Aberystwyth Uni studies Monty Python's 'lasting appeal'

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Monty Python cast
Image caption,
Left-right: Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin

A new study has been launched looking at the comedy sketch show Monty Python's "lasting appeal".

Aberystwyth University researchers are asking people what they enjoy about the programmes and films.

Monty Python is considered one of the enduring icons of British popular culture in the 1970s and 80s and is still popular now.

But Kate Egan, leading the study, said that "doesn't tell us what people really enjoy about them".

"Clearly, and after nearly 50 years, Monty Python's popularity has continued to grow," she said.

"What is it that different people most remember and value about their encounters with Python - whether on television, at the cinema, on stage, or in front of the record player?

Image caption,
L-R: Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman and John Cleese

"Whether people love them, like them, are entertained or irritated by them; whether their views on Python have changed or stayed the same; whether they first discovered them in 1969 or only recently, I'm interested in people's thoughts, experiences and memories."

The surreal comedy group gained prominence in 1969 with its sketch comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Written and performed by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, 45 episodes were broadcast over five years.

Monty Python went on to produce feature films including The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, live stage shows, albums, books and musicals.

In 2014, the Monty Python team were reunited on stage at London's O2 arena.