16: Monty Python -- Enough

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Monty Python -- Enough
Original title: Support Surreal Humor
I went to a dinner where there was a full 10 minutes of Holy Grail quotes exchanged, with no context, in lieu of conversation. It depressed me badly.Original caption: Just sayin'. It's been 30 years now.
Title text: I went to a dinner where there was a full 10 minutes of Holy Grail quotes exchanged, with no context, in lieu of conversation. It depressed me badly.

Original caption: Just sayin'. It's been 30 years now.


This was the fifteenth comic originally posted to LiveJournal. The previous one was 15: Just Alerting You, and the next one was 17: What If.

This comic refers to the classic British sketch comedy group Monty Python, active primarily during the 1970s and early 1980s but also partly reunified in 2014, whose humor style was frequently based on surreal jokes that subverted sense and logic. Their sketches are so popular that, as noted in the comic, many fans can repeat the dialog word-for-word, and often do. This comic points out the inherent irony of repeating a surrealist sketch, as surrealist humor primarily depends on presenting something the audience does not expect. By repeating the sketch verbatim among those who have already seen it, the listeners know and expect the punchlines and jokes. This is akin to a common ironic concept of a teenager who wants to rebel against conformity by doing all the things their friends are also doing.

The sketch in question here is the "Knights who say Ni" sketch from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, about a group of knights who protect certain sacred words, including the word "Ni" (pronounced like the word "knee," but shortened and with more staccato). The comic suggests that readers continue in the surreal traditions of Monty Python, and provides an example: The character in panels 3-6 interrupts his retelling of the sketch with what appears to be a traumatic recalling of the time he saw someone run a woman over with their car and kill her, before returning to the sketch. The surreal humor is that the character dismisses the significant and serious comment he has just made by returning to the sketch as if nothing happened.

The title text and the original caption refer to how fans of Monty Python can go for lengthy periods of time simply quoting the sketches, as one person quotes a sketch, another recognizes it and says another quote without context, assuming everyone will recognize it. Perhaps a more contemporary version of this might be The Simpsons or Family Guy quote frenzies.


[The comic is drawn on blue-ruled graph paper.]
[A Cueball with raised hands talks to two other Cueball-like characters and one Megan.]
Cueball: We are the Knights who say... Ni!!
Cueballs and Megan: hahaha
[There is only text in the second panel]
Does anyone else find it funny that decades later, people are still quoting --word-for-word-- a group loved for their mastery of shock, the unexpected, and defiance of convention?
[Two Cueballs are looking at a hairy guy.]
Hairy guy: We are the Knights who... oh, God, I'm so sorry
[Close up of hairy guy.]
Hairy guy: So sorry, the car just came too fast and
[Words crumpled inside the panel, there's barely enough space for the hairy guy to the right and below the text. The last two words need to be to the right of him.]
Hairy guy: She was right there and I saw her and then it was a blur and so much I ran to help didn't know what she wasn't moving I'm so sorry
Hairy guy: so sorry
[The two Cueballs are looking again at the hairy guy.]
Hairy guy: Anyway, yeah, Knights who say "Ni."
[The last panel is also almost only text. The text is centered. Below is a drawing that looks a flat infinity sign with two small lines at the center.]
Monty Python:
promote surreal humor.


This was the first comic to be released on a Tuesday. It was released only 2 minutes before midnight at 11:58 PM.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


An army of suicidal scotsmen are outside. They would like to object to your refusal to remember their plight. Davidy22[talk] 14:11, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Comic image broken I'm hoping that someone else will notice this comment and fix it, since I'm not sure how to. -- 22:53, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

fixed. 03:57, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

People are always asking my why I spend so much time quoting Monty Python, but I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition! It's the meaning of life, Bruce. My mother just says "He's a very naughty boy!", but that might just be because I dress in women's clothing and hang around in bars. No, no, no, sorry, it's all getting too silly now. My brain hurts, and now for something completely different. It's... 16:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC) (PS., sorry for all this spam, spam, spam, spam and spam. Perhaps I should just have stripped naked and played with my organ, instead?)

"Always look on the bright side of life, always look on the right side of life." (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

In fairness, the urge to repeat things verbatim is the reason that The Odyssey, Beowulf, Cinderella, and countless other stories still exist. People aren't going to abandon the oral tradition just because it's become obsolete. 19:50, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes I really took a hit here. At some point I could have been one of the guys who bored Randall with the quotes. But if you think something is funny, then to hell with why it is funny. I think the movie is also funny after ten viewings. So it doesn't have to be surprising to be fun. But I am all for surreal humor though. If I ever get together with like minded people I would not stop quoting the movie again. And to Randall: "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!" :-D --Kynde (talk) 17:26, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Effective surreal humour is very difficult to achieve (see joke about death above). As much can be said for any art. However, no one is surprised when the fans of a surrealist painter like Dali revisit a painting, time and again. This, despite the fact that only once do you get the impact of seeing a surreal painting for the first time. As for the Monty Python fans, they aren't quoting "with no context." Firstly, the quotes are a shibboleth which implicitly grant the speaker entrance into the club of surreal humour fans. And secondly, it's an explicit sharing of the joy these comedy routines have brought people. It may not be as creative as inventing original material but, for most people who aren't Terry Gilliam, it's as close as they can get. Still, an overdose of fanboy/girl enthusiasm can sometimes cause a headache. If you know such a person, be kind to them. Get them something nice. Perhaps, a lovely shrubbery. --DP9000 (talk) 12:44, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

There is a community portal discussion of what to call Cueball and what to do in case with more than one Cueball. I have added this comic to the new Category:Multiple Cueballs. Since there is really only one Cueball that "talks" I think it is relevant to keep him listed as Cueball. Just made a note that the other two guys also looks like Cueball.--Kynde (talk) 17:43, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

This could also apply to asdfmovie. -- 20:16, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

Group Member Terry Jones also once expressed similar sentiments:

"Speaking at Monty Python Live At Aspen, a reunion show staged at the US Comedy Arts Festival in 1998, Terry Jones confessed he was unhappy with the group’s comic legacy.

“We tried to do something that was so unpredictable that it had no shape and you could never say what the kind of humour was,” he told the American comedian Robert Klein, who hosted the event. “And I think the fact that ‘Pythonesque’ is now a word in the Oxford English Dictionary shows the extent to which we failed.” " (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)