Simpsons series.

Appearing on The One Show last week, he told hosts Alex Jones and Chris Ramsey that he is going to play a wacky role. He said that he had recorded his contribution to play a museum curator, who he said to be a wacky character.

His role will likely be small, but it’s bound to be memorable, knowing Michael Palin.

Palin, having made several travel documentaries, also told about the significance of comedy in difficult times, saying that he thinks it is the most important time to find things that can make him laugh.

The star said that in dark times people really need comedy. It has been proved by the comedy that had been found in the First World War, jokes, and magazines… He thought it’s very hard to control and laughter is a safety valve that is useful that way.

The latest season of The Simpsons, season 31, recasts a classic character, with nuclear power plant co-worker of Homer and friend Carl Carlson presently being voiced by Alex Désert – The Flash actor.

Previously, the character was played by cast member Hank Azaria during a long time. Hank has stepped down from his role as Apu Nahasapeemapetilon – Kwik-E-Mart manager – after Fox confirmed in June that the show would not have white actors voice non-white characters any more.

The season 32 premiere, Undercover Burns, emphasizes the fact that the needs of the many are usually outweighed by the wants of the one. It starts on “take your kids to work day” at the Springfield Nuclear plant and the offspring having managed to make it out of the radioactively damaged reproductive systems of the workers are being culled for slave labor like inmates at a for-profit prison.

The Simpsons is available to watch on Disney+ in the UK and the US.

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Monty Python: The funniest sketches (part 4)

The Spanish Inquisition

Split into three parts that appear in the second episode of series two, itself titled The Spanish Inquisition, this delightfully absurd sequence of sketches is predicated, as you would expect, by a character exclaiming that they “didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition”. Not shy of lampooning organised religion, and skilled at joining incompatible elements for comedic effect, Palin, Gilliam and Jones respectively perform the troupe’s three inquisitors, including Cardinals Ximénez, Fang and Biggles, as ineffective buffoons whose idea of torture includes exposure to cushions and comfy chairs.

The three less than fearsome inquisitors stumble and bumble their way through unsuccessful attempts to strike terror into those accused of heresy. Managing to turn up late for their final appearance, bursting into the Old Bailey seconds before the episode ends, Cardinal Ximénez lets out an exasperated and deflated “Oh bugger”.

Dirty Fork

If you’re ever in a restaurant and are faced with some cutlery that could do with another visit to the dishwasher, just remember the Dirty Fork skit and consider what may happen if you take the very un-British stance of highlighting the fact. In this sketch, when a diner politely asks for a dirty fork to be replaced it kick-starts a meltdown of epic proportions among the proud staff of a three-star French restaurant.

Existential crises, philosophical despair, violent recriminations and even suicide abound when the titular unclean item of cutlery is flagged up by Chapman’s restaurant goer, as he and his wife ponder over the menu. Exaggerated and intense, the skit also marked the first time the troupe responded to the live audience’s reactions.

The Ministry of Silly Walks

A sketch from the first episode of the second series of Flying Circus, The Ministry of Silly Walks makes hilarious use of Cleese’s then slender and gangly 6ft 5’’ frame. Playing Mr Teabag, a bowler-hatted, be-suited Whitehall civil servant, Cleese’s gift for physical comedy – here inspired by Max Wall’s own similar talents – has never been better exemplified than in this skit. Though the dialogue is intrinsic to the sketch’s success, it’s undoubtedly the silly walks themselves that are the highpoint, despite Cleese himself apparently not being overly fond of the routine.

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Monty Python: The funniest sketches (part 3)

Nudge Nudge

Nudge Nudge was originally written by Idle as a script for Ronnie Barker that was rejected but it finally saw the light of day in the Flying Circus’ third episode. Performed by its own writer and Jones, the skit witness two strangers in a pub entering into a conversation that one of them finds cryptic and later uncomfortably intrusive. Riffing off British repressiveness as well as our love for complex double entendres, the stretch is all about the hilariously enthusiastic delivery of Idle as a sex-obsessed bachelor.

Nudge Nudge, stuffed with slang references, is an exercise in convoluted sexual innuendo as the relentless barrage of wink-wink of the bachelor, say-no-more proclamations drives the stiff-upper-lipped pub-goer of Jones to distraction. Finally getting the single man to plainly speak and ask Jones’ character if he has slept with a lady, the sketch is one of the few Python routines that end with a clear punchline as the bachelor pauses for a few seconds before asking: “What’s it like?”

Spam

Stupendously daft even by Python standards, Spam combines a greasy spoon of coffee setting, the titular canned meat, Vikings and a British historian into a sketch which shouldn’t work but somehow does. Taking as its cue the ubiquity of spam on the British menu post World War 2, the Pythons concoct a skit lodging in the memory banks. Given how often the word is mentioned, it is not surprising that the modern, the digital meaning of ‘spam’ is indeed derived from this sketch.

Fourth-wall-smashing and self-reflexive, Spam sees two would-be diners lowered by wires into the Green Midget Café – surreally patronized by Vikings – and greeted with a menu dominated by spam. Like a dream, the skit sees the Vikings break into a chorus of “spam, spam, spam, …, spammity spam, wonderful spam” before Palin’s historian first analyses their actions and himself is drawn into the relentless, ear-worm chorus.

