Monty Python and the Holy Livetweet

Or, what I did with my Wednesday evening.

43 thoughts on “Monty Python and the Holy Livetweet

  1. For anyone who didn’t actually clue in:

    1. No, I don’t actually think the film is historically accurate.

    2. No, this wasn’t the first time I ever saw the film. Come on, folks. I’m a nerd.

  2. I rather enjoyed watching this pythonesque silliness scroll across my screen on my twitter feed. I came in on the comment about the rabbits and Rome…for a moment, I said….wait, I never read that in Tacitus…but then I caught your next comment…reality resolved like beams of light from a grail shaped beacon and I merely smiled….

  3. I’ve always had questions about the Conservation of Mass issues associated with being turned into a newt. Perhaps they really meant being turned into a “really large newt”. That would have really been a lot more believable.

  4. Knowing the scholarship expressed by some of the Monty Python team in other venues, this hysterical epic I consider better-informed than most cinematic attempts to depict King Arthur. Unfortunately, the horribly slipshod transfer to DVD, which is all I have to rely on, is fatally marred by a failure to remedy a film breakage in the projector-equivalent used.

    Fortunately, Google is sufficient to obtain an outline of the missing conclusion. Spoiler: it concerns the intervention of a Moose Templar, acting (badly) under Papal authority,

  5. You neglected to mention the coconut conundrum. The origin of coconuts was debated vigorously among medieval Europeans. Another little know accuracy. Where did Patsy procure that coconut? Could it have actually been airdropped by an African Swallow?

  6. “All Cake and Hand Grenades” Would this be referring to the Book of Armaments and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? (My favorite bit in the film.)

  7. I love the Twitter narrative! What is really eerie about all of the Monty Python films (Life of Brian is my favorite) is that the social commentary and the little embedded social critique is still valid.

  8. As most of the major participants in this most excellent documentary have degrees from Oxford or Cambridge, why would anyone expect anything other than scrupulous historical accuracy from it?

  9. Oddly enough, I’ve heard tell that the armor design in the film is among the most historically accurate you’ll find, especially among films made up until its release.

    And they made the armor out of yarn.

  10. “Color blue wasn’t invented until 1735.”
    Actually I believe 1735 was the date of the little-known grue-bleen conversion, so the scholars were merely guilty of stinting on a tiny bit of research.

  11. A holy hand grenade? Blasphemy! Those dumb-asses can burn in hell, and the sooner the better. A careful reading of the code embedded in Scripture shows clearly that it was something more like a Molotov cocktail, invented by Saint Molotov of Cleveland. Besides which, the hand grenade wasn’t invented until around 1850 (1750 Mountain time) by Albert Einstein.

  12. I tried explaiing the moose references in a joke to my wife. Lead balloon. I said, wait until all our friends come over next week. I’ll show them this joke and they’ll all laugh. I did. They did. She still didn’t get it. Her youth was blighted by a lack of Monty Python. She doesn’t even think Spamalot is funny. Sigh.

  13. I was singularly impressed by Eric Idle’s ability to maintain his appearance as the stern brother while Michael Palin read out the instructions for the use of the Holy Hand Grenade. I recall that Comedy Central used to run a “Pythonathon” every year, showing either the TV episodes or the movies. Well, no TV these days, so I don’t watch. By the way, what DID happen to summer, it seems to be winter all over again here in Ohio.

  14. And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, “O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats

  15. Speaking of actual English medieval history I just finished up Juliet Barker’s book on the Great Revolt of 1381. Reading between the lines you come away thinking that this could just as likely be a coup from above by Richard II as opposed to popular blowback to the English play for predominance on the Continent.

  16. I had a medieval history professor at Miami University state that she thought that “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was probably the most accurate portrayal of medieval life ever put on film. She specifically cited “There goes the king?”, “How do you know?”, “He’s not covered in shit.” as proof. :)

  17. I, too have had people who should know tell me that this movie is probably the most historically accurate film around with regards to the realities of medieval life and, weirdly, the swordplay (!). Apparently Terry Jones is a history nut and they really did research on the little things.

