The Knights of Ni will ride again: Monty Python, the seminal British sketch comedy group best known for its long-running TV series Monty Python's Flying Circus, and movies Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is reuniting for a live stage show, according to The Sun. The five surviving members, now all in their 70s — John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones — have reportedly signed on to the project. Idle himself tweeted on Tuesday: "Python meeting this morning. Can't wait. Press Conference Thursday will apparently be live on Sky News. I'll get you the online URL." It's unclear how many performances are in store and the full details of the reunion have yet to be revealed, but are expected at Thursday's press conference.
Monty Python disbanded in 1983 after the premiere of its movie The Meaning of Life, and some of the founding members have collaborated since then, but the last official performance was a brief, shared stage appearance back in 1998. The group also did a recent video interview for the 30th anniversary of The Meaning of Life. Monty Python pioneered a mix of absurdist humor and slapstick, intercut with psychedelic animations by Gilliam, that was later widely imitated by other TV sketch comedy groups, including Saturday Night Live.
Even after they went their separate ways, the members of Monty Python all enjoyed varying degrees of success on their own, and the Monty Python brand spawned numerous cultural offspring, including the musical Spamalot! and several recent iPad apps. The core team included a sixth member, Graham Chapman, who died in 1989 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. His death was long-cited by the surviving Python members as one of many reasons not to regroup, but it appears that sentiment has changed now. Whatever form the reported reunion takes, let's hope the Pythons remember to bring on the spam.