Michael Palin Suggests That ‘Very Few’ People Remember Monty Python

Monty who?
Michael Palin Suggests That ‘Very Few’ People Remember Monty Python

While most of the surviving members of Monty Python seem to be spending their golden years engaging in petty squabbles and/or desperately trying to convince the world that they’re a victim of persecution, Michael Palin appears to be a chill guy who just enjoys writing books and starring in travel programs. That view of Palin likely won’t be shattered by his recent appearance on Good Morning Britain, which is like Good Morning America but with more tea and less handguns (I assume). 

During the interview, Palin talked a lot about the loss of his wife Helen, who died last year. Palin revealed that, after 57 years of marriage, he still hears her voice on occasion. “Sometimes I will have done something, and I’ll get back and tell her about it,” Palin revealed to the hosts. “Although she’s not there, I know her reply and it makes me smile. I find myself idiotically in the sitting room on my own going, ‘Oh yes!’ So that’s good.”

While chatting about Palin’s travel career, which includes a recent two-part documentary about North Korea, host Susanna Reid told her guest, “You're best known for Monty Python, of course, but I wonder whether that's true now.” To which Palin countered: “Well, there are really very few people still around to remember Monty Python I think,” before adding, “John Cleese is still around actually.”

Wait, what? Very few people remember Monty Python? With all due respect to Michael Palin — or rather, Sir Michael Palin — that doesn’t seem to be an entirely accurate assessment. 

Back in 2014, the Python reunion show at London’s O2 Arena sold out in just 43 seconds! Keep in mind, this is a venue that holds 20,000 people. After the “surprise” sell-out, the Pythons added four more shows, and they similarly booked up in less than a minute. Sure, that was over 10 years ago, but unless there’s some overworked, oddly specific serial killer on the loose, many of the fans who attended those shows are likely still alive.

In fact, in the internet age, the Python brand has proven to be quite resilient. Instead of battling online clip-sharing in the early days of YouTube, the group put up tons of content for free and, as a result, sales of their DVDs went up by a staggering 23,000 percent. Then, in 2018, they sold the streaming rights to their entire back catalog to Netflix. 

Today, TikTok is chock-full of Python clips, and some fans have even gone viral for their recreations of classic routines. One TikToker, for instance, garnered more than 16 million views for a video in which they performed a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail by heart at an Irish castle-turned-Airbnb. 


While they may not dominate the zeitgeist, Monty Python has undeniably endured over the years, likely because their inherent absurdity doesn’t date in the way more topical comedies sometimes do. A 2011 survey of “U.K. comedy tastes” found that the group had “relatively universal appeal, amusing a demographic that cuts across class and educational divides as well as genders.”

And if not many people remember Monty Python, why do they have their very own permanent exhibit at the SPAM museum?

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?