Monty Python’s Flying Circus was one of the most influential and acclaimed comedy shows in British television history. Broadcast in four series from 1969 to 1974, it mixed absurdist humor, parody, satire, and surreal animation in a free-flowing style that largely dispensed with the standard comedy sketch format. This innovative blend of the intellectual and the silly quickly developed a cult following in Britain and then internationally. The members of Monty Python were John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones (all Oxford or Cambridge University graduates) and the American-born animator Terry Gilliam. The success of the television series prompted books, records, stage shows, and five feature-length films, two of which— Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974) and Monty Python’s ...

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