Whether or not you’re a Monty Python fan, it’s hard to deny the influence of the troupe’s first cult classic on contemporary comedy.
On Thursday, May 15, funnyman John Cleese will introduce Monty Python and the Holy Grail as part of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ film series-he’ll also stick around to answer some questions afterward. The film is filled with slapstick one-liners (like the ultimate classic, “What’s your favorite color?”) and outlandish physical comedy stunts. It’s a world where King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table parade around with their lackeys on foot, making the sound of horse hooves with coconut shells just for effect. It’s a place where an enemy warrior who has lost his arms and legs in the heat of battle threatens to bite off his opponent’s kneecap-and that’s just scratching the surface of the film’s wealth of wry, uproariously funny moments. Add to that the fact that Cleese himself will be on hand to give his two cents on the whole charade, and you’ve basically concocted a cinephile’s dream screening. (According to Cleese, he’s “the most spiritually distinguished of the Monty Python group, as well as the tallest and fifth nicest Python.”)
A gifted actor and writer who made cinematic history when he took on the role of the Black Knight in The Holy Grail, Cleese’s wry humor has also graced the big screen by way of films like A Fish Called Wanda and Shrek the Third. In addition, Cleese established Video Arts, a production company that creates witty business training videos. Luckily for us, he stars in most of the videos, which have turned out to be widely successful. Among his many other achievements, Cleese has taken home the prestigious Special Jury Prize at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival for Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, an Emmy award for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy Series for his work on an episode of Cheers, and the 1994 Jack Oakie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy from the Screen Actors Guild.
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this entertaining, guaranteed-to-be-hilarious evening this Thursday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. in UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu for tickets.