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Monty Python to reunite in New York for troupe's 40th anniversary

August 18, 2009 |  2:30 pm

1969_GroupPic_B&W

Monty Python fans in Los Angeles have been looking on the bright side of life since "Spamalot" -- the Broadway musical based on the irreverent 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" -- opened in July at the Ahmanson Theatre (the medieval madness ends Sept. 6). 

But here's some cheery Python news from the Big Apple: The Pythons will meet again to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the creation of the troupe on Oct. 15 at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City.

While the event will feature no cows being flung by catapult (a highlight of both the stage and screen versions), the reunion will involve the complete troupe: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin (to the best of Culture Monster's knowledge, no relation to Sarah).

In fact, today's press release even states that Graham Chapman -- who died in 1989 -- will be in attendance. We don't know what's up with that -- but this release does acknowledge that only the "surviving members of the Python team" will sit down for a Q&A after the show.

By the way, did you know that you can buy for the kiddies the Monty Python and the Holy Grail Catapult Playset, a miniature version of the catapult that comes complete with not only miniature cows but launch-able sheep and ducks? Hours of fun. But we digress...

John Cleese The reunion, sponsored by the Independent Film Channel (IFC) and the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA), also serves a commercial purpose:  It will promote a new IFC documentary, "Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)."  The New York event will include a screening of the theatrical version of the documentary; IFC will air the full six-hour version during the network's six-day "Pythonathon" launching  Oct. 18.

At the reunion,  BAFTA will also present the Pythons with a special award to honor their outstanding contributions to film and television.

None of the Pythons were available for comment Tuesday (especially Graham Chapman). Said Cleese in a prepared statement in reference to the pending award: "I believe these trinkets are more important than people think."

Meanwhile for those who prefer their Monty Python, er, without Monty Python: As previously reported on Culture Monster, the very busy Idle and Hank Azaria, former star of Broadway's "Spamalot," are taking their show on the road with "An Evening Without Monty Python" playing at the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood Sept. 23-Oct.4 and at New York's Town Hall Oct. 6-10.

-- Diane Haithman

Photos: The Pythons in 1969. Credit: Monty Python. John Cleese. Credit: Mark Baker/Associated Press

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