January 22, 2020

Terry Jones, Screeching Harridan, Passes Away

Terry Jones, one of the members of Monty Python, became the nude organist for the choir invisible today.  He was 77.

Sadly, he'd been suffering from a rare form of dementia since 2016 and had lost the ability to speak over a year ago.  Best known for his work with the legendary comedy troupe, Jones was also an accomplished director, historian and children's book author.

A few months ago, I wrote about the effect Monty Python's Flying Circus had on my sense of humor, but it was only today I discovered that Jones was the "inventor" of the show's non-ending ending... a sketch has gotten lost along the way to the punch line?  Have a knight in full armor walk in and hit somebody over the head with a rubber chicken. Have someone in uniform declare everything to be too silly and cut to another sketch.  Simple and stupid, sure, but funny as hell and I've used the same technique in my writing here at The Pond over the years.

I had just glanced at my phone after briefly waking up this morning and saw the news that he had died, and I can't explain just how strongly it affected me.  I mean, beyond rolling over and going back to sleep.  I've long outgrown the concept of personal heroes, but the Pythons are the closest I might possibly have anymore.  They've been one of the few things that I can say have always been a part of my life... at least, as long as I've been aware of such things.  And now I've gotten old enough to see them begin to go away.  Hard to come to grips with such thoughts at nine in the morning..

And now I'm going to go watch the Spam sketch.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:52 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 My memorial viewing is The Story of 1, since The Crusades and Medieval Lives are both a bit long of a commitment for my available free time lately, unfortunately. I like that Jones and Palin both got into doing fun documentary-style shows as a late-career thing to do. Palin's travelogues are amusing, and Jones' historicals are a marvelous blend of humor and serious-historian material.

May his memory be a blessing.

Posted by: GreyDuck at January 22, 2020 10:44 PM (rKFiU)

2 He does a fair job imitating Douglas Adams, if you ever played, read, or listened to Starship Titanic.

Posted by: Ben at January 23, 2020 09:41 AM (osxtX)

3 Terry Jones provided us with some great humor, and his loss is a tragic blow.  But I'm going to break my normal rule and beg for new content, so that when I come to your page I'm not confronted by naked middle aged man at a piano.

Posted by: David at January 29, 2020 09:09 PM (rweeV)

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