Monty Python, Back From The Choir Invisible

News sites are reporting that the surviving members of the Monty Python troupe are talking about putting on a reunion show.  For any true fan — and I count myself as one — this is tremendous news.  If only Graham Chapman were here to participate, too!

To mark the occasion, I offer one of Python’s greatest sketches — the classic pet shop piece about the pining Norwegian blue parrot.

The Two Ronnies

While we were in Antigua we got to know a British family that also were guests at the Cocobay Resort.  One day the father, George, wore a t-shirt with four candles on the front.  I asked him about the significance of the four candles, and he told us it was a reference to a classic skit that appeared on the vintage sketch comedy program called The Two Ronnies.

I like British humor — I’m a big fan of Monty Python, I like the original British version of Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, and I’ve watched more episodes of Benny Hill than I probably should admit — but I’d never heard of The Two Ronnies, which apparently aired during the 1970s.  I found the sketch in question on YouTube, and it is, indeed, pretty hilarious.  It combines what I think are the best elements of British humor:  wordplay-based jokes, broad physical comedy, and some words (and accents) that I just don’t understand, now matter how many times I listen.

That Classic Dry British Wit

A competition in Great Britain picked the ten best one-liners of the year, as determined by public vote.

The winner?  Canadian comedian Stewart Francis’ jibe:  “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”

If, like me, you don’t know who the heck “Posh” and “Becks” are, you just don’t get this quip.  With a little digging, however, you learn that “Becks” is British soccer star David Beckham and “Posh” is his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, and that they have named their unfortunate children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven — and suddenly you think that the one-liner is pretty funny.

Two other personal favorites from the top 10:  Will Marsh’s comment that “I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister” (number 3) and Chris Turner’s jest, “I’m good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet… I don’t know Y” (number 5).