17 Facts Proving That Monty Python's History is as Chaotic as Their Comedy

It's over 50 years since Monty Python's Flying Circus shocked British screens with their anarchic (anarcho-syndicalist?) approach to humor. It's rare for a show that old to be remembered, except by TV historians -- and yet, we're willing to bet our shrubbery that you have watched something by Monty Python in the last few months. Now we're here to give you a quick tour through the work and history of these very naughty boys.


MONTY PYTHON WAS AN OFFSHOOT OF A CHILDREN'S SHOW. Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin were already doing Python-like comedy in Do Not Adjust Your Set, a show aimed (mostly) at children, also featuring Terry Gilliam's animations.. John Cleese and Graham Chapman, who were fans, gave them a call

Source: Vulture, The Digital Fix


NOBODY LIKED MONTY PYTHON WHEN THEY FIRST CAME ON TV. When Monty Python's Flying Circus first aired in 1969, it had the lowest audience numbers of any entertainment show in the UK. Not only didn't people get them, but BBC bigwigs were shocked by their nihilistic and cruel humor.

Source: The Independent


PLAYBOY PRODUCED THE FIRST MONTY PYTHON MOVIE. And Now for Something Completely Different was the brainchild of Playboy exec Victor Lownes, who wanted to launch Monty Python in America (it didn't work at that time). The production was troubled, as Lownes was too controlling.

Source: Chortle


THE BIGGEST MONTY PYTHON MOVIES WERE FUNDED BY ROCK STARS. For Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 10 different rock groups (including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, and Genesis) invested $10,000 each. Years later, George Harrison bankrolled Life of Brian on his own, saying, I want to see the

More: 6 Completely Ridiculous Ways Famous Movies Paid The Bills


THE MONTY PYTHON FOOT BELONGS TO CUPID. Terry Gilliam's cutout animations remix bits and pieces of classic paintings and photos. The foot in particular comes from a th-century painting -Bronzino's Allegory with Venus and Cupid, which Gilliam saw in London's National Gallery.

Source: Atlas Obscura


MONTY PYTHON WERE COMEDIC AVATARS OF CHAOS. The one thing we all agreed on, our chief aim, Terry Jones has been quoted as saying, was to be totally unpredictable. Meanwhile, Eric Idle wrote in his biography, We didn't know what we were doing, but insisted on doing it.

Sources: Associated Press News, The New York Times


MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS ONLY HAD FOUR SEASONS. 45 episodes along four seasons (the last without John Cleese) were enough to leave a lasting impression, cemented by movies, live tours, and decades of reruns.

Source: The Oregonian


MONTY PYTHON SAID GOODBYE IN 2014. After 30 years, the surviving Pythons came back together for a last hoorah in a run of 10 shows, entitled Monty Python Live (Mostly). Nobody ever has the chance to [say goodbye], Eric Idle said. The Beatles didn't get a last good night.

Sources: BBC, The Hollywood Reporter


A PLAY WAS WRITTEN ABOUT MONTY PYTHON. Pythonesque by Roy Smiles recounts the group's history, focusing on Graham Chapman and his struggles with alcoholism. First staged in 2009, it was later adapted as a radio drama by the BBC.

Sources: Goodreads, BBC


A CZECH CITY HOLDS A YEARLY SILLY WALK MARCH. Since 2012, dozens of suited people come together every year in Brno, Czech Republic to celebrate the classic Ministry of Silly Walks skit. It isn't an official holiday, though- government backing would

Source: Brno Daily


THE WORD PYTHONESQUE IS IN THE DICTIONARY. How many comedy acts make it to the Oxford English Dictionary? They didn’t see it as an achievement, though -- Terry Jones quipped in 2009 that having a dictionary definition meant that they failed in their purpose of being undefinable.

Sources: The New York Times, Oxford Reference


AN AWFUL LOT OF THINGS ARE NAMED AFTER MONTY PYTHON. There's a Python computer language, and a giant prehistoric snake called Montypythonoides. Additionally, each individual Python has an asteroid named after them. Wherever you look, you see the footprints of the Python's silly walks.

Source: The Geek Twins


MONTY PYTHON IS IN THE GUINNESS WORLD OF RECORDS. As should be expected, the Python-related record is quite random: In 2007, 5.877 people gathered in London to play Always Look on the Bright Side of Life on coconuts. (It isn't reported if the coconuts migrated afterward.)

Source: Guinness World Records


WITHOUT MONTY PYTHON, THERE WOULD BE NO AUSTIN POWERS OR SIMPSONS. Everything I've ever done can be distilled to at least one Python sketch, Mike Myers has said, and he's not alone. Creators like Matt Groening, Tina Fey, Simon Pegg, Sacha Baron Cohen, and many others have acknowledged the Pythons'

Source: BBC America


ERIC IDLE DOESN'T QUITE LIKE THAT THE PYTHONS HAVE BECOME SO POPULAR. Monty Python was supposed to be subversive and disruptive, SO it sort of rubs Idle the wrong way that everyone is fond of them now. He has said that he liked it better back when they annoyed audiences.

Source: Chortle


JOHN CLEESE THINKS BRITAIN DOESN'T LOVE MONTY PYTHON ENOUGH. For reasons that I'm not very clear about, the BBC haven't put us out on terrestrial television for the best part of20 years, Cleese has said. I find that there's a lot more enthusiasm for Python in America, Canada, and Australia

Source: Chortle


A GIANT DEAD PARROT WAS BUILT TO CELEBRATE THE PYTHONS. To promote Monty Python's farewell, a 50-foot fiberglass sculpture was commissioned by the TV channel that aired their final performance. Bereft of life, the colossal ex-parrot was publicly left to rest in peace in South London.

Source: Fast Company