We’ve no room for dead parrots, flying circus, silly walks, or arguments… or do we? This week, we’re talking about fans of that iconic English comedy group that are definitely not snakes: Monty Python!
Next week, we’ll be travelling to Themyscira to learn about fans… of Wonder Woman!
History and Origins:
Monty Python (or The Pythons) were a group of British comedians for formed a surreal comedy group and created their own sketch comedy show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus which first aired on the BBC in 1969. The group consisted of six members, who you may know from many different works: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. As a group responsible for their own comedy writing and performances, they went on to create many different work including at least three movies (Holy Grail, Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life), 5 years of their television program, and several specials and other live performances.
Their influence on British comedy has been apparent for years, while in North America, it has coloured the work of cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live through to more recent absurdist trends in television comedy. “Pythonesque” has entered the English lexicon as a result.
— Wikipedia - Monty Python
Looking at search data for Monty Python, interest in Monty Python has been on the decline since 2004. The most dramatic change was between 2004 and 2010, but has otherwise been quite slow (and mostly flat). Nonetheless, there have been some spikes in interest in July 2014 (Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go), November 2013 (a reunion to pay for legal fees for Spamalot!), and October 2009 (Monty Python: Almost the Truth - The Lawyer’s Cut).
The top ten countries for Monty Python, by search interest, are: United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Czechia, Canada, Poland, and Finland.
Size of Fandom:
Given the age of the works of Monty Python, it is quite difficult to get an accurate assessment of the size of the fandom as we are well past the time of their zeitgeist. That being said, here is the data that we have:
- The Monty Python Subreddit has over 7500 subscribers
- The IMDB page for Monty Python and the Holy Grail has over 400 000 ratings
We were unable to collect any other data, so a rough estimate of fandom size today probably puts it within the low millions.
Famous fan works:
It’s hard to draw a line between inspiration and fan works, but in this case, one example sticks out: Spamalot!, a musical ‘ripped off’ from the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- Archive Of Our Own has upwards of 170 fan works related to Monty Python’s works or actors (the largest of which are real-person fiction (RPF) at 86 works)
Last Episode’s Famous Last Words
Why does reciting a thing that you’re watch make it better??
How important is it to a fan to have grown up watching it?
Why do so many groups ape Monty Python given a lot of their appeal is their absurdity and unpredictability?
Is being a Monty Python fan being an Anglophile (or vice versa)?
T is out. Understands the significance… but meh.
G is in. Super in. Grew up loving it. Might be nostalgia.
Z is in. Will still watch occasioo
This week’s spotlight
We started doing silly walk marches in Brno, Czech Republic in 2012. After few years Monty Python’s officials contacted us to spread the march worldwide!
We want YOU to organize the march in your city! Send a message and tell us why you are the one who can handle all the stuff needed to make the Silly Walk happen in your city on 7th January every year!
— Silly Walks - The International March
Famous Last Words
This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, Wonder Woman!
As we found in the Barbie episode… is there a Wonder Woman fan who strives to look like Wonder Woman (to the extreme)?
Is Wonder Woman more popular with men, or women?
At what point did she lose her bizarre weaknesses (and was that influenced by the times)?
Are there fans out there who see Wonder Woman as an American patriotic symbol? If so, how does that work?
Where can you find us online?
We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:
- If you want to help us to create more amazing fannish content, become a patron on Patreon; even as little as a dollar a month pledge really helps us out!
- If you want to be part of our podcast (or just want to check us out), we record our podcast LIVE on twitch.tv every Monday at 20:00 Eastern Time!
- For all the latest updates, check us out on Facebook or Twitter
- To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on Instagram
- For our latest convention updates, Let’s Plays, and other in-real-life video, check out our YouTube channel
- We’re also on iTunes, and Google Play, and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
- if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
- Everything is
thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
What is “Fanthropological”?
How did you read this far without asking this question?!
Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.
Who is “The Nickscast”?
We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative (dare we say, the most creative).
We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.
We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.
- Google Trends - Monty Python
- Wikipedia - Monty Python
- Archive Of Our Own - Monty Python RPF
- r/montypython - Home
- IMDB - Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- ExplainXKCD - 16: Monty Python – Enough
- Independent - Resistance is futile. ‘Monty Python’ is part of a 60s cultural hegemony that grips us to this day
- The Guardian - Monty Python reinvented British comedy - despite the odd ‘crap’ sketch
- BBC News | Talking Point - Monty Python - Still Funny?
- Debate.org - Is Monty Python Influential?
- Fanlore - Monty Python
- Fanlore - The Complate Monty Python
- howardjohnsonblog - About Kim “Howard” Jonson
- Know Your Meme - Monty Python
- Monty Python Official Site - FanWall
- New York Times - Eric Idle Leads Monty Python to the Web
- Quora - How Do You Feel about Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ Today, 38 Years After its Initial (Controversial) Release?
- Quora - Is There an Under-Appreciation for Witty Comedies Today, Compared to the likes of Mel Brooks & Monty Python for Example?
- Quora - What Is Your Review of Monty Python?
- Quora - What Was the Point Behind the Alien Scene in “Life of Brian”?
- Quora - Who Is Your Favorite Member of Monty Python?
- The Awl - The Before and After of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”
- The Daily Beast - Why You’re Wrong About Monty Python
- Wikipedia - Kim “Howard” Johnson
- Wikipedia - Starlog
- YouTube - Elvis was a Python-Fan
- Youtube - Monty Python fan! Ep: 6 “Stories from The Anglo-Files”, Meet Joan in Burberry!
Music / Sound
- Outro music for this episode, The Liberty Bell March performed by Woodstock Present
- All other music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!