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20 Amazing Monty Python Facts

#1 Using coconuts

The running joke of the knights riding around on invisible horses with the sound of the horses hooves clopping coming from their squires clapping coconuts together came from the fact that the group didn’t have enough money in the budget to afford actual horses. They had originally planned to use real horse’s but went with the coconut’s cut in half which was a stroke of genius. The group came up with the coconut idea from an old BBC radio practice of using coconut halves as sound effects for horses.

#2 Tim the Enchanter

The Enchanter’s name is Tim because John Cleese forgot the character’s original name. He ad-libbed the line, “There are some who call me…Tim”. Watch the clip and see him pause before saying the name ‘Tim’

#3 The biggus Dickus scene

The actor’s that played the guard’s in the famous ‘Biggus Dickus’ sketch did not know what the scene entailed and Michael Palin told them not to laugh or their pay check would go down. Hence they tried so hard not to laugh.

#4 Talking to death

In The Meaning of Life, Graham Chapman is the first actor to  talk to Death. Later, Chapman was the first member of the troupe to die in reality. Is this a coincidence ?

#5 Graham Chapman was an alcoholic

Graham Chapman was an alcoholic. This caused problems, especially during “The Holy Grail“. When he walks across the Bride of Death, it was very difficult of him to accomplish the task. He almost fell over, and many other scene’s had to be re-filmed or postponed due to his drinking.

#6 One of the Beatles stumped up the cash

Former Beatle George Harrison stumped up the $4 million budget for Monty Python’s Life of Brian which went on to make $20 million at the box office.

#7 The castle was a Plywood cut-out

Monty Python and the Holy Grail was shot on a tight budget and filming had to stop regularly when the castle, a plywood cut-out, kept falling over in the wind.

#8 Spamalot

Eric Idle‘s musical Spamalot, based on the Holy Grail movie, made more than $175 million in its first Broadway run. All the Python members received a cut of the profits, and it’s still running today with show’s all around the UK.

#9 It’s blasphemous!

Many council’s, including a few that didn’t even have cinema’s within their boundarie’s, banned Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979 saying it was blasphemous.

#10 John cleese’s daughter

In the filming of The Black Knight scene John’s daughter was watching the scene and said after ” Daddy didn’t like that man did he? ”

#11 The Black knight fight scene

The fight between the Black Knight and the Green Knight was acted out by John Cleese, and Terry Gilliam. Both actors decided against using stunt doubles and had a great old time knocking the hell out of each other.

# 12 Even Michael Palin Gets Angry Sometimes

Michael Palin is known for his gentlemanly behavior, but there was one instance during filming when he lost his temper: the plague pit. After 13 or 14 takes of Palin crawling about in the muck, he lost it and started beating the ground with his hands – something John Cleese thought was hysterical. After all of the drama, most of these scenes were cut from the final film.


#13 Rock and Roll

Made on an incredibly small budget, the Pythons found funding from an unlikely sources—rock bands. Groups like Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, and Pink Floyd helped get the money up for the production, with a portion of the funds coming from the Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon.” This is a trend that would continue later with The Life of Brian, when a large portion of the funding came from former Beatle George Harrison. When Harrison was asked why he funded the film, he responded “Because I wanted to see it.”

#14 Many roles

There are several great moments of casting in the film. Beyond the Pythons doing their usual bit of playing multiple roles, several other notable individuals appear in the film. John Cleese’s then-wife, Connie Booth, appears as the witch for Sir Bedevere’s scene. Michael Palin’s own son William appears in the film (as a photograph) for “Sir Not Appearing in this Picture”. Python songwriter Neil Innes appears three separate times as one of the self-flagellating monks, a squire who gets the Trojan Rabbit dropped on him, and Sir Robin’s lead minstrel. Lastly, though Cleese plays most of the Black Knight’s part, a local blacksmith named Richard Burton (really) plays the role after the Black Knight gets his leg chopped off, as Burton was missing a leg.

#15 The killer rabbit

The owner of the actual white rabbit used in the “killer rabbit” scene was not very pleased to find out that the red dye used as blood could not be washed out.  The cast spent quite a long time trying to scrub the rabbit clean before giving up.

#16 Sir not appearing in this film

Sir Not Appearing in This Film is actor Michael Palin’s son.  The hand that turns the pages before the gorilla hand snatches it away is that of Terry Gilliam’s wife (Gilliam himself wore the gorilla hand).

#17 Google search

The average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow,Because of the movie has become an extraordinarily popular for online google search.

#18 Sword issues

Pay close attention, you will notice that Sir Lancelot actually breaks his sword while running to rescue a damsel in distress as he goes up the stairs (who is actually Herbert).  Also, Herbert’s potential wife goes from having blood on her face to having none on her face in a matter of moments after Lancelot slays many wedding guests.

#19 Everyone can see you’re not Jewish!

When it came to filming the scene where a nude Brian exposes himself to a crowd of disciples, Terry Jones pointed out an issue with Chapman’s genitalia “We can see you’re not Jewish.”.

To give himself the circumcised look Chapman found use of a rubber band to help him look the part.

#20 Filmed in a hurry

Chapman wasn’t allowed to be in the UK for more than 24 hours at a time during the filming due to tax reasons. This didn’t matter much as most of the movie was shot in Tunisia, but the scene where Brian travels inside an alien spacecraft was shot in London. He had to hurry to the set, film and leave before his 24 hours were up.







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