Monday, October 5, 2009

Always look on the bright side of life [whistling...]

I was only in my tweens when I was formally introduced to Msr. Python and his circus.  In fact, my uncle (who is actually an ex-uncle now, but that's not really the point of this post) introduced me to Monty Python, Anne Rice and Watership Down all in the same summer visit.  Now that I think about it, that really was a LOT for an 11 year old to take in, but hey--there was no Hannah Montana then, okay?

I had been babysitting my younger cousins (and brother) so my parents could go out with my aunt & uncle.  And, dutifully, I had just put them to bed, and was watching premium cable I couldn't get at home.  When my family returned, I was invited to stay up and watch a video they had brought home... It was "Meaning of Life."  Now I'm not going to lie to you, there was more than a few scenes that I was sent out of the room (which was ironic, considering I had watched "History of the Word: Part 1" not one year previous... Madeline Kahn's orgy song, anyone?)  But for the most part, I enjoyed it.  I LOVED IT.  It was just that right balance between slapstick and cerebral comedy my poor little brain had been longing for.  My father loved Benny Hill and seemed to play it at every opportunity, but to me Monty Python would forever remain my idea of British.

It was a few more years before I could really appreciate the humor of Monty Python, and not just because watching the scene with Mr. Creosote would make my mom barf every time it was on.  When I finally got to a wider population of freaks and geeks in high-school, I was able to connect with fellow Anglophiles.  It was glorious.  Funny walks in-between classes were common.  As were impersonations of the Seargent Major during drill and ceremony for JROTC.  And in college, I discovered the joy of the entire Monty Python collection for checkout in the library.

I have slowly begun the process of indoctrinating my chidren into the joyously racous humour of Monty Python.  We built slowly upon Hitchhiker's Guide, moving gradually to Red Dwarf and then some of the later individual projects like Baron von Muchhausen and Mom and Dad Save the World.  I think they might be ready for Holy Grail, soon.  And after that... perhaps something completely different. 

Happy Birthday, Mr. Python.

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