Pop Culture

A Farewell to Gumbys: Monty Python Calling It Quits

The surviving members of venerable British (plus one American) comedy troupe Monty Python are reuniting for a series of shows at London's O2 arena starting today. There will be ten performances total, featuring much more than mere re-enactments of their Flying Circus material:

In addition to famous Python skits, it will be a fully staged theatrical extravaganza with dancers and an orchestra. It will also feature a filmed appearance by Python Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, and a cameo for British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the Pythons said at a news conference.

The final show, on July 20, will be broadcast worldwide for the teeming hordes of you who won't be able to pop across the pond to see them live (tickets are still available, BTW). As I understand it, you'll be able to purchase tickets to see it streamed live in select theaters (go here for a list), with rebroadcasts on the 23rd and 24th. I also wouldn't discount the probability of a DVD release somewhere down the line.

As a lifelong Monty Python fan, this is bittersweet if not entirely unexpected news. Part of my childhood Saturday night viewing experience was watching Saturday Night Live, then switching over to PBS to watch the Flying Circus, and like many other nerdy adolescents, I annoyed the hell out of everyone in earshot with my ability to repeat entire Python movies from memory. It's the end of an era, and as such, I will reach back to my awkward teen years to share my favorite bits.

No, not those bits.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar