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Forty years on, Monty Python is often called the most influential British comedy ever. In fact, it had almost no influence at all

By Sam Leith   October 2009

The essence of Python: six men and silly facial expressions

“Ti tum ti-tiddly-yip ti-tum, ti-tum ti-tum ti-tumm, di dom di-diddly-yip di-dom, di-dom di-dom di-dommmmm…” Hum along now. It’s time for Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It’s 40 years this October since the first episode took wing on the BBC. And it’s a decade since Terry Jones said, mock-complaining: “One of the things we tried to do with the show was to try and do something that was so unpredictable that it had no shape and you could never say what the kind of humour was. And I think that the fact…

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