Über Monty Python
Definitive sketch-comedy troupe Monty Python came to prominence with Monty Python's Flying Circus, which aired in Britain from 1969 to 1974 and ran a tank over the conventions of the time with absurdist humor, gleeful subversion and a visual style that incorporated super-duper surreal animation linking the sketches (and sometimes the entire show) together. In addition to the seminal show, the films Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life have all become worldwide staples of comedy. John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam made up the troupe. Cleese and Palin gained the most post-Python fame in film and on TV, while Idle found success on Broadway and Gilliam became known for his highly distinctive films (Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, Brazil). Jones went into documentary filmmaking and Chapman remained an actor and writer (Yellowbeard) and spoke at colleges before dying of cancer in 1989. Aside from a four-second shot of them all sitting in a closet in the 1989 BBC TV special Parrot Sketch Not Included, the troupe never reunited.