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  #51  
Old 05-23-2019, 08:57 PM
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Is this the right room for an argument?
  #52  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:15 PM
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Is this the right room for an argument?
I'll allow it but keep it civil. Otherwise, this chat might get moved to the Pit and I don't know how THAT will turn out.
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  #53  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:27 PM
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Let's not overlook the great dichotomy within MP skits -- Eric Idle vs. John Cleese. Two utterly different kinds of humor.

I can't stand Idle, or his comedy (I mean, Spam is not nearly as inherently funny as he seems to think). Cleese, on the other hand, is a genius, and fully realized his comic genius with Fawlty Towers.
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:29 AM
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I'll allow it but keep it civil. Otherwise, this chat might get moved to the Pit and I don't know how THAT will turn out.
Yes, that's the room for Abuse. Your kind makes me puke!
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  #55  
Old 05-24-2019, 08:17 AM
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[Holy Grail] doesn't have an ending, per se, so much as just winding down into a typically absurdist final scene.
That's a problem with off-the-wall comedy in general. The Marx Brothers' Monkey Business ends with Groucho looking for a needle in a haystack, for an even more WTF?! ending.

As one who regards off-the-wall comedy as true comedy, and comedies where you actually care about how the plot is resolved as drama/comedy or romance/comedy or some other form of (half something else)/(half comedy), I just take it for granted that even the best comedies are going to have an artificial ending. Airplane! probably finesses this problem about as well as it can be done.

FWIW, I consider MP&HG to be the best comedy ever. Yes, of course it's a bunch of individual vignettes strung together, but almost all of them are tremendously funny, at least AFAIAC.
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:19 AM
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Is this the right room for an argument?
I've told you once.
  #57  
Old 05-24-2019, 08:27 AM
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Apparently, experiencing Python alone and with little or no previous exposure to it is akin to watching Hogan's Heroes without a laugh track. Things you're supposed to find funny, you simply don't.
Not my experience. I first saw MP&HG when it first came out, in early summer of 1975. It was a lightly attended weekday matinee, and my only previous Python experience had been And Now For Something Completely Different, which I'd seen a month or two earlier.

I thought it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen.

(Still do. YouTubed through it with the Firebug just a few years back, skipping the Castle Anthrax scene due to his tender age, but otherwise watching beginning to end. Still just as funny. The kid loved it too.)
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:31 AM
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I've told you once.
No, you didn't.
  #59  
Old 05-24-2019, 08:36 AM
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Not my experience. I first saw MP&HG when it first came out, in early summer of 1975. It was a lightly attended weekday matinee, and my only previous Python experience had been And Now For Something Completely Different, which I'd seen a month or two earlier.

I thought it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen.
I might have felt the same way if my "only" experience had been another full-length feature film filled with some of the best bits of the TV show. "Military Fairies," f'rinstance.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:11 AM
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Cleese a couple years ago slammed the TV show as not being funny. Shortly after that we re-watched the entire run.

Yeah, sometimes it just fails. There's even a few episodes that just don't work at all.

But on the other hand there is still a decent amount of really great stuff.

I think some people see the poor stuff and think the whole show is bad. Others see the good stuff and see the whole show as great.

And I never got the love for Fawlty Towers. It is boring, simplistic, predictable old-school British comedy. (And racist too boot.) MPFC was so novel in so many ways and to see a member go back to the old hack way of comedy is sad.
  #61  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:45 AM
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Let's get back to the point being made by the OP.

The OP isn't saying Monty Python and the Holy Grail isn't a funny movie.

What (s)he is saying is that too often, fans of the movie (and of Monty Python in general) act like it's uproariously hilarious. Like it's the Best. HUMOR. EVAH!!! And if you don't chime in with the requisite dialogue at the appropriate time, if you don't laugh your head off like you are some sort of stoned teen nerd, you must have something seriously wrong with you. And this is in its own way a sad bid of comedy.

