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Monty Python - still funny?

The Monty Python team are celebrating 30 years of madcap comedy, has it stood the test of time? Read your comments.

Background ¦ Your reaction

The Background:

Life of Python
Monty Python, the madcap men of mayhem, are celebrating their 30th anniversary.

Dead parrots, silly walks, oddball lumberjacks, raspberries and big feet - the images are still fresh in the memory as the decades roll by.

The BBC is planning to broadcast a stack of old Python material to mark the occasion, but has it stood the test of time? Will you be clutching your sides or stifling a yawn?

Why do you love them or hate them? Why was that sketch to hilarious or humdrum? Which person did you love or hate the most?

But most of all.....

Monty Python - still funny?

Background ¦ Your reaction

Your Reaction:

Graham Chapman once said that the troupe was deliberately non-topical, and it shows. Their material is just as funny now as it has always been.
Hugh Caley, USA

I think they're terrific, but is there anyone else who (like me) thinks the parrot sketch is rubbish?
Mark Webster, UK

In the new age of stupid sitcoms it is wonderful to be able to rent the old monty python videos. I don't think monty python will ever lose its humour.
Lix, USA and China

Python has gone way beyond funny/unfunny.. In the same way we assimilate Beatle songs while still very young, we subconsciously learn word for word the Parrot Sketch et al, simply because IT IS THERE... My dad was saying "it's not 'Raymond Luxury Yacht'.. it's 'Throatwobbler Mangrove'.." to me before i was out of nappies... kinda like being indoctrinated into religion or a football team.. you get hooked before you know any better, and when you finally ARE able to make a judgement whether something is funny or not, you've seen the sketches so many times, their recitation is more on a par with singing a folk song or reciting the Lords Prayer.. you don't often consider the meaning of the words any more...
Steve Dixon, UK

I would say that Monty Python is as funny as it ever was, but as I was too young first time round I'm not qualified to comment; I can only say that it's one of the funniest things ever shown on TV. Although it is strange that the same channel was responsible for the creation of Last of the Summer Wine....
James Maltby (Mrs), England

Absolutely! The Holy Grail came out when I was in college, and it and Monty Python's humour is as funny and relevant as ever. Remember the "Every Sperm Is Sacred" from The Meaning of Life? 3 cheers for Monty Python!
Michael Hayes, USA

I used to make audio tapes of the series when it first began - it was simply the best thing on TV and everyone at school could recite the sketches verbatim. It now seems dull, tired and distinctly unfunny. The parrot sketch just gets on my nerves! It's dreary and uninspired. Why do we have to see it over and over again? The funniest thing Python ever did was the fish-slapping dance. Most of the other stuff is about as funny as a bad case of piles.
Bob Richardson, England

Dear sir,
I wish to complain about this debate, and state that many of my best friends are lumberjacks, and only a few of them are transvestites... That said, it is the very best of British Television comedy, In case we forget, breaking the Comedy food chain to remove Python, would also remove, Fawlty Towers, The Young Ones, Blackadder, The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Rory Bremner, Harry Enfield The Fast Show, Big Train etc etc.... And Saturday Night Live. I don't recall what the USA's brightest television moment was, but it's worst was Chachie and Joannie, if the Americans were left to do it all it would have all ended up like that. So thanks then John, Eric, Graham, Terry, Terry and Michael, you saved us... P.S. can anybody buy cheese without smirking, I know I can't
Steve, England

Of course Python is still funny. MP had the art to observe people in everyday situations, take the right details and recreate the same situation into a hilarious sketch by emphasising these details. Today, we still experience the same situations as the ones in the many sketches, that's why MP will always stand the test of time.
Ken Bouddha, Belgium

It isn't funny at all. The humour is juvenile and nothing more than glorified slapstick. And Americans laugh at it.
Alan Ridgway, UK

I'm 20 years old and I bust out laughing when I watch Flying Circus and I can watch The Holy Grail all day long and still laugh. I don't think I'll ever get tired of the Python humour.
Gaby, USA

I can see that in the UK, just like in the US, there are two distinct groups of people: those who worship Python and those who hate it! Personally, I think that it will always endure as one of the most original and hilarious shows to hit the airwaves. Long live the re-runs!!
Isaac Roll, USA

Of course it is still funny, good humour is timeless. Long live the Pythons
Paul Sankey, England

It's funny! In Japan, renewal Monty Python videos started selling from last week. Of course I bought it! The first time I saw them was when I was a student of English school in Tokyo. I watched Python's video as one of teaching materials for English culture(!?)30 years! They had started 10years before I was born!!
Keiko, Japan

