Monty Python’s Flying Circus: 1969 – 1974
Created by: The cast
Cast: John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
How could this not be on the list? Of course I couldn’t resist placing Monty Python on the list. Why not? Because it introduced me to comedy, that’s why. If you haven’t read it, I’ve already ranked the movies from worst to best, so this article can focus on the TV Shows. I’ll only mention the movies if I’m desperate to fill up the word count.
So, Monty Python. How do I honestly talk about the comedy that, arguably, began the genre itself? Up until the late 1960s, comedies were very, very tame. The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gilligan’s Island and The Andy Griffith’s Show are all common 60s comedies that, well, just played it safe if I’m honest. That’s why they’re not really on this list right now.
What Monty Python did that shook up the genre as a whole was to be out there with their comedy. They didn’t hold back, and, at the time, this was the edge of comedy. It was the no return zone, it was borderline crossing the line of horrible. Arguably, comedies have returned back to this safe zone, and Monty Python is one of the few pioneers that have actually gone this far.
The first comedy to cross the line.
From sketches such as The Undertaker and basically all of Life of Brian, offence is something that Monty Python handles very well. Bearing in mind the only reason The Undertaker sketch was written was because the Queen was apparently watching that episode, it just shows the balls the group had.
Of course, like all TV Shows, it came to an end. Maybe a bit later than it should have if I’m honest. John Cleese left the show to star in his own creation, Fawlty Towers and from there on this show sort of dwindled out another season.
Now I’m sure there are a lot of you that have already watched Monty Python. There will be even more that have at least heard of it, and that’s great. However, I bet what you didn’t know is that you can currently buy the entire four seasons off of Amazon, which is superb.