The whole point (if there is any) to the Monty Python humor is to point out how silly it is to be sheeple. We are laughing at absurdity precisely because it so thoroughly shows how stupid mundanity is. The Ministry of Silly Walks sketch isn't just commentary on the stupidity of British government; it's commentary on how uncomfortable we get when someone walks just the least little bit out of the ordinary. So for people who are fans to act like someone who isn't acting JUST LIKE THEM has something WRONG with them is for those people to totally miss the point.

I love many of the sketches Monty Python did. I have the complete Flying Circus, and I have both MT&tHG and Life of Brian. I watch them fairly often, and when I do, I routinely laugh at the funny parts, even if I know them completely by heart. But, then, I also do that with The Court Jester, Groundhog Day, The Great Race, Young Frankenstein, etc. So it's not that different. And I certainly don't expect everyone to feel like I do about that humor; if your idea of something rip-roaringly funny is one of the Hangover movies, I doubt you and I are going to agree about MP. And that's ok.

It should be noted that much the same sort of thing goes on with some music. If you don't act like anything and everything someone like Prince did is Teh Awsum!, you can be treated like you have leprosy. I just shudder and think to myself, "I wonder if Beethoven groupies were the same?"
  #62  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:05 AM
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Let's get back to the point being made by the OP.

The OP isn't saying Monty Python and the Holy Grail isn't a funny movie.
The movie "MP and the Holy Grail" is not mentioned by the OP.

Am I going mental? It isn't is it? I had to go back in check.

They were talking about MP in general. Some weird offshoot started with someone thinking it was HG only. But the OP was talking about MP not any specific films or series.
  #63  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:05 AM
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And if you don't chime in with the requisite dialogue at the appropriate time
Being able to do this actually turns out to be quite important, in the book version of Ready Player One.
  #64  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:20 PM
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The movie "MP and the Holy Grail" is not mentioned by the OP.

Am I going mental? It isn't is it? I had to go back in check.

They were talking about MP in general. Some weird offshoot started with someone thinking it was HG only. But the OP was talking about MP not any specific films or series.
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I don't know if its just me, but Monty Python's style of humor is a bit too absurdist for my taste. I appear to be in a great minority as near all of my friends and family have ostracized me due to this simple fact. Am I alone or are there others who share this plight?
By the way, I know there is already a thread but I feel necroposting is a bit too overdone.
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Pal, I get the fact that this movie is regarded as "one of the greatest movies of all time" and while, yes, it was groundbreaking for its time, I just am not a huge fan.
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Which of their movies? I'm guessing "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," but you didn't say.
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I was referring to Monty Python and the Holy Grail and thanks for the clarification.
However, I merely meant that the Holy Grail just overdid many of their best jokes by extending them at length.
The OP was not specific, but the later posts made clear that MP&tHG was the genesis of the OP.
  #65  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:29 PM
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Not my experience. I first saw MP&HG when it first came out, in early summer of 1975. It was a lightly attended weekday matinee, and my only previous Python experience had been And Now For Something Completely Different, which I'd seen a month or two earlier.
I saw it much later, by myself or perhaps with my younger brother, in the late 80s, and found it quite hilarious. That said, Life of Brian is, to me, clearly their most cohesive work (and one that I find the funniest). I actually don't think I've seen MP in a group, as most of my friends were not fans of MP humor. Their (at that time) late-night PBS bits that were broadcast here in Chicago were extremely hit or miss. I found maybe one out of every four or five funny, and the rest tedious. I recently rewatched some of those on Netflix, and my opinion hasn't changed. There really is a lot of mediocre work, but it's worth it for the one in four or five skits that tickles me.

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  #66  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:05 PM
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I saw Holy Grail when it first came to theaters. (Yes, I'm ancient.) I'm ashamed to admit I didn't like it because I was VERY squeamish, and the Black Knight, Killer Rabbit, and the wedding scene grossed me out. What can I say? I was in college and a wimp, and Flying Circus had been gore-free. Thank God, I got over all that. Years later, I occasionally showed parts of it when covering the bubonic plague and tracing the roots of the Salem Witch Trials in the HS history classes I taught. No matter how much students begged, though, Castle Anthrax was right out.