Although I've seen many British comedies, Monty Python is still my favourite. The six actors were magic together.
Fabio M. Albertin, USA

When I was 8 yrs. old, in 1976, I would sneak into the family room at 23:00 every weeknight and learn about the world and all I need to know. I'm an avid fan of Monty Python. I suffer from depression and whenever I'm stressed, scared or just need a good laugh, they come to my rescue whether it be videos or books. Thank you Monty Python and God rest Graham Chapman.
Terry Smith, USA

I think its particularly amusing....anyone that doesn't is dull and doesn't understand the British sense of humour.......
Daniel Lewis, UK

Although they spoke a language that was not quiet understandable to many non-native English speakers, they have exceeded the frontiers of GB. In Vienna, where I live, they are cult. In Belgrade, where I come from, they are cult. They are the main reason my friends consider me an anglophile.
Ognjen Obucina, Yugoslavia

To the guy with the nerd comment: you wasted YOUR time to participate in an on-line discussion. NERD. And to the one who said that humour "of course" is a function of intelligence: lighten up. That is the very elitist stance that Python was railing AGAINST! MP were and are brilliant; just thinking about the Restaurant Sketch makes me laugh.
Bryan, USA

Monty Python is still the best comedy that the BBC pulled out from its back pocket. But still Dad's Army comes close, but nothing can beat the Pythons
Duncan McLean, England

Not only have the Pythons stood the test of time, but they have carved out a great chunk of it with their unique talents. The Flying Circus is still funny because their humor is, for the most part, not dated. Topical references were rarely made. The show was mostly a grand mixture of both new fangled and old fashioned silliness. That, along with great production values made for an outstanding show!
Bill Trujillo, USA

A few things they did were funny once, but that was a long time ago. Looks really dated and stupid nowadays. Humor has moved on.
Roger Feldman, US/Swedish

I wasn't aware that 10% of the population have never seen Monty Python
Josh Watson, England

For me, MP has always been more than a TV comedy show. It was a striking example of art imitating life and visa-versa. God help me, but there are situations in my everyday life that sometimes relate to Python sketches. News events melt into Python sketches, art, politics, the whole thing. That is indeed quite a testament to its effect. I think that is why it's still revered and has so many hard-core fans. It's really become part of all of us and we'll never shake it loose. Not that we want to, mind you.
F. Valente, USA

The Ancient Greeks v/s the Modern Germans....a profoundly important philosophical debate. Even better as a football match!!
Arnav Sheth, USA

How can Monty Python not be funny? It's one of the most original, most copied comedy groups in the world. The whole world can't be that wrong!
Amy McNew, US

Michael Palin once called his "Fish Slapping Dance" skit a test of whether people have a sense of humor or not. I think the same can be said for Monty Python in general. If you don't like them, there's seriously something wrong with you. :-)
Alex Zambelli, USA

I've always thought of Monty Python as 'the Beatles of comedy'. They didn't invent humor; they reinvented it. It's hard to imagine that there would ever have been a Saturday Night Live (US on NBC), which just celebrated it's 25th year, without being preceded by Monty Python. Their influence, like that of the Beatles, is still reverberating through our culture.
Roger Langille, USA

Saturday Night Live is celebrating it's 30th anniversay.( One of America's biggest shows )It has been the starting place for numerous American actors/comedians such as Dan Ackroyd, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray and many more. The pioneers of the show openly admit that they aspired to be as good as Monty Python. That's from the Pro's !!!
KV, UK in US

Yes, it was funny 30 years ago. But, as stupid Americans, who incidentally seem to be the only young people who still like it (look at how lukewarm the response to the 80's Flying Circus re-runs was : all my mates preferred the Young Ones) ought to realise, there were many other groundbreaking shows around then. Look at Milligan, Cook, and the unfairly forgotten Marty Feldman, for instance. Maybe the Yanks will have discovered the Fast Show in another 30 years time.
Nelson Gravement, UK

Monty Python's humour is not old at all. I love watching their videos all day...
Sylvie, Japan

Not relevant? Rubbish why even today at work i am still reminded of the 'UPPER CLASS TWIT OF THE YEAR AWARD' sketch. I work with them!
Howard Bowen, UK

I am married to an Englishman and he finds Monty Python very funny but I don't see what's so amusing. It seems to be full of grown men acting like young boys or being cruel to animals. I suppose it is just the strange British sense of humor at work.
Mrs Morrissova, Czech Republic

