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And Now For Something Completely Different: Monty Python Reunion Planned 168

cold fjord writes with this report from The Telegraph: "The original members of Monty Python will reunite more than 30 years after the comedy troupe last worked together. John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin will officially announce their reformation at a London press conference on Thursday. The five surviving members have reportedly been in months of secret talks about getting the Flying Circus back on the road. The reunion comes after several failed attempts to reform by the group. However, according to The Sun, the surviving members realised 'it was now or never,' and had decided to embark upon 'a fully-fledged reunion.'" Related stories include this commentary, one take on the best of Python and this negative reaction, too.
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And Now For Something Completely Different: Monty Python Reunion Planned

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  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @01:09PM (#45464671)

    They are just pining for the fjords.

  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @01:11PM (#45464705) Homepage Journal

    Nobody expected that!

  • by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @01:13PM (#45464729) Homepage Journal
    for the "John Cleese can't afford his alimony" tour! I hear it's 90 minutes of grumbling about ex-wives!
  • Graham (Score:5, Funny)

    by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @01:14PM (#45464741) Homepage Journal

    With another special appearance by Dr. Chapman's Urn.

  • Don't get me wrong - I love these guys as much as anyone else. But isn't this going to be the exact opposite of "Something Completely Different"?

    • by jovius ( 974690 )

      Nothing inadequately conventional?

  • "Well they're coughing up blood!"

    "Isn't there anything you can do?"

    "Oh Alright.."

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @01:18PM (#45464789) []

    So hopefully they'll give us some new spontaneous material to drive into the ground with endless repetition for decades to come? (And i admit, i'm as guilty of that as the next geek.)
    • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @02:47PM (#45465791) Homepage Journal

      Some of Monty Python's routines are absolute classics that merit repetition, because they're that good. But that's only the very cream of the crop. Most skits were eminently forgettable; a fair number were just plain bad. And watching Flying Circus, it often seems as if they had no idea which were which.

      Monty Python was willing to go way outside the box. The box usually exists for a reason: it's the material that has worked. There are some brilliant new ideas outside the box, and a vast world of crap. It takes a genius to find the pearls among that crap, and Monty Python were without doubt just such geniuses. But even so, what they brought back still required a fair bit of sifting.

      Flying Circus episodes can be enjoyed simply for the joy of the search. The skits that fail were (frequently, at least) noble failures. They came, they tried, and we mostly forgot about them. If their stunning, world-changing successes did nothing more than expand the box... well, that's an accomplishment. You're never going to destroy the box entirely, because the fact is that the vast majority of ideas are just plain bad.

      I'll be happy to see if those geniuses can find something worth expanding the box still further, but I have to suspect that it'll look more like Flying Circus than Holy Grail. (Holy Grail was, itself, a holy grail: a stunning fraction of it worked, in a way that few other things they tried did.) Good on them for trying it; it's the risk of failure that makes the successes worthwhile.

      • It takes a genius to find the pearls among that crap, and Monty Python were without doubt just such geniuses. But even so, what they brought back still required a fair bit of sifting.

        To be fair, that's because a good deal of what they brought back was cultural or topical or both... things which don't bear much repetition, don't export well, and generally age very badly.

        • I curse Python. But for them I would have gone to my grave not knowing who 'Reginald Mordling' was. He was an English Parlementcritter. Think 'Tip O'Neal' with bad teeth. He also had a funny name.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        There were some basic comedy rules, like power-rivalry and sudden role reversal. You could have some strong characters like Vikings come across a Death like ferryman, covered head-to-toe like a leper. With a deep booming voice Death summons their leader to sit in the boat and be ferried to the land of his ancestors and feast for all eternity. The Viking leader knocks him into the river, steals the boat and goes off looking for women. Next thing you have the Death frantically paddling in the water, shouting

    • (And i admit, i'm as guilty of that as the next geek.)

      You did it in this very post. I'm curious how many people realize the irony* of calling that comic reference obligatory. Linking an obligatory comment is at the heart of what that particular comic was attacking.