  18. The historical accuracy of the Python School has been called into question by followers of Professor Melvin Brooks’ own forays into the byways and highways and filthy gutters of history. The vehemence with which the Pythonites have counter-attacked the Brooksians’ claims has sometimes been ascribed to British reticence to accept research done by an American scholar. The notorious “Spitball Debate” that took place at the 1993 Historians-R-Us conference was an instance where the animosity turned into actual (if mild) violence.

  19. “She doesn’t even think Spamalot is funny.”
    Grounds for divorce right there. Unless she really likes your cooking.

  20. Did the version you watched include the restored scene of Zoot reviewing the film thus far?

    I did learn a thing or two watching this film. The director commentary points out that most depictions of Aurthurian legend depict the historical period in which the tales gained popularity rather than the period in which they are set. The Python film depicts more primitive arms and armor than say, Excalibur.

    I just asked Google Maps about the Bridge of Death. I got several hits, including the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I have no idea what Google is thinking.

  21. ULTRAGOTHA, I felt the same as your wife; I thought Monty Python was silly, not funny. Then I moved to Britain for college and *met* the shopkeeper from the Dead Parrot sketch….

  22. I’m almost done reading Cleese’s memoir, and he has a real-life story of a rabbit’s tenacious ferocity that certainly felt like foreshadowing to me.

    Liberties with the horses is an economic liberty.

    When this movie showed in Denver, the only Python I knew was via radio and some TV special devoted to severely cut back British comedy sketches. Seeing it unprepared was fantastically rewarding.

  23. Monty Python was one of the best British import TV shows, but The Holy Grail is simply a masterpiece of comic genius. Never fails to make me laugh out loud with pure enjoyment!

  24. Via the SCA, I learned that “your father smelt of elderberries” is a genuine medieval insult. You can make a cheap but appalling wine from elderberries, so the Frenchman is calling his father a drunken loser.

  25. Re: your tweet @ 10:27 – For a minute there, I thought it said “Grail-shaped bacon.” Now *that* would a worthy objective for a quest.

  26. I re-read this twitter feed this morning, glancing at the very last one first this time, then seeing “Monty Phyton” in all the other tweets, even tho’ they, correctly, said “Monty Python”. Much funnier this way, tho’ spoiled by the first comment, “For anyone who actually didn’t clue in…”.

  27. Excellent John, a wonderful piece indeed. But it should also remind us in these days that while everyone is quick to blame Muslims, the “christian” culture is indeed far worse.

  28. Brings back a long-ago French class I took when I asked the tutor to translate “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries” into French for me. “The French won’t get this humour,” he said. I wasn’t going to use it on them, I just wanted to know it for myself! :)

  29. Will have to slap my DVD of Grail onto the TV soon myself. Watched Brian twice since the last viewing of Grail, interesting. Believe I am ready. True story, snuck up on caged rabbit once and I suffered a mild concussion as a result.

  30. If I wasn’t too lazy to join Twitter I would respond as follows:-

    100% hysterically accurate you mean.

    Brian was NOT a minor prophet in the middle east. He was the MAJOR prophet in Asia minor!

    Google Maps is wrong. They’re showing The Bridge of NEAR Death, a common mistake.

    Hedge funds were indeed into oxen. That’s why they put a sculpture of one outside the NYSE.

    That book reference was just a read herring.

    Spontaneously DISSAPPEARING armies are more common in Ireland. We’re still searching for six of them in Cork alone.

  31. Wiredog will be happy to hear MY sister bit Miss Taylor’s moose.

    What’s the difference between James Bond and the Inquisition? Nobody expects the Inquisition. EVERYBODY expects James Bond. ‘We’ve been expecting you, Meester Bond!’

Comments are closed.