With a multi-city farewell tour about to kick off — take that, FIFA — Monty Python is still hilarious, decades after they first started doing comedy together on the BBC TV program, Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The original members of Monty Python will reunite for the first time in decades for the much-anticipated farewell tour. One of the special guests included on the London leg of the tour will be physicist Stephen Hawking, who is a big Monty Python fan.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus was televised between 1969 – 1974. The TV series has legions of fans who know entire lines and sketches by heart. The hit BBC series also gave rise to successful movies featuring the members of the comedy troupe, like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and The Life of Brian (1979).
With the exception of Monty Python Graham Chapman, who succumbed to cancer in 1989, at age 48, the other original five members of the comedy troupe — Terry Jones, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin — will take part in the farewell tour. They are all in their 70s, but so few signs of letting their age slow them down.
In November, the opening date sold out within 44 seconds. The five remaining members of Monty Python added nine other dates, all of which are close to selling out. According to John Cleese, who also starred as John Fawlty in the very funny BBC TV series Fawlty Towers, the production has quite a few set changes and special effects and it costs approximately £4.5 million to stage.
Eric Idle has been credited by the other members of the comedy troupe with being the driving force behind creating the Monty Python farewell tour show ready. Besides special effects and set changes, the show will include a full orchestra and a large cast of dancers. Idle has stated that the show will be quite “filthy,” which is no surprise, as the BBC TV series often featured skits that included of naked women and lewd, but often LOL hilarious, jokes and double entendres.
Monty Python‘s farewell tour will be based on their old, tried-but-true classic sketches and songs from their TV series and movies. Eric Idle reasons that it would be difficult, and “odd,” to try to write anything that was funnier material “than our best at this age.”
Idle added that the kind of humor that Monty Python did is “mainly timeless actually,” so he is not worried that the audiences of today might not get the jokes or be appreciative of getting the opportunity to hear the original material that made Monty Python famous.
The upcoming farewell tour of Monty Python that is about to kick off will likely have audiences rolling in the aisles from laughter. The final performance of the Monty Python tour on July 20 will be also broadcast live in movie theaters around the world. That is good news to everyone who is a Monty Python fan, but who does not live near one of the cities on their farewell tour. To honor Graham Chapman, and the eventual passing of the remaining members of Monty Python, the show will be called One Down, Five to Go.
The word is out that among the sketches they will be performing will be the ever-popular Spanish Inquisition and the Dead Parrot ones. They will also be performing classic bits and songs from The Meaning of Life and Life of Brian. The humor might be what fans have come to expect from “the wrinkly old men,” as Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones has recently called the septuagenarians, but that does not mean that the material is any less genius or funny.
The Monty Python farewell tour is about to kick off soon, and the final show will take place on July 20 at London’s O2 Arena. Eric Idle is excited about it, stating that unlike The Beatles and many others, they will get the chance to bid farewell to their fans. Idle said that “nobody ever has the chance to do that.” The five remaining members of Monty Python will get the chance to do that, though, proving that there is, indeed, a first time for everything.
Written by: Douglas Cobb