When I was growing up, my parents really didn't go in much for children's entertainment. Sure, if the TV was free I could get my fix of Jem, but otherwise, I was just going to have to watch whatever my parents felt like watching -- and my Dad loved -- and I mean loved -- Monty Python. So while most kids were glued to Saturday Morning Cartoons, I was in front of the boob tube watching a crappy video copy of Monty Python and The Holy Grail -- but here's the weird thing, I loved it.
Since 1975, devotees and self-pronounced geeks have been quoting the film into the ground. Annoying? Maybe, but how can you not love lines like, "Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government"? Grail was technically Python's first "proper" film that wasn't comprised of their sketch comedy format, and it was no easy task getting it into theaters. Python had money problems, the weather was hardly cooperating, and Graham Chapman was in the midst of incredibly difficult detox -- none of which would make for a very happy set, but, you would never know by what's on the screen.
Python's retelling of one of the most classic figures in English history has remained with me over the years, and while my favorite moments may have changed, it's as funny as when I first sat down to watch it with the folks. So maybe at the age of 8, I was convinced the rabbit gag was the funniest thing ever, but here I am in my 30's and now the anarcho-syndicalist peasants have moved up the list. But the important thing is that nothing will ever diminish my respect for one of the greatest comedies ever made.
Holy Grail Trivia:
- The original script had Arthur and his knights finding the Holy Grail at Harrods.
- Pink Floyd were such big fans of Monty Python's Flying Circus, they used funds from The Dark Side of the Moon to help Python with the financing.
- The inspiration for the killer rabbit (Run Away!!) came from an actual panel in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. In a series of images depicting the faults of man, cowardice is shown with a knight running away from a rabbit.