Monty Python are, were and always will be funny. However , they will always be second favourite to The Goons.
Charlie Windsor, UK

Brilliant and timeless. Just the thought of King Arthur clopping those coconut shells together as he appears out of the mist is enough to start me giggling. And don't forget: always look on the bright side!
Kirsty Hearn, UK

Were it not for (US) Public Television's importation of Python in the mid 70's, Americans would be even more clueless as to British humor than they are today.
Tom, USA

We are the Knights who say Ni (Ni, Ni, Ni) and in our opinion Monthy Python is the mother of all Ni... comdies
Eyram K., Limburg

I'm only 22, so I missed the Monty Python thing -but it's quite simply the most incredible thing I have seen, it almost defines British Humour. The fact that we are talking about it shows that it has stood the tests of time.
Anton McCoy, UK

I never found it funny in the first place.
Simon, England

MP is funny and therefore will always be funny. Humor, of course, is a function of intelligence. For some it will never be funny.
Jim Hubbell, Texas

Without Monty Python, there would be no Chocolate Coated Crunchy Frogs.
Constantine Butler, England

NOOOOOOObody expects... the Spanish Inquisition!
Carrie Bodensteiner, US

Python is still phenomenally funny. I've been a fan pretty much since I was an infant (my parents were fond of the records.) I even got in trouble for singing "I'm A Lumberjack" at Brownie camp. The troupe perfect the ridiculously-intelligent comedy style and I think that they will always be remember and always be funny.
Megan McLeod, Canada

Who are these moronic 9%?
J K Woodhouse, Canada

Must say I find them better on radio than TV these days. TV shows them to be dated, but on audio their humour is timeless
Doug Hendry, S Africa

Monty Python are as funny today as they ever were. Which is not to say everything they did was funny - their shows were definitely patchy, but each one contained at least a few absolute gems. Those who don't think Python was funny tend to be exactly the kind of people it was mocking.
Dan Norcott, UK

*I* still find them funny. Funny seems to me to be a subjective thing; those who don't enjoy Monty Python, should not watch them. The rest of us continue to revel in it.
David Dyer-Bennet, USA

Some sketches have stood the test of time others not so well, but there can be no denying that every comedy turn that has appeared on tv in the last twenty years or so has been greatly influenced by the Python team.
Keith Parker, UK

It's time for something completely different.
Dave Tuck, UK

What a ridiculous question!
Andy Parkhurst, UK

Sometimes Monty Python was not funny even the first time round....sometimes I remember, as a child, being disappointed with some episodes.....but when they got it right....truely classic comedy was created. Exibit 1 dinsdale pyrana and spiney norman. Maybe some Monty Pythons were just so funny that it was hard to match every week with the same level of hysterical humour.
Jonathan Hobley, Japan

They revolutionised comedy, and are ever-present on the web! spam,spam,spam, spam...
Maria Gatti, Quebec (Canada)

Still very popular over here in the US. As an ex-pat, it is always one of the first questions i get asked,'Do you like Monty Python? I love they say!'
J Richardson, usa

Monty Python created brilliant comedy 30 years ago. Many (if not all) of the jokes are still relevant today. Our society has not changed that much.
Camille Sweigard, Canada

There is nothing rational to say except that British Comedy led the English speaking world and still does.
G.S.Brown, New Zealand

Compared to their 1990's equivalents MP is still streets ahead for both wit and humour.
Mike Bygrave, UK

Cream of the crop! The best of british humor!
Mariusz Hadam, USA

Did those who think Python is no longer funny EVER think they were funny? It was always beyond some people!
Aidan Simons, UK

I enjoy the Monty Python brand of humour even now, although like others I find it a bit dated. Still, John Cleese and Michael Palin do not seem to have lost their touch; there is real talent there still. It is like pop music, isn't it -- about everything worth doing had been done by 1980. I may one day come to enjoy comedians of the new generation but I doubt it. As exemplified by the Rik Mayall type or Comedy Nation, I find them in rather poor taste.
Peter, Netherlands

I wish to register a complaint...about this survey what I participated in not half an hour ago on this very website. Who dares to question the merit of Python? They are the darling children of the Goons, who sprang into the world fully formed with an enormous pin to prick the bubble of pomposity that was the British Establishment. They were also silly. Nothing wrong with that.
Quentin Fintinlimbimbimbimbimbim-Busstop-F'tang-F'tang-Ole-Biscuit Barrel, UK

The comedy they developed is timeless. As long as western society continues, Monty Python will be hysterical.
Patrick Egan, U.S.

