The surviving members of the pioneering British comedy troupe Monty Python’s Flying Circus are set to announce a reunion this week via a press conference on Thursday, November 21st. And in the typical Python fashion of unpredictability, there’s no leak or tease on just what this reunion is going to entail. No matter what form of media it finally manifests itself as, it’s probable that it’s going to be met with a lot of success and adoration by Python’s rabid fans, some who have been following the comedy ensemble and its individual members since 1969, when Monty Python’s Flying Circus originally aired on BBC-TV.
That show broke every single rule of conventionality that was affixed to the “rules of comedy” and presented sketches in bizarre manners in which sometimes abruptly ended, had no middle, no end, no theme, sometimes engaging in slapstick or broad comedy, witty repartee and banter, visual gags which ran the gamut, it was almost as if the program and the men who created/wrote and performed in it, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and the late Graham Chapman were hell bent on presenting an A to Z of comedy styles, and then decimating it with their own flamethrower styles.
The program ended in 1974 in England and then reruns hit American shores soon after on Public TV, which (along with the release at the time their cult smash comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail) wound up endearing the group to a whole new generation of fans. It became the catalyst for many films and books to follow, something the group kept doing off and on until the death of Graham Chapman in the late 1980s.
One of the highlights of the surviving group reunions was a stage appearance at a Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado in 1998, in which not only did the already passed on Graham Chapman appear post haste in the most literal sense (he was represented by an urn with ashes in it, which Terry Gilliam happened to accidentally spill, creating a memorably classic moment of black comedy), but it showed that there’s still a large and wide audience for the group, who are now treated as monarchs and elder statesmen of the genre.
This is big news for fans, something which no doubt should please and delight them when the announcement gets made tomorrow as to whatever they group decides to do. For all we know, it could just simply BE the press conference. When it comes to what the men of Monty Python have up their collective sleeves, one can never be too sure. Either way, what one can definitely be sure of is hilarity ensuing. Further details to come, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?