I remember my first Monty Python sketch. It was The Spanish Inquisition (you know, the one no one expects?). I was about 11 and it was shown late at night which was the only time we could get the grainy, over-the-air, low powered public television station from Buffalo. My dad and I loved British TV which, then as now, was the staple of PBS, but we had never seen anything like this before. For about two weeks we shouted “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition” at every opportunity until my mom told us to cut it out.
Until I was telling this story the other day, I never realised how much Monty Python influenced my life. To this day my favourite kind of humour is absurdist. I find juxtapositions in style and situation hilarious and it has influenced my art and writing. The movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail probably was one of the major reasons I became interested in medieval studies and ended up studying it at university. (Ironically I’ve always said I had such a difficult time learning Latin because I didn’t go to university until my late twenties and the portion of my brain that was allotted at birth for learning Latin had long since been filled with Monty Python scripts). When I was in high school all the nerds could rattle off long speeches from various Python sketches. It was a nerd rite of passage.
Thank you Pythons, for everything.