The Eleven Finest Monty Python Sketches

Thanks in part to the impending release of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus arriving soon (December 25, in limited locations) directed by the often underrated and incredibly talented Terry Gilliam, as well as the 40th Anniversary of the troop, I though it was high time to revisit the roots of this famous movie maker and his four cohorts. That’s right! Monty Python’s Flying Circus! “And now for something completely different…”

If you have to ask yourself what these six little words refer to, then you, my friend, do not belong here reading this list. Arguably one of the quintessential echelons in British comedy, not to mention the world, Monty Python’s Flying Circus started so very much that spawned hundreds of other troupe comics to try their hands at similar performances. Their humor was about as dry and wry as comedy could conceivably get and yet they were gut-busting-ly hilarious. Eric Idle, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, and, of course, Terry Gilliam, proved to the world that a little cut-out animation and cut-up comedic routines with non-sequitors aplenty could live on in infamy. So, here are the top 11 Python sketches of all time… in my humble opinion.

11

‘Sam Peckinpah’s Salad Days’

Good Old Monty Python wasn’t always all about strictly humor, often times it was strictly about humor AND violence! Take for instance the Black Knight sketch from M.P. and the Holy Grail. Pretty bloody. Well, this one’s from the show and just about as nasty. And Silly. Enjoy!

 

10

‘I Wish to Report a Burglary!’

Absolutely ridiculous. Not that that’s any real surprise, since those two words form the foundation of most -if not all- of the Python’s routines. Yet, somehow, this one borders on utter nonsense: not one of the members on the force could understand the other in their ‘normal’ tones of voice, ergo… this.

 

9

‘My Brain Hurts!’

Ah, the Gumbies. More or less post-lobotomy patients who get themselves involved in every and any thing possible, but with less-than-stellar results because, well, they’re irreversibly stupid.

8

The Mattress Sketch

This one is almost not even worth attempting to explain, basically because: a) they really do a fine job of trying to do it for you, and b) well, just watch…

7

Crunchy Frog

There are so many amazing one-liners in this one that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll stipulate by saying this: follow along during his initial description of the Crunchy Frog where he just skims over, “Lightly killed”. Makes me bust a gut every time. Lightly killed… HA!

6

The Spanish Inquisition

Though it’s hard not to love Michael Palin’s deadpan and equally dunder-headed approach to his Cardinal Ximinez character, it’s just as fun to watch the great facial expressions of Terry Gilliam. Brilliant.

5

The Dead Parrot Sketch

“What’choo mean, ‘miss’?” “I’m sorry… I have a cold.” And it’s all downhill from there. Amazingly, when many people think of Monty Python’s skits, this is often the one they remember. It is a classic.

4

SPAM

This one is all about a library and kittens. Just kidding. It’s about SPAM.

3

It’s The Arts

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2

The Ministry of Silly Walks

Very few sketches are unadulterated gold from the first minute to the last, but this exception is one long gag. I had to literally watch this one numerous times just to get the dialog because I couldn’t stop laughing. How John Cleese doesn’t just fall out is beyond me.

1

Gorn! (Woody and Tinny Words)

Bizarre. Dry, British wit, and just deliciously bizarre. “Sorry old horse!”

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