Author Topic: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?  (Read 2115 times)

Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« on: February 05, 2019, 09:41:04 PM »

When I was a young lad and getting into comedy, it seemed that almost every comedian, sitcom and sketch show that I liked had a clear path of influence that lead directly back to Python. Of course, there were The Goons and Beyond The Fringe before Python, but pretty much every comedy that I was into would cite Python as an influence. Sometimes blatantly so such as "Our Lord, John Cleese" sketch from Not The Nine O'Clock News and anything vaguely surreal would be labeled as "Python-esque".

Is there anything post, say, League Of Gentlemen where the Python influence is pretty clear? They seem to be the last group of well educated white men to have emerged in comedy who would do the dressing up as old ladies and talking in a screeching voice, as well as the surrealism and references to Shakespeare. I'm specifically referring to British comedy here, as although they were pretty popular in America, most U.S comedians would refer to the legacy of Vaudeville or the breed of comic stand-ups to have emerged from the counter-culture era (Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin etc).

It's only just dawned on me that this year will see the 50th Anniversary of the first episode of Flying Circus, so expect *another* re-appraisal, documentary and possible re-union around October. I hope lovely Terry Jones will be around to see it.



neveragain

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 09:48:27 PM »
Shaun Micallef still shows Pythonesque tendencies, as do (or did) Bob & David. I think it'll always have its fans even though the television comedy landscape is incredibly different.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 10:23:15 PM »

I've noticed some Python notes in the Phil Wang trio Daphne, and the trio Dan Antopolski was in. But as sketch is not thriving right now it's hard to spot the influences.

I'd say The Day Today generation were the last to properly carry on the tradition of Python in the UK and refine it (this is the seed of the naturalism trend that went big in the 90s). But I think adultswim (Spaceghost etc.) really did pick up on some Python dna if you watch closely ... although people may think its "lolrandom".

I'm talking specifically about the absurdity of Python and the heights they acheived with it, which is what I like about it.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 10:31:22 PM »
Limmy's Show was rather Python-esque. No punchlines and the sketches - entire episodes, in fact - sometimes bled into each other thematically. Limmy also feeds into the disturbing, nightmarish feel of MPFC at its most, well, disturbing and nightmarish.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 11:03:04 PM »
I don’t think those O2 shows did their legacy much good in retrospect. While I’m sure it was lovely for the people there, the show you can watch on Netflix looks off key and dated. It reminded me of Christmas In Heaven at the end of Meaning Of Life. The whole thing seemed to draw an unnecessary  line under Python.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 11:28:19 PM »
I don’t think those O2 shows did their legacy much good in retrospect. While I’m sure it was lovely for the people there, the show you can watch on Netflix looks off key and dated. It reminded me of Christmas In Heaven at the end of Meaning Of Life. The whole thing seemed to draw an unnecessary  line under Python.

I really don't think those O2 shows will be remembered when people eulogise and celebrate Python in future. They were just nostalgic footnotes.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 01:41:56 AM »
If I make a show then there will be

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 12:44:28 PM »
The Horrible Histories/Yonderland gang have been pretty open about Python and Blackadder being their biggest influences. Yonderland, especially, has a Holy Grail vibe at times.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 12:53:12 PM »

Is there anything post, say, League Of Gentlemen where the Python influence is pretty clear? They seem to be the last group of well educated white men to have emerged in comedy who would do the dressing up as old ladies and talking in a screeching voice, as well as the surrealism and references to Shakespeare. I'm specifically referring to British comedy here, as although they were pretty popular in America, most U.S comedians would refer to the legacy of Vaudeville or the breed of comic stand-ups to have emerged from the counter-culture era (Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin etc).


I think they had quite an influence on US comedy in places. Parker & Stone have cited Python. Mr Show is indebted to Python, not only in the style of comedy (at times), but the format of segueing sketches together.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 01:02:25 PM »
I don't write comedy but they have definitely influence me, if that counts.