Not only is MP still funny, but it's more in line with today's humour than it was with humour 30 years ago.
David Mather, Singapore

The Holy Grail and Life of Brian... Timeless
Paul, USA (But British)

Nudge, Nudge, say no more, say no more!!
Kiddy Amundadottir, Iceland

"Can he talk then? Can he? Can he talk?" "Of course I can talk - I'm the junior minister for foreign affairs." Python's timeless.
Simon Collins, singapore

Is this the right web site for an argument?
Tony Batson, UK

Is this the five minute debate or the full half hour?
Ian Bullock, England

I'm sorry, the comments door is across the hall...
Eric Bell, USA

Silliness will never go out of style.
Tony Hill, USA

Monty Python are absolutely hilarious! (And, in my opinion, Eric Idle is the best.) Thank you, Britain, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Keegan Dowling, USA

Who doesn't think they're funny? Are they dead? "The killing joke" makes me laugh so hard that I could almost split my sides. Now that I live in Germany it keeps my spirits up. Especially when I see someone wearing those silly Austrian outfits.
Melanie van Oort, Germany

Let's face it some of the stuff has dated. But who can resist, when walking up to the cheese counter in a supermarket, at least thinking about negotiating something "cheesy". Or saying, much to the annoyance of someone, that you were "deliberatley wasting their time".
Peter, Canada

Just showed my children "Life of Brian" last week. They loved it. My wife and I still think its great.
Frank Rawolle, USA

Monty Python had some moments that were funny but mostly I have been disappointed whenever I have hired the tapes and expected to be entertained. Those who talk up Monty Python are mostly bores/nerds. If you wanted to go on a nerd spotting, Monty Python would make them come running out from behind their computers. BJ
BJ Vandenberg, Australia

Another expatriate Englishman in Chicago suburbs who enjoys the generous dollops of Monty Python on local TV.
AR Green, USA

I watched a couple of episodes last week for the first time in years and I could not stop laughing. Yes the Pythons are still funny. Lemon Curry?
John Babcock, USA

John Cleeses' incisive wit, facial expressions and maniacal style of acting are pure comic genius.
David Owen, Australia

Of course! The theory that it is out of date and not relevant is a redundant one, what about the Marx Brothers, or Shakespeare for that matter? Ground-breaking, and unlike so much of today's humour (I am in my twenties) is trying to be 'now' and 'relevant'. Python were just doing what they thought was funny.
D Jones, USA

It wasn't at all funny 30 years ago so why should it be funny now? Just rubbish which should not be screened.
Eric Christie, Scotland

Humor is the art of doing something unexpected - thrity years later many Python bits remain surprising and funny because they are so far from what one expects. My father is 75 and losing his memory, and the Flying Circus is one of the few programs he will watch through to the end. My three-year-old daughter will sit with him and watch, as will I if I have the time. Must be funny if all three of us enjoy it. Phython is not yet quite dead, and does not appear to have lost it python-ness...
Lee Aubel, USA

They were never as funny as we THOUGHT they were. It was a novel concept (although quite closely related to the fore-running _Do Not Adjust Your Set_) and that plus the enthusiasm of the talented cast helped to consolidate its reputation. But if it was analysed for raw humorous content none of the shows were ever as totally satisfying as, say, an episode of _The Goodies_. This was a _kid_s show_ according to John Cleese, but, in my view, it was far funnier (and, of course, perpetrated by former colleagues).
Simon, UK

A thousand times YES.
John Marshall, Zimbabwe

Not only is it funny, but we need lots more from them!! They are really a class of their own.
Max Velasquez, Honduras

I sometimes watch Monty Python on KERA in Dallas, TX. and still enjoy them as much now as when they were first aired. Wish they would do another series!
Bill K, USA

I am writing to express my sincere thanks and most importantly my utter gratitude in conducting your most interesting poll. How else would I be given the opportunity of expressing my complete disdain for most of the BBC comedy aired in the last 20 or so years. The comedy on the screen today is an outrage and waste of licence payers' fees to the extreme. Monty Python reflect a time and intelligence when actors, writers etc., earned their keep instead of today's example of complete incompetence and ineptitude.
Abdul Fez, Japan

And now for something completely brilliant!
Alan Grace, USA

I still get a grin whenever I hear that theme music starting up. Much better than alot of these foulmouthed "cutting edge" comedians we have today.
Nathan Stewart, USA

Monty Python weren't even funny thirty years ago, they certainly aren't now
Fergus Ferguson, Thailand

