Thursday, June 27, 2019

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Through a Kid’s Eyes

I’ve been a Monty Python fan from before I can remember thanks to Dad

I CAN remember hoping New Year’s Eve would line up with Sunday nights so I’d be allowed to stay up and watch The Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers on channel 13.

When I thought my daughter was old enough, I showed her a couple of Python clips on YouTube, which she enjoyed.  We tried watching the series but she wasn’t quite old enough to really latch on to it. She laughed a lot when they were on, but never  felt drawn back to them.

Now that she’s a teenager, and the series is digitally clearer on Netflix instead of my scratchy old tapes, we’ve returned to them with much greater success.

I found it interesting which sketches really stood the test of time in her memory from the earlier viewing. 

She remembered “The Lumberjack Song” but completely forgot the “Barbershop Sketch” leading up to it.  

Her favorites, past and present, were “Buying a Bed” and “How to Defend Yourself Against Fresh Fruit.” 

I have no explanation for these two, but I am proud of her deranged sense of humor.

And I think everyone remembers the Fish Slapping Dance.

The key point I want to make, though, happened between the two viewings of the series.

I showed her Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

This is a film I’ve seen an inordinate amount of times, watching it over and over with friends and family starting in middle school and through high school.  

Any showings at my engineering school were automatically de-facto “quote alongs” as everyone in the theater had seen it at least as many times as I had.

Watching it with my daughter was an amazing breath of fresh air, because here was someone who had NEVER seen it before.

It was a splendid reminder of how funny the film actually is.

For years, my experience of the film had been laughing and hearing laughter at the memory of the comedy.  Hearing her honest laughter at the actual jokes was a testament to the quality of what those geniuses had put together.

I mean, every geek of my generation quotes the Black Knight when any injury at all befalls us, but getting to see someone react to the complete insanity of that scene without knowing what was coming was beautiful

This is why we should share “the classics” with our children.  To both introduce them to what we love, and to get to re-experience why we loved them in the first place.

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