Even when I didn't show the movie, though, I could always tell which students had seen it. When I collected papers with, "Bring out your dead," they'd respond with, "I'm not dead yet!"
  #67  
Old 05-25-2019, 12:24 AM
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Life of Brian is their quintessential movie. I believe even they would agree. So judge them and their comedy on that and get back to us.
  #68  
Old 05-25-2019, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Quoth DSYoungEsq:

What (s)he is saying is that too often, fans of the movie (and of Monty Python in general) act like it's uproariously hilarious. Like it's the Best. HUMOR. EVAH!!! And if you don't chime in with the requisite dialogue at the appropriate time, if you don't laugh your head off like you are some sort of stoned teen nerd, you must have something seriously wrong with you. And this is in its own way a sad bid of comedy.

The whole point (if there is any) to the Monty Python humor is to point out how silly it is to be sheeple.
...
Not only has XKCD said it, but it was one of the first things it said.
  #69  
Old 05-25-2019, 09:00 AM
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Wow. I made this comment a couple of days ago and it has blown into the stratosphere.
I'll address some of the questions mentioned in chat and give my 2 cents on other opinions.
1. I do think that the movie MP&HG is funny but not as funny as many make it out to be. It's not that I don't laugh at the first joke but after a while, a joke can be overplayed rather quickly due to repetition (even the introduction with the writers getting "sacked" is a bit too long for my taste.)
2. Life of Brian is a significantly better movie than MP&HG but it's not my favorite movie.
3. I can agree that some of the skits that MP does can be quite funny in segments but not as a full run-through. I could watch maybe 10-15 of them and be fine.

All in all, thank you chat for a diverse take on MP and thank you for being so kind.
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  #70  
Old 05-25-2019, 07:38 PM
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...

All in all, thank you chat for a diverse take on MP and thank you for being so kind.
That's what we do here. Welcome!
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  #71  
Old 05-25-2019, 08:27 PM
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I'm joining the OP with my relative indifference to Monty Python. Yes, they've had some very iconic and funny bits, mostly on the TV show but also in the movies, but on the whole I find what they do to feel labored and over-extended. The absurdism is fine, as far as I'm concerned, but it often only takes a few seconds to understand one absurdity, while they may stretch it out for minutes. That just becomes tedious.

I cut my teeth on the Goon Show when I was a teenager (my college radio station had a bunch of them on LPs). Some people refer to them as pre-cursors to Monty Python, but their style was quite different. Usually they had one story rather than skits to fill their half-hour radio show (with breaks for fairly extended musical numbers, so say 23-24 minutes), and their humor was a combination of silliness, catchphrases, very corny jokes and wordplay, and sound effects that were also often key to the humor. And the jokes came one right after the other, in the style of "if you don't like that joke, just wait a couple of seconds for another one." I can imagine lots of people wouldn't like that sort of thing, but I did, and more than I ever enjoyed Monty Python.

So, as someone wiser than I once said, it's all a matter of taste. My taste is for some brown Windsor soup and a bucket of custard over my head.
  #72  
Old 05-26-2019, 04:06 AM
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I also don't get Tom Lehrer ... etc etc.
Are you referring to songs like "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" or "National Brotherhood Week"? His political stuff is soooooo 1960s you simply won't get it unless you have at least some idea of what was happening in the US and around the world at the time.

His really nasty stuff, on the other hand, can be enjoyed without such knowledge. Having a sick sense of humor to begin with is of course a great help.
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  #73  
Old 05-31-2019, 01:45 PM
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I don't know if its just me, but Monty Python's style of humor is a bit too absurdist for my taste. I appear to be in a great minority as near all of my friends and family have ostracized me due to this simple fact. Am I alone or are there others who share this plight?
By the way, I know there is already a thread but I feel necroposting is a bit too overdone.
"If you came here looking for an argument you're in the wrong place. This is abuse."

