From a TV show to movies to a Broadway musical to this summer’s Monty Python reunion shows, the cultural influence of the British comedy troupe is immense. Here are just a few of the many tributes to the group from those who should probably know better.
- Officials in the Norwegian town of Ørje recently decided to have some fun when it came time a crosswalk signs. Instead of a generic stick man, the sign has a silhouette of John Cleese doing his routine from Monty Python’s “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch. While the sign is technically illegal, it received the mayor’s approval. “Clearly, one should listen to the authorities, but this kind of fun should be allowed,” she said.
- In 2010, SpaceX launched a rocket containing a wheel of cheese into orbit. Why? To honor Monty Python’s “Cheese Shop” sketch. It was also the first time a private business managed to send a craft into space and have it survive a fiery re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere.
- The word “Pythonesque” has popped up in several reference books in recent years. The Oxford English Dictionary even lists the word, defining it as: “Denoting or resembling the absurdest or surrealist humor or style of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a British television comedy series (1969-74).”
- Various Monty Python sketches, cast members, and the troupe itself have also served as the namesakes for everything from rock bands to fossils. Alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket derived their name from one of Eric Idle’s monologues. An archaeologist dubbed a prehistoric snake Montypythonoides riversleighensis in 1985. A rare lemur was also named after Cleese: the “Avahi cleesei.”