Monty Python are back! On July 1st, the British comedy group had a reunion show at London’s O2 Arena. Tickets went on sale on November 25th. They sold out in just 43.5 seconds! The group have since announced that they will perform four extra shows. This is remarkable when we consider that they last worked together 30 years ago.
THE MAGIC OF TELEVISION
To the rest of the world Monty Python are most famous for their films, particularly Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), Monty Python’s The Life Of Brian : A Vida de Brian (1979) and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983). But for British people the real Monty Python was the TV show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which ran from 1969 to 1974.
The show completely revolutionised television because it was so anarchic. It was based on a series of surreal sketches connected by bizarre animation sequences. These were created by the group’s only American member, cartoonist Terry Gilliam. Each episode was a major television event and when the show finally ended in 1974, after four series and 45 episodes, for many people it was a sad day, like the end of the Beatles.
Fortunately, Monty Python had reunions to make films. These were in fact financed by a Beatle, George Harrison. The six members of Monty Python also pursued solo careers . Gilliam became a successful director, while John Cleese, who starred in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), had a successful career as an actor. The same is true of Eric Idle, who often appears in American movies. He has also been a guest on The Simpsons. Michael Palin has completely reinvented himself: today he presents travel documentaries about his adventures in exotic places like the Himalayas and the Amazon jungle. Many fans of these programmes don’t know about his Monty Python past. Another member of the group, Terry Jones, maintains a relatively low profile , while Graham Chapman died of Aids in 1989.
Today the surviving members of the group are in their 70s. Some people think they are too old to perform on stage . But this isn’t really a problem: they are about the same age as another great British institution from the 1960s; the Rolling Stones.