      To be fair, some of the sketches, like the "Four Yorkshireman" skit ( lend themselves very well to ad-libbing without entirely descending into snowclone memes.

      *I don't care about your particular definition of irony.

      • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
        I believe, given what's said in the comic, that what Munroe was objecting to was not quotations in general, but quoting, fur humorous purposes, material whose foundation for humor was its surreality. And _personally_ i would say that although some xkcd comics are certainly surreal, that is not actually the founding principle of xkcd. I'm sure opinions vary however. The comic in question here certainly has some surreal elements, but the comic itself is about a non-surreal topic, which is why it was reference
      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        I don't care about your particular definition of irony.

        It's like goldy, or silvery, but made of iron. You know, the opposite of wrinkly.

    • by pepty ( 1976012 )
      By the time I was 15 I started to meet people who absolutely hate Monty Python. My unofficial poll found that most of the haters had their first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth ... and fifty first exposures to MP via acquaintances who repeated fragments of the jokes and sketches to them. That's as far as I got though: never found out why they hate Monty Python.
  • Memories are tied to emotion. In broad strokes, emotions act as a "volume control" for how well and easily you remember. A situation accompanied by emotion is important for survival, so you tend to remember the details. It's why we can recall the exciting parts of movies, but not the dialogue.

    It's also why, even now 30 years later, nerds can recite large swatches of Monty Python verbatim.

  • I have watched several Monty Python stuff. There are a few skits here and there which are very funny. But a lot of them are boring.

    OTOH, I am a big fan of John Cleese's Fawlty Towers. I have watched every episode atleast 20 times and it's always amazingly funny.

  • A Pythons reunion now would be like a Beatles reunion consisting of just Ringo.

  • by SpaghettiPattern ( 609814 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @01:42PM (#45465071)
    I'm a programmer and I'm above average -or so I think-, I hack all day and have too little sleep at night.

    I cut down b-trees, I skip and jump, I like to piss off people by using gotoes.

    My code is unintelligible and I hang around with the coffee machine.

    I wish I were a metal worker just like my dear mama.

    I should not have pushed the submit button bit still I did.
    • by neminem ( 561346 )

      A number of years I actually came across a great, similar parody titled "The Engineer" song, particularly amusing in that the chorus was, "I'm an engineer and I'm ok / I work all night and I sleep all day". Totally can't find that one now, sadly.

      And yeah, yours doesn't even come *close* to scanning properly.

  • I will have to do one in celebration! As soon as I get back from my weekly meeting of the Peoples Front of Judea.. or was it the Peoples Judean Front?

  • icon choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by themushroom ( 197365 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @02:05PM (#45465389) Homepage

    Funny that the icon on this picture is the British phone booth, not the Python foot used for humor stories.

  • by TheloniousToady ( 3343045 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @02:15PM (#45465495)

    The reunion comes after several failed attempts to reform by the group.

    The Pythons may reunite but they'll never reform. Especially Chapman.

  • I saw the video for the "comedy tour" John Cleese did most recently. And how anyone felt it would be funny is beyond me. Don't get me wrong I feel collectively and individually these guys have done some fantastic stuff that has and will withstand time. But Cleese comes off as an embittered old man who is just trying to justify his entire life by proving how much better he made Python and if it weren't for him look how dull these things would have been. Oh, and he reallllly hates his exwife. We know this by,
    • Cleese was always a bit of an asshole. Watch interviews with him from any period from when they first made it big until now, and he was came off as abrasive, arrogant and argumentative. Even he, on occasion, has admitted it. And he's been bitching about ex-wives as long as he had ex-wives, so that's nothing new. The only thing new is he asking you to fork over the money for a ticket to hear him bitch about his ex-wives instead of showing up on talk shows and doing it for free.

      Another major prick is Eric Idl

    • I haven't followed what he's been up to for a very long while, but I do recall he had a rather idi osyncratic opinion on what made humour. He believed for something to be funny it had to be awkward, uncomfortable, embarassing, uncomfortable. And you can see there was a lot of that in Fawlty Towers and it worked.
      But for me it was enough. I don't want to experience large doses of uncomfortable feelings so he lost me.

