Monty Python to reunite for stage show
The five remaining members of British comedy group Monty Python are expected to officially announce their new show this week in London.
PT1M35S http://www.smh.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2xtzm 620 349 November 20, 2013 – 9:17AM
Turns out they were not an ex-comedy group after all. Merely resting. Pining for the fjords.
The Beatles of comedy, the (surviving members of) Monty Python, have confirmed what they have hinted at, flirted with, and otherwise squabbled over for years: a reunion.
I hope it makes us a lot of money
The official announcement is due at a press conference on Thursday in London, but the punchline was spoilt by a nudge-nudge-wink-wink cryptic tweet from group member Eric Idle yesterday, followed by an unsourced exclusive in London’s The Sun newspaper, then confirmation from Terry Jones to the BBC.
Planning a reunion … The remaining original cast of the Monty Python troupe – from left, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle – in New York in 2009. Photo: Reuters
Jones told the BBC that he and John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle were “getting together and putting on a show”.
“It’s real,” he said. “I’m quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!”
The group’s last live performance was Live at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982, and their last collaboration was the film The Meaning of Life, released in 1983. Six years later Graham Chapman died of cancer.
Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life (1983) starred Terry Jones and John Cleese, and was directed Terry Gilliam. Photo: Universal/Celandine/Monty Python
Since then the regular rumours of a reunion – including a US tour and a new movie – have never come off, Idle joking that it would only happen “if Chapman came back from the dead”, adding “so we’re negotiating with his agent”.
Last month the group hinted at a reunion in a video of them discussing their work, recorded for a new Blu-Ray release of The Meaning of Life.
They talked about how much material was left after writing Meaning of Life, and Cleese suggested there was enough for a “Meaning of Life Two”.
Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch starring John Cleese.
Graham Chapman could be represented by a medium “who’s got no sense of comic timing”, joked Palin.
Each of the group have gone on to successful solo careers, but stayed in contact and often worked on each other’s projects.
This year Michael Palin was awarded the British Film and Television Academy’s highest honour, the Fellowship, and received the award from Jones who gave an emotional speech of admiration for his old writing partner and friend.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which ran for four TV series from 1969 then expanded into stage shows, movies and records, is considered a breakout moment for modern British comedy.
Though its members were influenced by pioneers such as Spike Milligan, it was one of the first shows to take sketch comedy to a new, surreal level, inspiring generations of comedians to come.
It was a collaboration between writer-performers from Oxford and Cambridge, meshed together with the animated weirdness of American Terry Gilliam.
In 2004 their “Dead Parrot Sketch” – written by Cleese and Chapman and performed by Cleese and Palin – was voted the best ever alternative comedy sketch in a survey by the Radio Times magazine.
It scored twice as many votes as the second-placed sketch, which was Monty Python’s “four Yorkshiremen”. “The Ministry of Silly Walks” and “The Spam Song” also made the top 10.