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Funny / Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Short answer to Crowning Moment of Funny for Monty Python and the Holy Grail:


Really, it's a Crowning Movie of Funny.

Long answer:

  • The opening credits with inserted subtitles. The subtitles in faux Swedish have nothing to do with the movie or the credits at all.
    • The opening film as well. Back when the movie was first released, it was a fairly common mistake by the cinemas to put in the wrong film and roll it anyway, since the audience had paid to see a movie. Here came this film that did it on purpose and people found it hilarious.
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    • "A møøse once bit my sister."
    • The producers halt the credits in order to get rid of the Swedish subtitlers... only to have the second team of credit-makers still obsess over moose being in the film. THAT team gets sacked, with a third team of credit-makers hired on from some South American firm... that quickly inserts llamas into the credits. Somehow, this is ignored... or more likely the producers just gave up at that point.
      We apologize for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked.
      (After the moose non-sequitur continues) We apologize again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.
      (After it still continues) The directors of the firm hired to continue the credits after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked. The credits have been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.
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    • They then state that, short on time and due to the lack of decent credits, the producers will insert their own cheap, last-minute credits. What follows is an epilepsy-inducing nightmare. Filled with llamas and Mexican music. It's quite obvious that the film makers just gave up at this point.
    • "Mind you, møøse bites can be really nasty..."
    • One last note, because the credit-makers were all sacked the ending credits didn't exist.
  • The very first scene after the credits. A sound of horses... followed by one guy pantomiming horse riding while another behind him claps coconut halves together.
    • And then that's followed by Arthur trying to get a castle guard to let him speak to the castle's master, which starts with the guard lampshading the presence of the aforementioned coconut halves in medieval England. Which then shifts to the first guard and another guard getting into a Seinfeldian Conversation about swallows and their carrying capacity, at which point Arthur just gives up and leaves. Really sets the tone for the movie.
      Guard 1: Where'd you get the coconuts?
      Arthur: We found them.
      Guard 1: Found them? In Mercia? The coconut's tropical!
      Arthur: What do you mean?
      Guard 1: Well, this is a temperate zone!
      Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun, or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land!
      Guard 1: ...Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
      Arthur: Not at all! They could be carried!
      Guard 1: What? A swallow carrying a coconut?!
      Arthur: It could grip it by the husk!
      Guard 1: It's not a question of where it grips it! It's a simple question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut!
      Arthur: Well, it doesn't matter! Will you go and tell your master that Arthur from the court of Camelot is here?
      Guard 1: [is silent for a moment] Listen, in order to maintain airspeed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
      Arthur: [exasperatedly] Please!
      Guard 1: Am I right?
      Arthur: I'm not interested!
      Guard 2: [interjecting] It could be carried by an African swallow!
      Guard 1: Oh, yeah, an African swallow, maybe, but not a European swallow, that's my point.
      Guard 2: Oh, yeah, I agree with that.
  • The entire "Bring out your dead!" sequence...
    Peasant: [carrying an old, obviously not-dead man] Here's one — nine pence.
    Old Man: I'm not dead!
    Dead Collector: What?
    Peasant: Nothing! Nine pence.
    Old Man: I'm not dead!
    Dead Collector: Ere, he says he's not dead.
    Peasant: Yes, he is.
    Old Man: I'm not!
    Dead Collector: He isn't.
    Peasant: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
    Old Man: I'm getting better!
    Peasant: No, you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment!
    Dead Collector: Oh, I can't take him like that; it's against regulations.
    Old Man: I don't want to go in the cart!
    Peasant: [to the old man] Oh, don't be such a baby!
    Dead Collector: I can't take him...
    Old Man: I feel fine!
    Peasant: Oh, do us a favor...
    Dead Collector: I can't.
    Peasant: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
    Dead Collector: Naaah, I got to go on to the Robinsons. They've lost nine today.
    Peasant: Well, when is your next round?
    Dead Collector: Thursday.
    Old Man: I think I'll go for a walk!
    Peasant: [to the old man] You're not fooling anyone y'know. [to the dead collector] Look, isn't there something you can do?
    Old Man: ♪I feel happy... I feel happy!♪
    [the dead collector takes a quick look around and then whacks the old man on the head with his club]
    Peasant: [loading the now dead old man on the cart] Ah, thanks very much.
    Dead Collector: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
    • As Arthur rides disdainfully by...
      Peasant: Who's that then?
      Dead Collector: I dunno, must be a king.
      Peasant: Why?
      Dead Collector: He hasn't got shit all over him.
    • And then the French dump crap all over him near the end. Literal crap.
  • In the scene with the monks hitting their faces with the tablets, there's one who's way too early. Watch him after and it's obvious the actor's trying not to screw up again by waiting for everyone else to hit first. Starts here at :22 on the right, second to last guy.
    • The chanting is a standard funeral rite meaning roughly "Merciful Lord Jesus, grant them rest." In context, though, you could interpret it as "Jesus Christ, make it stop!" Or "dear God, give them a break."
  • Dennis the anarcho-syndicalist peasant taking apart the legend of the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur, to the increasing annoyance of Arthur:
    King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
    Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!
    King Arthur: Be quiet!
    Dennis: Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!
    King Arthur: Shut up!
    Dennis: If I went 'round sayin' I was an emperor, just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!
    • Even when Arthur finally loses it and starts to drag him off, Dennis still won't shut up. "Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!"
    • "Bloody peasant."
  • Arthur's duel with the Black Knight.
    • "'Tis but a scratch." "A scratch?! Your arm's off!" "No, it isn't." [points at his severed arm] "Well, what's that then?" "...I've had worse." "You liar!" "Come on, you pansy!"
    • "Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!" (...) "Just a flesh wound!"
    • "Right! I'll do you for that!" [passionately exasperated] "You'll WHAT?"
    • "What are you gonna do, bleed on me?" "I'M INVINCIBLE!" "You're a loony."
    • Two more missing limbs later... "Ooh, ooh, I see, running away, eh? YOU YELLOW BASTARD!! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!!"
      • And before that, the Green Knight attempting to take down the Black Knight with his sword, then a flail, then a battle-axe. The first two are straightforward attempts, but then the Green Knight simply resorts to running at the Black Knight screaming and holding his axe above his head. The Black Knight simply throws his claymore and stabs the poor guy through his helmet.
      • Neither of them really cover themselves with glory, either. The entire fight feels one stumble away from devolving into complete flailing, which just becomes even funnier when contrasted with Arthur's effortless dismantling of the Black Knight.
  • The "burn the witch" scene.
    Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she's a witch?
    Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt!
    Sir Bedevere: A newt?
    Peasant 3: ...I got better
  • Bedevere tries to reason with the mob with some bizarre science:
    Bedevere: What else do we burn apart from witches?
    Villager 1: MORE witches!
    Villager 2: (nudges him) Shh!
    Villager 3: Wood!
    Bedevere: So, why do witches burn?
    (very, very long pause while the villagers think)
    Villager 2: 'Cause they're made of...wood?
    • During the long pause Eric Idle suddenly starts biting down on his scythe; he was that close to losing it entirely.
    • After being put to Bedevere's test and failing, the witch grumbles:
    Witch It's a fair cop.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Your average wood duck weighs only six pounds, and even the largest waterfowl have trouble capping 40. An adult woman only weighing that much is utterly ridiculous, unless there was some tomfoolery with her weight. Which implies Bedevere was right all along.
  • The Camelot Song
    Arthur: Shh!
    • "... On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."
  • When King Arthur meets God.
    • Firstly, God's a picture of W.G. Grace.
      God: Oh, don't grovel! One thing I can't stand, it's people groveling...
      Arthur: Sorry.
      God: AND DON'T APOLOGIZE!! Every time I try to talk to someone it's "sorry" this and "forgive me" that and "I'm not worthy"... WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW!?
      Arthur: I'm averting my eyes, O Lord!
      God: Well, don't! It's like those miserable Psalms, they're so depressing. Now, knock it off!
    • And then...
      God: Arthur, King of the Britons, your Knights of the Round Table shall have a task to make them an example in these dark times.
      Arthur: Good idea, O Lord!
  • Any appearance of the French.
    French Guard: You don't frighten us, English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person! I blow my nose at you so-called Arthur King! You all your silly English k-nnnnni-gits! (blows raspberies while tapping the top of his helmet)
    Sir Galahad: What a strange person.
    Arthur: Now look here, my good man-
    French Guard: I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
    • "What are you doing in England?" "MIND YOUR OWN BIZNESS!"
    • The French bombarding Arthur and his men with livestock. "Fetchez la vache!"
    • "EYY, THIS ONE IS FOR YOUR MOTHER!" [throws duck]
  • The failed attempt at entering the French castle in a "Trojan Rabbit", particularly Sir Bedvedere's reaction upon realising the problem (hint: he's supposed to be in the rabbit at the time). "I... uh... look, if we built this large wooden badger..."
    • The French promptly catapult the rabbit back out and it lands on a coconut-carrying squire.
  • The song by Sir Robin's minstrels, by the end of which Sir Robin is looking rather uncomfortable:
    Minstrel: (singing)
Bravely bold Sir Robin
Rode forth from Camelot.
He was not afraid to die,
Oh brave Sir Robin.
He was not at all afraid
To be killed in nasty ways.
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin.

