19 Facts About Monty Python
Monty Python: Nineteen facts about the legendary comedy troupe you might not know
After a series of nine shows Monty Python will be dead, cease to be, they will shuffle off their mortal coil.
The legendary comedy troupe have briefly reformed for the shows at London’s O2 Arena in July but despite demand for a world-wide tour Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam have announced that there will be no more performances.
Tickets for the first Python show at the London O2 sold out in 43 seconds. Here are 19 facts about Monty Python that you might not know…
1. Names for the first TV show included Owl Stretching Time; The Toad Elevating Moment; A Horse, a Spoon and a Bucket; Vaseline Review; and Bun, Wackett, Buzzard, Stubble and Boo.
2. The BBC saw one, Flying Circus, and printed it in the schedules and said they couldn’t change it. Monty Python was settled on after variations including Gwen Dibley’s Flying Circus and Baron Von Took’s Flying Circus.
3. The Python theme tune by music is The Liberty Bell by John Philip Sousa, was chosen because the recording was free.
4. The giant foot that comes crashing down in the opening credits is the foot of Cupid, from the Renaissance masterpiece Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time by Bronzino.
5. Former Beatle George Harrison stumped up the $4 million budget for Monty Python’s Life of Brian which went on to make $20 million at the box office.
6. Ten years after the death of Graham Chapman in 1989, the surviving Pythons agreed in principle to tour America. But Michael Palin changed his mind and said he didn’t want to do it, much to the annoyance of Eric Idle.
7. An asteroid discovered in 1997 by two Czech astronomers was named 13681 Monty Python in their honour.
8. Billionaire and Tony Stark inspiration, Elon Musk launched a wheel of cheese into orbit and returned it to earth in 2010 as a tribute to the Pythons.
9. Led By Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, along with the cast of Python musical Spamalot, in 2007, 5,567 people in Trafalgar Square set a new world record for the largest coconut orchestra as they “clip-clopped” along to Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.
10. Spam, the junk emails sent in bulk, was named after the Python’s classic Spam sketch where everything on a menu is spam.
11. John Cleese quit the group while on a flight to Toronto, but would work with them on future films.
12. The endangered Bemaraha woolly lemur (Avahi cleesei) is named after John Cleese.
13. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was shot on a tight budget and filming had to stop regularly when the castle, a plywood cut-out, kept falling over in the wind.
14. The budget for Monty Python and the Holy Grail was raised by bands including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Elton John who were looking to make a tax loss.
15. The animated God created by Terry Gilliam, who did all the animation, is a picture of cricketer WG Grace.
16. Neil Innes has been described as the seventh Python as he provided music to the TV shows and worked with the Python Offshoots including The Rutles.
17. The fossil of a giant prehistoric snake discovered in 1985 in Riversleigh, Queensland, Australia was named Montypythonoides riversleighensis in honour of the Monty Python team.
18.Eric Idle’s musical Spamalot, based on the Holy Grail movie, made more than $175 million in its first Broadway run. All the Python members received a cut of the profits.
19. Several councils, including a few that didn’t even have cinemas within their boundaries, banned Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979 saying it was blasphemous.