REST IN PEACE TERRY JONES
This week, we lost Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. Terry was the second Python I was introduced to. I was 12 years old ad working Saturdays at a local cattle auction. I normally arrived back home around 11:00 pm smelling like cow poop. I was a huge fan of Saturday Night Live, but by the time I cleaned up… cow poop takes a long time to remove… I had time to see one skit on Saturday Night Live.
I recall one night, I was a bit wired on soda. My mom had a two liter of Coke sitting out and I was so thirsty. Before I knew it, I drank the entire two liter. I showered and watched the last skit from Saturday Night Live. Instead of going to bed, I decided to see what was coming on next. The next show began with a bum walking slowly up the the television. It took the guy about a minute, the camera angle panning away as the man drew closer. It was Michael Palin. Once Michael finally got to the camera, he said his clasic line… or word… “It’s….”
Next up was a shot of Terry Jones who was butt naked playing an organ. After a slip second we were off to the opening credits. I had been introduced to Monty Python’s Flying Circus and my life would never be the same. I was 8 years into my dream of being a cartoonist and suddenly I had a new, sillier vision on humor. I was hooked. Back in the 1970’s, we did not have the internet. Heck, we did not have DVR services. Okay, get this, we did not even have VCRs yet!
I had to wait an entire week to see each episode. It became my biggest joy in life. For nearly a year, I was educated on silly walks and the dangers of llamas. Then, one evening, the spot was replaced with SCTV, a Canadian television show starring a troop of comedians including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, and Catherine O’Hara. This replacement show was very entertaining but it was never a replacement for Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
The television show never returned to the midnight lineup. The troop sued to have the show removed from syndication because the commercials did not fit the artistic vision. It would nearly a decade before I would get to watch Monty Python again when I found a local video store who carried episodes for rental. That was one of the happiest days of my life.
Terry Jones will continue to be a huge inspiration on my cartoons. Rest in peace Terry,