My favourite ever monty python piece that isn't from a film:


https://youtu.be/ur5fGSBsfq8
Its beautiful, Python at its most silly yet clever.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 02:53:20 PM »
I think they had quite an influence on US comedy in places. Parker & Stone have cited Python. Mr Show is indebted to Python, not only in the style of comedy (at times), but the format of segueing sketches together.

Also initial incarnation of 'Saturday Night Live' and 80s comedy show " No Soap Radio " (starring Steve Guttenberg ).

Canadian comedy, too ( 'Kids In The Hall' ).

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 03:48:52 PM »
^ yes then.

I bought the first two Python books for a fiver each from Barnados last week. So the influence is going up in my house but down in someone else's.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 07:51:23 PM »
Mr Show is indebted to Python, not only in the style of comedy (at times), but the format of segueing sketches together.

Outside of kids shows, Mr Show (and w/Bob and David) are the last true Python-indebted shows

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 07:57:48 PM »
I don't write comedy but they have definitely influence me, if that counts.

My favourite ever monty python piece that isn't from a film:


https://youtu.be/ur5fGSBsfq8
Its beautiful, Python at its most silly yet clever.

"It's Wittgenstein, who saw his auntie only last week."

That line somehow distills the whole of Monty Python

NoSleep

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 11:17:38 AM »
Their legacy and influence reaches to the English language itself (which puts them in the company of Shakespeare & John Wycliffe):

Quote
spam  (spăm)

n.

1. Unsolicited email, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk email.
2. A single piece of such email: "receiving dozens of spams a day" (George Johnson).

tr.v. spammed, spam·ming, spams

1. To send unsolicited email to.
2. To send (a message) indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups.

-------------------------------------------------------
[From Spam (probably inspired by a comedy routine on the British television series Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which the word is repeated incessantly).]
-------------------------------------------------------

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/spam
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 11:47:45 AM by NoSleep »

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 11:31:49 AM »
No.  Not ended yet.  When it does, it'll be with a big bare foot descending, and a raspberry sound. 

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2019, 12:18:07 PM »
Limmy's Show was rather Python-esque. No punchlines and the sketches - entire episodes, in fact - sometimes bled into each other thematically. Limmy also feeds into the disturbing, nightmarish feel of MPFC at its most, well, disturbing and nightmarish.

That is a good point. Hadn't considered Python's influence on Limmy previously but I guess it's all there.


rasta-spouse  pointed out that sketch comedy isn't thriving at the moment, which is a shame as some amazing comedy can come from sketches, even if 95% of them don't end on a satisfying beat. Plenty of skits and sketches by You Tube amateurs but the ratio is something like a thousand bad ones for one good one.


Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2019, 12:52:50 PM »
I don't write comedy but they have definitely influence me, if that counts.

My favourite ever monty python piece that isn't from a film:


https://youtu.be/ur5fGSBsfq8
Its beautiful, Python at its most silly yet clever.

My favourite little touch to that sketch is the way the goal is scored with a carefully set up header when he could have just slotted it past the goalie.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2019, 01:01:08 PM »
My favourite little touch to that sketch is the way the goal is scored with a carefully set up header when he could have just slotted it past the goalie.

Indeed, as well as the replay being quite different. There's so much going on.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 10:18:12 PM »
No. 1... The Larch


Watching some of it now. What strikes me is how involved it is with the language of TV at the time. Lots of sketches using the form of TV discussion shows, interviews, and in-vision continuity announcers. All stuff you don't see much of these days, or not in the same style, not to mention that TV itself is becoming a lot less relevant.

I wonder how distancing this would be for new viewers.

neveragain

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 11:09:18 PM »
Indeed, as well as the replay being quite different. There's so much going on.