      So he's not just a bitter old man - maybe somewhat I don't know - but he thinks that is the es

  • A man with a tape recorder up his nose.
  • by Radical Moderate ( 563286 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @02:43PM (#45465759)
    I saw them live at the Hollywood Bowl when I was 18, so that would mean I'd have to be.......oh crap.
  • I hope doing "The Ministry of Silly Walks" doesn't cause Cleese to break a hip.

  • It's too bad it's to be a live show. Ah well, hopefully they film at least one performance and release it for distribution.

    Though I'm sure the "Ministry of Silly Walks" may have taken a hit due to arthritis by this time. :)

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      We are The ministry of slow hobbling down the road.
      We used to be the ministry of silly walks, but that was silly
      you mean you got old.

  • according to The Sun, the surviving members realised 'it was now or never,' and had decided to embark upon 'a fully-fledged reunion.'"

    Get on with it!

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:19PM (#45466803) Journal

    I admit, I was an inveterate Pythonite in my high school and college years, when it was still a cliquey-cool thing that not everyone knew about. I can - with too little prompting - recite great swathes of any Python film or most of the TV episodes, I watched them so many times.

    So I was delighted when I had the opportunity and the cash to go see their live show in Minneapolis, I think it was in the later 80s.

    Hm. Sad might be too strong a word. Poignant?

    Here were some men and women who'd really pushed the boundaries of comedy and done some amazing things - sure, some were misses (and I dare you to watch through the Monty Python complete ouevre without recognizing that a few really sucked), but many were hits and some were downright brilliant. And now? nearly 20 years later? Rehashing the SAME tired old bits again and again like cymbal-clapping monkeys, hoping to be thrown some small change.

    I'm current in the midst of Palin's first diaries, and already by the mid 1970s, Michael is complaining that their traveling show is nothing but a re-hash of their brightest moments. How prescient is that?

    And now for something completely...the same?

    Watching people endlessly ape Rocky Horror is one thing; it's frozen forever in celluloid. Every replay of it HAS to be the same. But with humans, that's kind of sad. Like the tired old uncle at Thanksgiving dinner that had a funny joke once, but he tells the same one every year. People grant him a perfunctory laugh, but nobody really means it. One wonders if even he believes it's genuine or is this all some sort of comedy - if not actually comical - ritual?

    Uncle, PLEASE tell some other story to make us laugh. At least try.

    If you don't have one, or dare no longer risk not getting a chuckle, maybe let someone else tell theirs?

    • I also wonder why some people have certain movies they like to watch over and over. I think my (screen) time is too precious for that, I like to watch something new every time. There are too many interesting movies, books etc. made every year, and I always miss some of them anyway.

      There's probably a close connection to the way people (not me, "the people"!) use the web and social media, choosing a nice circle of familiarity to dwell in/on. It's a kind of masturbation; self improvement is masturbation --

      • FWIW, at reaching my mid 40's, I now recognize that I simply don't have enough lifetime left to waste on nostalgia.

        If you add the time-commitment of the:
        - stack of books I want to read
        - computer games I want to play
        - movies I want to see ....and add that to my current age, it EASILY exceeds my allotted three-score-and-some, even were I to sleep nothing more than 3 hours a night and have no gainful employment.

        I rarely give a book more than 5 chapters, or a movie more than a half hour. If I don't actively en

  • I love MP. I watched the shows, movies. I've been a fan snce the 70's. Getting them together to rehash their old work will just be sad.

    Now. if hey all do completely new stuff, that would be interesting. There much older and have different life experiences. Lets see what they can create will all that experience.

    If I want to to watch the cheese shop, I'll load it up.

    Have you in fact got any cheese here at all.
    Yes, sir.
    No. Not really, sir.
    You haven't.
    Nosir. Not a scrap. I was deliberatel

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982