15 Things I Learned From Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

When life gets you down, watch Monty Python. Seriously, no one is above watching four hours of Monty Python clips on YouTube.

The other evening/early-early-morning, while brainlessly browsing the interwebs, I had a sudden maddening realization that I had never watched Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. I’m no Monty Python superfan, by any means. Sure, I quote the lines here and there (“A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat”) and hum the tunes to myself (“I’m a lumberjack and that’s okay…”) and maybe act out a bit (“NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISTION!”) on occasion. But I’m not obsessed. Really truly.

Anywho, I’ve seen Holy Grail and Life of Brian, but I had never gotten around to watching The Meaning of Life. This last movie of the troupe was definitely darker, grosser, and – ooh la la – nuder than their previous works. Coming out almost 10 years after Monty Python’s Flying Circus had ended, the guys still had their ridiculous, yet very self-aware brand of humor well in tact. However, this isn’t a review of the film; it’s simply an overview of what I took away from this engrossing piece of japing cinema. Here are 20 things I learned from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life:

1. Pirates are more noble than large corporations.

2. Not wasting sperm is difficult. It’s not like you could just get a vasectomy, you know?

3. Autumn is Nature committing suicide.

4. The Grim Reaper is no fun at dinner parties.

5. Graham Chapman was hella’ sexy in surrealist drag.

6. Read the fine print when applying to be an organ donor.

7. If you want to know what the afterlife looks like, book a stay at a corny burlesque resort during Christmas break.

8. The best way to die involves lots of naked women (who wear proper protection in all the right places).

9. Sex Ed is actually really boring (but better than playing the Masters in rugby).

10. There are tigers in Africa.

11. Always be nice to the maitre d’, especially if you’re a repulsive, gluttonous balloon of an individual.

12. We’re 30,000 lightyears from galactic central point and we go ’round it every 200 million years [Aside: Fact check shows this actually approximately true].

13. Knowing that our galaxy is only one of millions of billions in an expanding universe makes me feel insignificant. Might as well just give myself up.

14. Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.

15. Always look on the bright side of life. [Shhhh… Monty Python is all one big comedy sketch anyway…]

And there you have it, the main lessons from The Meaning of Life. I’ve been so thorough you don’t even have to watch the movie now. (Except for the fact that Monty Python is the meaning of life – so watch it. Now. It’s on Netflix.)

Let me leave you with one of my favorite surrealist scenes from the movie [Warning: Do not watch while on LSD]:

What do you think of Monty Python? What’s your favorite movie/sketch/member? Any lessons I forgot? Leave them in the comments below!

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16 thoughts on “15 Things I Learned From Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

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  5. Favourite film: The Meaning of Life. Favourite sketch: Ooh, there are so many but I love the argument sketch ‘That was never five minutes!!’ Favourite python: It’s a tough choice but I’m going to say John Cleese, but probably I’m being influenced by Fawlty Towers just a bit. Thanks for sharing this. It made me smile.

    • Haha! The argument sketch is classic. “Contradicting is arguing!” And I haven’t checked out Fawlty Towers, but I’ve heard awesome things about it, so it’s on my to-do list. Thanks, fellow Python lover 😀

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  7. I only watched the opening with the Cooperate pirates and I was like “NOPE!” and I turned off the TV. Crazy stuff.

  8. Monty Python and Ren and Stimpy taught me everything I thought I’d need to know about life. Everything after the age of 7 has been a massive let down.

    Monty Python introduced me to classical music, jokes about Proust, why being smacked in the face with a fish is the height of wit, different cheeses, sleazy gameshow hosts, Sam Peckinpah, BBC’s financial difficulties, spam, violence, mayhem and, of course, lumberjacks.

    And now for something completely different:

    pregnant woman: Is there anything I can do?
    Dr: Nothing, dear: you’re not qualified.

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