I've never bloody noticed that! Fuckin' hell...
Edit: Just rewatched it, not sure that's a joke but still willing to treat it as one.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 11:32:46 PM »
You could make a case for an influence on Adam McKay in his films like the current Vice and The Big Short, there is an intelligence and anger there, as there was with Python, but also silliness and playing with form. Vice even has a fake end credit sequence half way through the movie, alongside a segment where the characters go into Sheakespearean blank verse, there are brutal jumps from one section to another and fourth wall breaking. The Big Short broke up the faux realism narrative with sketches. There's a definite air of silliness permeating  his earlier films that echoes Python, 'Ron Burgandy' is a name that would seem quite at home in a Monty Python sketch.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2019, 02:09:30 PM »

Any Edinburgh festival veterans able to comment on sketch at the Fringe? How has it been over the last few years, and what are the University revue groups like?

Just remembering that documentary about Holness and Ayoade doing their Footlights show...

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2019, 02:19:21 PM »
Just remembering that documentary about Holness and Ayoade doing their Footlights show...

Beat me to it, there. Of course people from Oxbridge getting easy entry into showbusiness continues, depressingly, but they seem less likely, when given their chance by the BBC etc, to come up with something similar to Python (or prior to that, something 'satirical') now, more likely to be presenters, sitcom actors and general all-rounders. Typically, Mitchell and Webb were more successful with Peep Show than their own sketch shows. If, as said upthread, Python influence can be seen more in the work of non-Oxbridgers, that's a good thing.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2019, 02:30:46 PM »

Were Cowards the last Footlights sketch team to make a mark on tv? They had a short run of shows, and I can't remember what channel it was on (BBC3 perhaps). It had Tim Key and the guy who wrote Him & Her on it.

Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2019, 02:35:15 PM »
Were Cowards the last Footlights sketch team to make a mark on tv? They had a short run of shows, and I can't remember what channel it was on (BBC3 perhaps). It had Tim Key and the guy who wrote Him & Her on it.

Yep BBC 3. Good little sketch show that, also had the bloke who looked a bit like a young Tim Roth on it (Indeed, I think they did a sketch in which he had a Tim Roth in a Quarantino film- type role . I like to think this was their way of acknowledging the resemblance ). Every week there was a sketch about a bunch of blokes living to gether in a caravan , on the outskirts of a city centre. Yes, likeable stuff.

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2019, 03:15:57 PM »
Yeah, I really liked the caravan sketches. As a data hoarder I felt it necessary to archive Cowards, as it will almost certainly be lost in the winds of time. Bit of an odd relic, vaguely modern but still firmly rooted in Footlights and with a somewhat Radio 4 voice to it (before the TV series it was on Radio 4).

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2019, 03:26:10 PM »
How the fuck is Tim Key older than Alex Horne?

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2019, 08:38:18 PM »
UK TV comedy does seem to be a bit dead at the moment, doesn't it? I was thinking about this recently, there doesn't really seem to be an identifiable 'generation' of comedy from the last few years - as compared to what you got pretty steadily from the 80s up to the early 2000s. There's been a couple of good bits and pieces but mostly slim pickings. Budget cuts? Or are more young comedians just preferring podcasts/Twitter/Youtube?

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Re: Has the legacy and influence of Monty Python ended?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2019, 09:09:10 PM »
Yep BBC 3. Good little sketch show that, also had the bloke who looked a bit like a young Tim Roth on it (Indeed, I think they did a sketch in which he had a Tim Roth in a Quarantino film- type role . I like to think this was their way of acknowledging the resemblance ). Every week there was a sketch about a bunch of blokes living to gether in a caravan , on the outskirts of a city centre. Yes, likeable stuff.

I liked it too, though I only watched it for the first time a few weeks ago thanks to youtube. And the Tarantino / Roth sketch you mentioned is a great one, where one man claims he's going to be Tim Henman's best man and his criminal friends don't believe him. I was also really fond of the sketch where a man's asked to identify a dead body and is delighted when it turns out not to be a relative but in fact Michael Crawford. Oh and not to be annoying but it was BBC4 rather then 3.