Monty Python

We Are All Children Now

There’s a new book out called ‘Twee’ by Mark Spitz. It’s described as a study of the first cultural movement since Hip Hop, an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that’s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even Baby Boomers, creating a hybrid generation known as Twee. Spitz reckons that Vampire Weekend, Garden State, […]

Finland Now Has It All

Finland just became the 12th European country to legalise gay marriage, so let’s celebrate with a song – and what else, really, could it be? If you’ve enjoyed hearing this song and would like to know more about Finland, why not ring Mr. Griffith of Hemel Hempstead. He and his charming wife Edna will be […]

Did You See What I Saw?

  Music venues are a blessing and a curse – they give you the chance to see dream-teams of bands and performers you’d never be able to see anywhere else, but they can also be cattle-runs where you see virtually nothing from expensive terrible seats. From a strictly viewing point of view, the worst experiences […]

Re:View – ‘Monty Python: One Down, Five To Go’

The first-night audience at London’s vast 02 last night clearly knew what to expect; the audience was full of Spanish inquisitors and Gumbys. And that, pretty much, was what they got – a greatest hits package that felt like a rather tired reprise of the Hollywood Bowl show back in the 1980s. Python is the […]

Sing A Funny Song

Where do we first gain our love of words? For my mother, who lived in Brighton as a girl, the seaside Pierrots (see a modern-day version, the Pier-Echoes, above) taught her funny songs. These traditionally-dressed troupes toured all the seaside towns and are immortalised in the novel ‘The Good Companions’ as the Dinky-Doos. Many kids […]

Are We Too Dumb For Python Now?

A BBC boss has claimed that modern audiences would be left baffled by the humour in Monty Python film The Life Of Brian – because they have such ‘poor religious literacy’. A few months back, some Engish teachers had mentioned that nearly all of the jokes in the series would go over the heads of […]

English Peculiar

The English have a long history of surrealist comedy, particularly on TV and radio, although there are wonderful books as well. I was reminded of this when, visiting my mother in Sevenoaks, Kent, I found a little record shop (remember those?) that stocked an album I had as a child, the precursor to Monty Python […]

The English Explained In A Single Clip

One of the fun things about YouTube is sorting through your childhood media influences, and for me (and I suspect many writers who use comedy to leaven darkness) Monty Python was a formative experience. But before that, of course, there was At Last The 1948 Show with virtually the same cast and mindset, and before […]