Underrated Python, Take Two - Macleans.ca

Underrated Python, Take Two

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The comments on my “Favourite Lesser-Known Monty Python Sketches” were great. I’d just like to follow up by posting a couple of sketches that weren’t mentioned in the original post.

This early sketch is one of my favourites, even though in some ways it’s one of the most conventional, un-Python sketches except for its lack of a punchline: it’s a very simple, traditional premise, taking a typical situation from theatre or movies and reversing it. (What if, instead of all the plays about a white-collar guy and his blue-collar family, we had a story about a “working-class playwright” confronting his well-dressed coal miner son?) But it’s a nearly perfectly-executed sketch, with one of Graham Chapman’s best performances.

Of the many documentary parodies the show did, one of my favourites is one one on “Ken Clean-Air System,” the stupidest boxer on earth. I think it’s just that I always laugh when John Cleese plays a really stupid athlete (the sketch where he’s a dumb football player on a pretentious sports interview show is also memorable).

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The “Crackpot Religions” sketch is really less of a sketch and more of a series of little vignettes on a theme, but it has some of my favourite bits: Eric Idle’s “Arthur Crackpot” act (“I can’t touch it, there’s no return on it”), Palin’s reaction to winning the entire Norwich City Council, and Idle as John Lennon (whose birthday it is today), saying “I’m starting a war for peace.”

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