Monty Python’s Flying Circus – a surreal English comedy group, comprised of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
I was going to go with Mumpsimus – An outdated and unreasonable position on an issue, but there are just too many positions on issues I find outdated and unreasonable that I’m afraid my examples would just be rants.
So I’m going with one of my all-time favorite groups: The Pythons. Funny, funny guys. Loosely structured as a sketch show, but with an innovative stream-of-consciousness approach (aided by Gilliam’s animation), the group pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content. They decided that they would simply not bother to “cap” their sketches in the traditional manner, and early episodes of the Flying Circus series make great play of this abandonment of the punchline. One scene has Cleese turn to Idle, as the sketch descends into chaos, and remark that “This is the silliest sketch I’ve ever been in”—they all resolve not to carry on and simply walk off the set.
One of my favorite skits was in the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail when King Arthur takes on the Black Knight who’s guarding a “bridge” (in reality a short plank of wood) over a small stream, (which could have been easily stepped over by King Arthur) for unknown reasons. Although supremely skilled in swordplay, the knight suffers from unchecked overconfidence and a staunch refusal ever to give up. Hilarious. http://youtu.be/dhRUe-gz690
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