Pythonalot at the Film Forum
I was maybe 10 or 11 when I first became aware of Monty Python's Flying Circus. At the time (this was around 1973 or '74), the BBC show ran on Sunday nights, Channel 13, I think at 10:30, so I had to get special permission to stay up late and watch it. I couldn't believe that something this relentlessly silly actually existed (and starring adults, no less!); nor that anything could make me laugh so hard.
Anyway, it had been probably 15 years since I'd had any extended exposure to these guys when yesterday afternoon Bo and Co and I went to the Pythonalot Festival at the Film Forum to see their best movie, The Holy Grail. Not surprisingly, it felt more nostalgic than immediately entertaining for me, though I definitely cracked up a few times. And I had forgotten just how stunningly low budget a production this was, and how creative the troupe could be to overcome—and embrace—their lack of funds.
Most rewarding, though, was watching Bo and Co experience these old jokes for the first time, even giggling hysterically through several scenes, especially the Knights who say "Ni", the three questions at the Bridge of Death, and the witch-determining sequence. Given her recent interest in Broadway musicals, Bo in particular seemed to appreciate that she now "got" what Spamalot was all about, without actually seeing that show. And I was thinking later on how cool it was to introduce a piece of culture to my kids at just around the same age that I, too, first enjoyed it. Even cooler: to have them instantly like it.
The Holy Grail is playing through Thursday, September 28, and there are raffles after at least one show per day... and can you guess who won the Grand Prize on Sunday of two free tickets to Spamalot???!!! The Pythonalot Festival continues on through October 5, and includes The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.