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The 20 Best Monty Python's Flying Circus Sketches

July 12, 2011  |  7:30am
10. Woody and Tinny Words
In which Graham Chapman, Carol Cleveland and Eric Idle debate the “woodiness” and “tinniness” of words such as “litter bin,” “sausage,” “recidivist” and “caribou.”

9. Nudge Nudge
With this sexual innuendo-laden sketch, Eric Idle brought the phrase “nudge nudge, wink wink” into popular British speech.

8. Spam
Reportedly, this sketch was influenced by the rationing of meat (or lack thereof, in spam’s case) in Britain during WWII. Here we see a cafe, run by Terry Jones as a pepperpot, that serves spam in every dish, including Lobster Thermidor.

7. The Lumberjack Song
One of the best-known Python numbers, “The Lumberjack Song” was created in 15 minutes, according to Michael Palin in a 2007 interview with NPR. In the sketch, Palin sings about his dream of being a lumberjack while backed by a chorus of Mounties. As the song progresses, he ends up sharing more about his dream than the Mounties wanted to know. “The Lumberjack Song” was also honored by several members of The Beatles. During his 1974 North American tour, George Harrison would play the song over P.A. systems before he took the stage. And in the 1990 Christmas Special episode of Shining Time Station, Ringo Starr as Mr. Conductor sings the intro of the song.

6. Reporting a Burglary
How these Pythons keep from bursting into hysterics during this skit remains a mystery. Their ability to switch instantly between high- and low-pitches and speed-talking shows true comedic skill.

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