Indeed.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:46 PM
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Damn, ninja'd. It pays to read all of the posts before submitting your own.
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Old 06-01-2019, 03:30 PM
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I appreciate how they weave in so many subtleties into their absurd humor. The one sketch they did where the two guys are looking at models for a new apartment complex is one of my favorites. One of the guys comes in with a model that is effectively a slaughterhouse that will purposely kill all of the tenants.

The two guys are overly polite in explaining that killing the tenants is really not what they are looking for, but thank you very much for coming. Then the architect goes on a spit-filled rampage how if you are not with the in-crowd you can't get anywhere in the world. The two guys don't bat an eye and are still apologizing, then the architect starts begging for a chance.

It's not funny when you type it, but the absurdity and the comparison between crazy people, being polite, being rude, and begging, all common things we see in society are presented in a minutes long sketch with exaggerated emotions struck me as hilarious.
  #76  
Old 06-01-2019, 09:59 PM
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the absurdity and the comparison between crazy people, being polite, being rude, and begging, all common things we see in society are presented in a minutes long sketch with exaggerated emotions struck me as hilarious.
I think this is a characteristic of English humor going back at least to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which is sort of a parody of adult civilized society seen through the eyes of a child. Scenes of Alice (like for example the Mad Tea Party) read like Monty Python sketches (or vice versa).
  #77  
Old 07-14-2019, 01:07 PM
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Five years ago today: Monty Python's 'dead' parrot suspended from crane in London in tribute to comedy quintet.
  #78  
Old 07-14-2019, 02:01 PM
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YOU want to complain! Look at these shoes. I've only had them three weeks and the heels are worn right through. f you complain nothing happens, you might as well not bother. Oh my back hurts, it's not a very fine day and I'm sick and tired of this office.
  #79  
Old 07-14-2019, 08:53 PM
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So Iím growing up in Dallas, eleven years old in 1974, and one day my mom says to me, ďthereís this really crazy show on Sunday night that you have to stay up and watch.ď This actually meant staying up past my usual bedtime, which was a big deal.

So I stay up and watch it, and I find it pretty funny, but I donít fully get it. The next week is just fantastically better, however (the larch, bicycle repair man, the restaurant fork bit), and so she and I end up watching every single episode after that. (my stepfather, on the other hand, thinks itís the stupidest thing he's ever seen and skips it)

It was perfect humor for a teenager, and obviously had some other positive context for me. Flash forward, I just watched ďLife of Brianď with my teenage son this week, and I thought it was pretty funny, but it wasnít just as resonant as I remember. I think the main thing, to the posts above, is that nothing was unexpected in the way it was 40 years ago. So itís clever, but the absurdity doesnít catch me off guard anymore.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:46 PM
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If I can go forward in time about twenty years, Monty Python has the same problem as classic Simpsons or early Saturday Night Live. It was something very new to pop culture, it has a lot of obsessive fans that can quote it endlessly, and generally the funniest stuff is remembered and the terrible stuff forgotten. And I own the old A&E DVD releases of Flying Circus, as well as copies of Holy Grail and Life of Brian as well as the first ten seasons of the Simpsons, so I think I have some credibility when it comes to that sort of fandom. I can probably quote more Simpsons than I can Monty Python, but I can do a whole lot of either one.

But all humor is subjective and I understand that the Monty Python style doesn't work for some people. There's plenty of clanging duds in their stuff; most are in the TV show simply because that's the most material and these days I generally don't even bother watching the fourth series or The Cycling Tour if I'm in the mood to watch the show. The DVD release made it even easier to skip around to only the best sketches thanks to lots of chapter divisions.
  #81  
Old 07-14-2019, 11:35 PM
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I found The Rocky Horror Picture Show to be the same way - watching it alone, it was one of the worst movies I've seen, but the audience changes it entirely.
I went to my first midnight showing of RHPS in an Orlando movie theatre in the summer of 1981. I had a rollicking good time.

The following Friday night the midnight movie was The Warriors. Iím afraid I might have made a bit of a spectacle of myself at that one.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 07-14-2019 at 11:37 PM.
  #82  
Old 07-15-2019, 12:55 AM
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Holy Grail is a funny movie.

Life of Brian is a brilliant work of comedic genius.
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