As we watch the world go mad, the only sanity left is being able to laugh. Monty rules.
Chalky, Australia

I chuckle at Python skits to this day. Like the "letter" that states "We now have the problem relatively under control" meaning cannibalism in the RN
Peter Martin, USA

Monty Python are still very funny. I love the humour, but I must admit that the original TV series is not quite as fresh as it was when first shown! However, there is little to touch it on TV at the moment.
John Cox, Australia

Still breathtakingly good humour at the end of the NEXT millennium.
Gregory Hutton, USA

One of the best reasons Monty Python was so successful in the first place, was that the material was so timeless. Then again not all Python is intended for the uneducated that is for sure, which is probably the section of the populace that the negative vote is coming from. Cheers
B Bailey, USA

They are still very funny. Every week there is a real life situation that you can associate it with a Monty Python sketch. Additional proof is that my ten year old son finds the overwhelming majority of the Python shows hillarious.
Tassos Zervakis, USA.

Still Brilliant!
Julie Dean, New Zealand

Some of the best stuff on TV, I still buy the tapes when available and watch it on PBS whenever it is broadcast.
Dave Fisk, USA

Monty Python is still funny just as chartered accountants are still boring.
Alexander Lewis, New Zealand

As a Briton living in the US, the thing I find the most impressive about them is that young Americans who understand about a half of the cultural reference stilll find Monty Python hilarious. You have to be seriously funny to amuse people who don't understand the significance of half of what you say.
Jon Livesey, USA

The pythons humor crossed country boundaries.There's beeen nothing like it since them, Thats why they are still the TOPS.....
Nigel Howse, USA

British humour is the tops, Monty P and The Goons are legend. Pity the Yanks have no sense of real humour - they have to watch for cue cards to know when to laugh!
Neville Thompson, Australia

What .. Python not funny - does a lumberjack wear bra and panties ? - does a dead parrot pine? - does your granny push a carnivorous perambulator? - how can the BBC ask such a silly question? The truth is Python was 30 years ahead of its time so let's have something completely different all over again! ps. where do YOU buy YOUR cheese?
David Macken, UK

They are still the funniest comedians that this country has ever produced and , unlike today's young comics , they never relied on swearwords and scatological humour to raise a laugh .
Penelope Ennis, UK

It is not in the least funny; the so-called humour of the programme is just far too silly to be truly amusing.
G Chapman, USA

Was it ever funny in the first place? Surely it is time now for these Sixties has-beens to move over and let the Nineties generation have a chance .
Claire Ommi, UK

While I don't know about now, when they did their show, it was hilarious. I would even venture to say that Monty Python surpassed the original cast of Saturday Night Live.
Kyle Gavin, USA

My brother and I used to laugh as soon as the titles started. We'd crease up on the lounge floor repeating every line. We'd spend all the next day talking about it and re-enacting the sketches. Our parents never understood any of it and thought it was just "silly". For people of my generation, some of the classic Monty Python lines are still part of our vocabulary.

It was hilarious at the time, but I must admit that the last re-run I saw looked very dated and didn't make me laugh at all. Or perhaps I've just got old and "sensible", though if I saw the Ministry of Silly Walks again I'm sure that would make me laugh.
Graham Bell, Brazil

Of course they're funny! I've been watching Python movies and TV shows for over 20 years and quite honestly, it's occasionally a bit embarrassing to laugh at some of their jokes, but they still illicit laughter... I think it's a gender question though. Women don't seem to like Python as much as the blokes.
Steve Kenney, USA

Of course it was funny at the time, and elements of it are still funny, but it has become worn over the years - society has changed and much of the satire and parody is no longer relevant. And yes, they did use swear words and scatological humour occasionally, but it was still funny.
Mark Scott, UK exile in US

I can watch The Holy Grail and Life of Brian over and over again and still die laughing. How many other movies will do that?
Gerald W, USA

The Pythons were an exceptional force in avant-garde comedy in the 60s and 70s. They broke the mould and created a "completely different" form of comic entertainment and should be hugely respected for it.

However, their brilliance is relative to their place in history and the significance of their material is weakened given today's social climate. The Pythons traded off breaking social taboos which are no longer taboos. The impact is lost now yet we should not forget that they were visionary in their day.

Monty Python broke new ground in humour. They changed comedy forever. There were funny when they started and they are still funny now. The best British cultural export since the Beatles.
Von, USA

Monty Python - still funny?

Final Votes:


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Yes: <% =percentyes %>% No: <% =percentno %>%

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