Monty Python are to celebrate their 50th anniversary in style this Autumn, with a series of special events being scheduled to ensure that the Television comedy legends’ talents are fittingly remembered. ‘The Independent’ reported that the events seemed especially timely in what is becoming “an increasingly Pythonesque world”, with highlights expected to include a temporary takeover of the BBC and an attempt on a world record on 5th October for the number of people dressed as Gumbys at a single gathering.

The Monty Python- themed festivities will start on 1st September, with a month-long season planned plus the slightly unusual Guinness world record attempt featuring Gumbys, who as every Python aficionado will know were regular distinctive characters in many of their famed sketches. For those wishing to participate in the record attempt, they will need to sport the trademark garb of round wire glasses, a sweater vest, wellington boots, a toothbrush moustache and the essential knotted white handkerchief on their head.

Specials on Radio 4 and BBC2

BBC Radio 4 have announced that they plan to air specials during the celebration, including material that has never previously been released. Not to be outdone, BBC2 will be trawling their extensive archives to showcase key moments from the Python legacy.

Fifty years since ‘Monty’s Python’s Flying Circus’

The oddball antics of the likes of Messrs (John) Cleese, (Michael) Palin, (Eric) Idle, (Terry) Jones and (Graham) Chapman have become fabled in Comedy folklore over the years, ever since their inspired if somewhat unusual collective talents hit British television screens in the late 1960s.

Supported by the imagery and animation of the equally zany American- born Terry Gilliam, the Python troupe initially presented their unique brand of surreal humour on the BBC in the form of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” in 1969, which ran for 4 series over forty-five episodes.

Success outside Python

Fifty years later they are still fondly remembered by connoisseurs of British comedy, with Cleese and Palin especially never too far away from our television screens. Cleese along with Connie Booth created the impeccably crafted tour de force that was “Fawlty Towers”, while Palin moved in a slightly different direction with a series of popular light-hearted travel documentaries that earned him plenty of accolades and financial rewards.

Sadly, not all of the original Monty Python members are still alive to witness their 50th anniversary commemorations, as Chapman – who played the lead character in the spin-off films “Holy Grail” and “Life of Brian” - tragically died of cancer in 1989.

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