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.