“Who wants to see that again, really?” said Mick Jagger yesterday in a video released to introduce the Monty Python reunion, which begins tonight at the O2 in London. “It’s a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money”.
The group’s surreal TV shows and feature films in the 1970s and ’80s inspired a new generation of comedians including Tina Fey, Mike Myers and Matt Groening. According to comedian Eddie Izzard, “they proved, without knowing it, that humour is international and not national”. And now they’ve convinced a Rolling Stone to parody himself.
Monty Python’s influence extends far beyond comedy. Seven asteroids have been named after them; a woolly lemur discovered in 2005 was called Avahi cleesei after John Cleese; a species of fossil python found in 1985 was named Montypythonoides riversleighensis. There is even a computer programming language called Python, with references to the troupe embedded in its code.