Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a staple here at IFC. It is one of the most influential comedy programs ever created. As much as we love The Whitest Kids U’Know and the Kids in the Hall, we know that they probably wouldn’t have existed without the lasting influence of Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman and John Cleese.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus hit the BBC in 1969. It was smart and silly, cutting edge and obscene and changed the rules for television comedy. The team behind the show managed to use their OxBridge university educations to make their laughs erudite yet accessible, and most important, funny. The Pythons went on to make now-classic comedy films, including The Meaning of Life, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and, of course, Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut). Now they are dominating Broadway with their musical comedy Spamalot. But the biggest sign of the greatness of Monty Python, is that the sketches are STILL hilarious, thirty years on.
Here are five of our all time favorite sketches from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which, by the way, airs tonight from 6:20 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET in a mini-marathon of laughs:
“I’m sorry, I have a cold.” The Dead Parrot starts funny, stays funny:
The Ministry of Silly Walks needs no further introduction:
Venezuelan Beaver Cheese, anyone? It’s “The Cheese Shop”:
Spam, Spam, Bacon, and “Spam”:
“I’d like to have an argument, please.” It’s the “Argument Clinic”:
And because we couldn’t choose just five, here is a bonus sketch, “The Spanish Inquisition”:
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is on IFC tonight from 6:20 p.m. ET to 7:40 p.m ET.