March 03, 2009

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Wonderduck and Avatar are trying to come up with a list of geek canon, of things that someone would have to have watched/listened-to/read in order to be able to understand the kind of in-jokes that geeks tell each other.

My suggestion was "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

They've come up with a lot of other good choices, but most of them are one-joke ponies. I really do think that between them, Holy Grail and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" are the source of more geek in-jokes than everything else combined.

At least in the crowd I used to hang out with.

Regardless, now I have an urge to watch Holy Grail again, so I just dug out my copy.

UPDATE: My copy of it has a second DVD, and one of the things on the second DVD is live video of Palin and Jones going back to visit a bunch of the places where they did location shooting.

One of the more interesting stories is that originally they wanted to use several different castles, and had arranged to do so. Then, at the last minute, nearly all the castle owners changed their minds and cancelled. There was only one castle they were permitted to use heavily, and all the castle scenes were filmed there. They used different camera angles, and different set decoration, in order to make it not seem the same. (Successfully IMHO; I certainly didn't figure it out.)

The irony of the situation is that the main reason the other castle owners didn't want their castles used was because they didn't want the reputation for fear it would detract from their value as tourist destinations. And the castle that did in fact get used has turned into a much more attractive tourist destination as a result.

The gift shop there is full of Python memorabilia. Jones and Palin were rather amazed by how much of it there was.

It's kind of like the way that Portmeirion has been sustained as a tourist destination because it was used to film "The Prisoner".


African swallows
I'm not dead yet
Don't be such a baby
He hasn't got shit all over him
Strange women lying in ponds
Come and see the violence inherent in the system
Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
Bloody peasant!
'Tis but a scratch
I've had worse
Alright, we'll call it a draw
A witch!
No! No! No! Yes. Yes. A bit. (my single favorite line)
I got better
It's a fair cop
It's only a model
On second thought, let's not go there. It is a silly place.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 11:14 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 442 words, total size 3 kb.

1 It seems these days as if there are a half-dozen or more *really* heavy meme-generation sites (of which Tropes is certainly one, or at least a meme warehouse), all of which make heavy use of geek pop culture.  Whether it's a classic like Spam or something newer like "Nice Boat", some of them just seem to catch on and go viral.

I have to think that surely some linguist out there has written some papers on meme generation and in-jokes and how the Internet has facilitated the creation and spreading of this odd culture... if not, it seems too rich a ground to pass up.

Posted by: BigD at March 04, 2009 12:42 AM (LjWr8)

2 It's a relatively recent entry, but I've gotten a lot of good mileage out of Futurama quotes; there's one for every situation (much like the Simpsons), many of them are quite geeky or reference something quite geeky, and best of all, they aren't tapped out from people quoting them for 20 years.

One of my favorite lines is "Now, now, perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.". Unfortunately, my brain doesn't work in a way that would allow me to just list off the good quotes, I can only come up with them associatively.

Posted by: Jeremy Bowers at March 04, 2009 07:31 AM (2AlRs)


Don't forget MPFC's other classic: Life of Brian -- Although some of them work best with two or  more people.

"Sex, sex, sex, that's all you ever talk about. You're 36 years old now!"

"You are all individuals!"  "We are all individuals"  "I'm not!"

"Call me Loretta."

"You lucky bastard!"

"We should all unite to fight the true enemy!" "The Judean People's Front!"  "Nooooo, the ROMANS!"  "Oh yeah, them too."

"He has spiwit.  You thnow, a thense of therring thoo!'

"Shall we throw him to the floor, sir?"

"Biggus Dickus"  (enough said there...)

"He said Jehovah! Stone him!"

"Welsh tart!"

Posted by: ubu at March 04, 2009 08:51 AM (i7ZAU)

4   If you're going to have Life of Brian, you'd have to include the "Other than that, what have the Romans ever done for us" scene.

Posted by: pgfraering at March 04, 2009 02:47 PM (KXfJ3)

5 It's probably also worth mentioning that, by now, EVERYONE expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at March 04, 2009 07:48 PM (pWQz4)


pgfraering said:

If you're going to have Life of Brian, you'd have to include the "Other than that, what have the Romans ever done for us" scene. 

I wanted to, so badly, but I couldn't do it justice, it was so long.

Posted by: ubu at March 05, 2009 06:51 AM (i7ZAU)

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