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The history of Monty Python games

For something completely different, let’s discuss about Monty Python’s unlikely foray into videogame.

On TV, on film and on stage, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was always one of the greatest things to have ever happened to the world of entertainment.

However, on games machines… not so much, as this peculiar history shows.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Back in the days of the Amiga, one of the best games machines ever made, there was a Monty Python game.

Like so many other titles of the era, ostensibly it was a platformer but Flying Circus was much more than that. It was a game that didn’t like any other game. Or sense, for that matter. Who needs sense as you can stop the action for an impromptu tree-identifying course?

Playing part of the game as a chicken, a fish, even a boot, while not actually amazing fun to play, this was a game that really captured the anarchic spirit of the show with the random ‘game over’ announcement still making us laugh.

The 7th Level trilogy

A pair of adventure games and a collection of screensavers and such silliness, developer the 7th Level brought three Monty Python products to the planet, including Complete Waste of Time, the Meaning of Life, and the Quest for the Holy Grail.

They were all well existed. It’s not like any of them were terrible but it’s not like it was extremely worth your time to play or use any of them.

However, we can’t argue with that they had the talent on board.

The Ministry of Silly Games

Launched on Facebook some years ago, the Ministry of Silly Games provided a collection of Flash timewasters with a Pythonesque bent to the world of the social network.

It’s not exactly Farmville, Candy Crush, or that gangster one that everyone used to play, although, is it?

Unluckily, the Ministry of Silly Games was something of a waste of time and effort as well for most involved. In fact, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam could barely disguise their disregard for the project as interviewed by Eurogamer.

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Monty Python: The funniest sketches (part 2)

Four Yorkeshiremen

You might have known that technically, the Four Yorkeshiremen isn’t an original Monty Python skit as well as didn’t feature in Flying Circus. However, it has become so synonymous with the troupe which it warrants inclusion. Written by Tim Brooke-Taylor, Cleese, Chapman, and Marty Feldman, first performed on their ITV comedy show in 1967, Four Yorkshiremen is an increasingly absurd parody of one-upmanship, nostalgia, and northern grit.

Featuring script tweaks every time the sketch was performed live by the Pythons and many other performers, the four holidaying, well-dressed Yorkshiremen in question drink a bottle of Chateau de Chasselas and try to best each other with exaggerated yet rose-tinted tales of childhood hardship. With shoeboxes and septic tanks for homes and fathers that would slice them in 2 with bread knives, the four men are united in agreement that “if you tell that to young people, they won’t believe you”.

Argument Clinic

Popular with philosophy students muse on the benefits of paying for professional debate, the Argument Clinic is an adroit exploration of the consumer culture and English language. Written by Chapman and Cleese, it is a great example of the intense wordplay that characterized the writers’ work at the time. The quick-fire dialogue is beautifully delivered by Cleese and Palin in a verbal jousting contest.

Purchasing a five-minute argument, the character of Palin is caught off guard by the immediacy of the argumentative approach of Cleese’s character, growing ever more frustrated by the latter’s mental gymnastics and verbal. Containing a dictionary definition of the word ‘argument’, the character of Palin attempts in vain to make his opponent admit that ad hominem attacks and contradictions do not make an argument. Storming off, his angry customer is first verbally abused and later hit over the head in two more rooms in which the public can purchase absurd experiences.

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Monty Python: The funniest sketches (part 1)

From the Ministry of Silly Walks to the Dead Parrot Sketch, here are 10 of the funniest sketches that made the Monty Python team become TV comedy legends.

The Dead Parrot Sketch

From Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)

The Dead Parrot is the most famous of Python’s countless routines. In 2004, it was voted the best alternative comedy sketch in a poll by the Radio Times. The Dead Parrot appears in the eighth episode of Flying Circus’ first series. The sketch drew inspiration from Palin – an encounter experienced with a salesman who had an excuse for everything. Palin’s pet shop owner becomes the satirical face of the customer service since Cleese’s disgruntled Mr. Praline complains about his deceased Norwegian Blue.

Replete with exceedingly daft dialogue and fourth-wall-breaking asides with a lengthy outburst from Mr. Praline on how ‘ex’ the parrot is – the sketch might revolve around an exaggerated premise; however, the customer’s frustrations are totally relatable. Just when Mr. Praline says how things are becoming sillier, Graham Chapman’s Colonel commands “Get on with it” to wrap things up bluntly while marching into the pet shop and.

The Lumberjack Song

The Lumberjack Song reportedly dashed off in a quarter of an hour of a punch-line to the Homicidal Barber. It is one of the most easily identified skits of the troupe. Written by Palin, Fred Tomlinson, Jones, and performed by Palin with backing singing courtesy of some other Pythons with The Fred Tomlinson Singers worn as Canadian mounties, the song might become the bane of lumberjacks because of its unexpectedly confessional lyrics.

Starting as a celebration of a tough, rough, and manly lifestyle that chops down trees in the great outdoors, the song quickly develops into something very different when Palin’s lumberjack sings passionately about pressing flowers and wearing suspenders, a bra, and high-heels. The nonplussed mounties’ befuddlement is joined by the transvestite lumberjack’s best girlie (by Connie Booth), who storms off with the image of her butch man shattered forever.

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