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The 20 Best Monty Python's Flying Circus Sketches

July 12, 2011  |  7:30am

And now for something completely different.

With the much-loved British comedy troupe Monty Python making recent headlines, including their first reunion project since 1983, we’ve decided to honor them by creating a list of our favorite Flying Circus sketches. Below you’ll find 20 of the silliest, wittiest and most entertaining skits to grace our television sets.

20. Bruces
Though many Python sketches are known for being un-PC, “Bruces” goes to the extreme in abusing Australian stereotypes. Several Australian philosophy professors at the fictitious University of Woolamaloo, all named Bruce, bond over their love of beer and hatred of “poofters”—four of the seven faculty rules are even devoted to the latter.

19. Philosophers’ Football Match
At the 1972 Munich Olympics, two football teams face off in a heated match, refereed by Confucius. The Greeks, including Plato, Aristotle and Socrates, and the Germans, including Kant, Nietzsche and Marx, don’t so much duke it out kicking the ball as they do kicking around philosophical ideas.

18. The Visitors
Leave it to Eric Idle’s “Nudge Nudge” character, bickering couple John Cleese and Terry Jones, and a goat with diarrhea to ruin Graham Chapman’s romantic evening.

17. Department Store/ Buying an Ant
Who knew buying a pet ant could be so difficult? After dealing with countless annoyances from the department store workers, it’s a miracle that Michael Ellis—er, Chris Quinn—left with a purchase.

16. The Funniest Joke in the World
In this sketch, the Pythons take the phrase “a killer joke” to the next level. Appearing in the very first episode of Flying Circus, “The Funniest Joke in the World” shows a British joke creator writing the eponymous pun and dying from laughter. It eventually ends up in the hands of the British Army to use as warfare against the Germans in World War II.

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