The living members of Monty Python confirmed on Tuesday that they are reuniting for a stage show. While this could be a catastrophic failure, it also offers a chance to celebrate a foundation of modern British pop culture.
TV execs didn’t think Python would make it in America, so sketches from Flying Circus didn’t air in the US until 1972, three years after it debuted in the UK. It was popular on the few public television stations that showed it, and those stations sought more British programming. This is a big reason why Downton Abbey and Sherlock air on PBS today (even if it is a few months behind).
These days, "the youth" watch Dr Who, then they start sharing online clips of Monty Python’s Self-defense Against Fruit sketch and finally end up being lured into Peep Show.
I’m from the era in between: one friend would watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail with her parents, then pass it on to her friends who would pass it on to their siblings a few years later. Or, alternately, maybe a teacher would abuse their brain-washing powers to show a clip in class. Then all of a sudden your love for the Spice Girls had more cultural resonance and you were willing to give this weird show called The Office a try, because it was apparently based on a show from England.
Advantage: Everyone, which I use gratuitously but actually really mean this time.
(Photo: Ronald Grant Archive)