He’s Quite Dead.

“Who’s your favorite Python?”

This is a question that always stumped me. It’s like giving me a piece of chocolate cake and asking what my favorite ingredient is. For a friend of mine, though, the question was always an easy one.

“Terry Jones. He’s so wonderful as a grumpy old woman.”

There’s no question that there was a particular type he played better than any other. Whether he was the mother of a reluctant martyr in The Life of Brian, the more sympathetic mother of a young man who’s disgraced his novelist father by becoming a coal miner, or slinging Spam he was always brilliant.

I’ve enjoyed his documentaries that he played—mostly—straight. For me, nothing will ever surpass Herbert, the young prince who just wanted to sing from Monty Python & The Holy Grail, although so many of his other lines just from that film made it into regular conversations with my friends. Seriously, we couldn’t get through a day without saying, “And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped” or “What, the curtains?” or “Oh Dennis, there’s some lovely filth down here!”

He was also a prolific author who wrote serious works on history as well as fairy tales and books for children like Strange stains and mysterious smells: Quentin Cottington’s Journal of faery research. Somehow I’ve missed that book up until now but I’ll have to pick it up.

And I’ll never forget the evening that I was with some friends in a British pub, sitting around chatting quietly. We were talking, for some reason, about the baggage retrieval at Heathrow, and the jukebox, by itself, suddenly started playing “I’m So Worried”. It was as though he was right there with us.

Hail and farewell Terry Jones.

 

 

 

 

Facebook Comments

16 Comments

  1. Mila

    Hey, how you been. I’m reaching out with a personal request. I’ve been kind of working on a book. And would appreciate your time as an honorary reader, mostly for feedback. Let me know if you’d be down for that.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Hey. It’s nice to hear from you. Yes, I’d definitely be down for that. I’m honored to be considered for the role of honorary reader.

      Reply
      1. Mila

        Squill, what would be the good email address for that?

        Reply
        1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

          Check your inbox. If I’ve copied the one you’ve provided here correctly you should see one from me. If that doesn’t work then try spunkythewondersquid (at) gmail.

          Reply
  2. mydangblog

    So many good memories of him and his wonderful humour. You know how big a Python fan I am—this is such a loss.
    mydangblog recently posted…Where’s The Fire?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It really is a big loss, although I like John Cleese’s statement: “Two down, four to go.” Although–and I wish I’d gotten around to writing something about it at the time–the earlier loss of Neil Innes was also a big blow to all of us Python fans. Where would we be without Sir Robin’s minstrels?

      Reply
  3. The Huntress

    I’m a huge Monty Python fan, he will be missed. Loved their skit about re-enacting the battle at Pear Harbor, it’s hilarious. Just a bunch of men, dressed like old women fighting in the mud……ahhh good times, good times.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’d forgotten the re-enactment of the battle of Pearl Harbor! Thank you so much for reminding me of that. Somewhere Terry Jones said he thought they were at their funniest when they didn’t know what they were doing, and that skit was so damn funny because you can tell they didn’t do much planning. They just had an idea and went for it.

      Reply
  4. thehuntress915

    I love MP, loved their skit of the re-enactment of the battle of Pear Harbor, a bunch of men dressed as women fighting in the mud…..ahhh good times, good times. 😎

    Reply
    1. thehuntress915

      Autocorrected again…..ugh Pearl not pear….🙄

      Reply
      1. thehuntress915

        I don’t know why two of my comments posted, but oh well….

        Reply
  5. Arionis

    I had a feeling you would be posting soon when I heard about the passing of Terry Jones. RIP!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      He will indeed be missed. I’ve missed some other important ones recently–Neil Innes in particular should always be remembered as part of Monty Python even if he wasn’t a regular member, but, yeah, Terry Jones will be very much missed. So…can we have your liver then?

      Reply
      1. Arionis

        Haha! They might as well take it, it’s not doing me any good!
        Arionis recently posted…I Love Mark Zuckerberg! (and that other guy too.)My Profile

        Reply
  6. Ann Koplow

    That scene with Herbert is one of my favorite Monty Python scenes, Chris, and thanks for publishing another one of my favorite posts.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That scene with Herbert is one of my favorites too and I used to make my friends laugh by not only doing the entire scene from memory but also because I could impersonate Herbert so well. There was definitely something special about Terry Jones.

      Reply

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