We were gathered there at, say, 8 pm which was time for ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’. Many of us avidly glued to the telly were young – and I was young, ‘so much younger than today’ – and assorted oldsters were chagrined because they ‘didn’t get it’. I guess these were the same people that thought Morecambe and Wise were funny (they weren’t) and not a few strode out of the lounge, with one matron shaking her head and exclaiming in exasperation: “I suppose it’s for you youngsters.”
And basically it was. It was also a mark of the times. What the Beatles were to a music revolution the Pythons were to comedy that was always irreverent and anarchic, and ranged from the bizarre to the admittedly banal. We loved it in its day and we all have our favorite routines and skits from “Silly Walks”, to “Dead Parrot”, to “Intercourse the penguin” to “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” to “I’m a Lumberjack” and so on and so on.
Inspired at first by the insanity of the old BBC Goon Shows the Pythons, however, took it to the next step and offered “something completely different” and their fan base grew to be massive worldwide. Of course, with the Pythons it was the brilliant cast and phenomenally original writing that made it all work. In John Cleese, Terry Gillian, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and sometimes Carol Cleveland you had creme-de-la-crème talents and afterward the Python troupe went on to many other entertainment endeavors.
But, that was then. Now they are a troupe of rather elderly gentlemen and they have decided they want to gather together and reunite with the Pythons on a world tour stage.
All I can say about that option is Noooooooooo! Please don’t do that. It was a time and a place and it would be like me trying to reignite the flame with an inamorata of years gone by. It wouldn’t work. I’ve moved on and I would wish that they had as well. Things must be responded too in context of their day when the Pythons were young and vibrant (as was I), not geezers (as I am, too). I’ve never wanted a Beatles reunion and as much as I love the Stones and Dylan I honestly wish they’d retire.
So, here’s something completely different, Pythons, despite your promises to hit the stage again – Don’t.