*With closed captions.
If you've got cable TV, run over to your set right now and switch on BBC-America. They're broadcasting a Monty Python's Flying Circus marathon all day, until dinner time, so fans like me can shun the humidity and blazing May sun hovering outside and bask instead in the wonderful wit and absurdity of my country's Best Comedy Export Ever. (And you have to admit, we've sent you guys some good stuff over the past few decades, haven't we?!)
Wow, where have the last thirty-four years gone? I remember watching the Pythons for the first time when I was in high school in Miami; it was love at first belly-laugh. My friend Vicky gave me The Monty Python' Matching Tie and Handkerchief--a 33rpm vinyl album (remember those?)-- for Christmas that year, and when Monty Python and the Holy Grail premiered in Coral Gables, we waited in line for hours so as to be among the first in South Florida to see the now-legendary (and eminently quotable) movie.
I love all of those comedians, too, so please don't ask me to name a favorite Python. I will say I'm terribly fond of Terry Gilliam, the artist and lone American-born member of the troupe who went on to direct some of my all-time favorite movies, including the stunning Brazil, Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, and The Fisher King. Interestingly, Gilliam, who for thirty years held both British and American passports, told Der Speigel in 2006 that he had renounced his American citizenship in protest of George W. Bush (if you follow that link, you'll need to be able to read German if you want to make heads or tails of it.)
My favorite sketches? Oh...let's see. Cheese Shop, The Four Yorkshiremen, Albatross, and the famous Dead Parrot sketch--the well-known ones--are all up there, of course. And the swanning-about drill team (posted above) never fails to elicit shrieks of laughter in my house.
I can't choose! Instead, why don't I just bring a smile to Neil's face and leave you with the lyrics of The Philosopher's Song (from whence cameth inspiration for the name of The Other Blog.)
Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant
Who was very rarely stable;
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzche couldn't teach
About the raising of the wrist--
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed...
John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill;
Plato, they say, could stick it away:
Half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram;
And René Descartes was a drunken fart:
I drink, therefore I am.
Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker,
But a bugger when he's pissed.
Also at Cogitamus.