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Michael Palin’s 10 best characters from the Monty Python back catalogue (part 1)

Monty Python’s Michael Palin is among the funniest people on the planet. Palin always succeeded in drawing hysterical laughs from Monty Python’s audience.

Michael Palin is a really fun person. Whether he was playing a maniac filled with white-hot rage or a mild-mannered character avoiding confrontation, he never failed to illicit hysterical laughs from the audience.

Paling appeared in many of Monty Python’s most iconic sketches, both in the movies and in the TV series. He was made a BAFTA fellow, he has got a CBE, he has been knighted, the whole world seems to agree that Michael Palin is an awesome person. Let’s have a look at his 10 best characters from the Monty Python back catalogue.

Cardinal Ximénez

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition and every time the Spanish Inquisition interrupts in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Palin leads the charge as Cardinal Ximénez. Whether he’s torturing prisoners in a dungeon or bursting into somebody’s home, Ximénez finds himself totally unprepared.

He is never able to string together a complete sentence, endlessly going back on himself in order to make corrections to his own speech. Palin takes this difficult role and plays this challenging dialogue beautifully.

Pontius Pilate

Actually, the extras playing Roman soldiers in Life of Brian were told not to laugh as Michael Palin’s character Pontius Pilate was daring them to laugh at him. Therefore, the laughs in the scene are genuine.

That allowed the actor to play a comedy character whose joke is that he doesn’t get the joke against an authentic audience’s laughs. It is dense comedy, pulled off beautifully.

The “It’s” Man

Once every episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus starts, the “It’s” man would charge toward the camera from far away. When he got close to the camera, he would simply say, “It’s…” right before the show would cut to the opening titles. Palin performed the stunt and mostly drowned during a rehearsal.

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