He was not in the least bit scared
To be mashed into a pulp.
Or to have his eyes gouged out,
And his elbows broken.
To have his kneecaps split
And his body burned away,
And his limbs all hacked and mangled
Brave Sir Robin.

His head smashed in
And his heart cut out
And his liver removed
And his bowls unplugged
And his nostrils raped
And his bottom burnt off
And his penis-
Sir Robin: (interrupting) That's enough music for now, lads. There's dirty work afoot.
  • "Brave Sir Robin ran away!"
  • "We are the Knights who say... Ni!"
    • "We want... a shrubbery!" [Scare Chord]
    • "...Then, you must chop down the tallest tree in the forest. WIIIIIIIITH...A HERRING!" [Scare Chord]
    • "Oh please."
    • The completely serious way Eric Idle declares himself to be "A Shrubber. I design, arrange and sell shrubberies." As if this was ever a real profession or guild. He even sports tiny bushes as guild markings on his clothes!
    Roger the Shrubber: Are you saying 'ni' to that old woman?...Ah what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say 'ni' at will to old ladies.
The Tale of Sir Galahad.
  • Galahad the Chaste meets the maidens of Castle Anthrax. He gets more and more uncomfortable until Zute insists he sees the doctor, at which he promptly tries to get away.
    • The doctors are another two very young maidens.
    Sir Galahad: They're doctors?!
    Zute: (evasively) They have a basic medical training. (to the girls) Dr Piglet, Dr Winston, practice your art.
    • Galahad wants to face the peril...of spanking and oral sex.
      Launcelot: We were in the nick of time! You were in great peril.
      Galahad: I don't think I was.
      Launcelot: Yes you were, you were in terrible peril!
      Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
      Launcelot: No, it's too perilous.
      Galahad: But it's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can!
      Launcelot: No, we've got to find the Holy Grail. Come on!
      Galahad: Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?
      Launcelot: No. It's unhealthy.
      Galahad: ...Bet you're gay.
      Launcelot: Am not!
    • The script called for Galahad to give Lancelot a "knowing look".
    • There were only a hundred-and-fifty of them.
      • And they hadn't a chance.
    • "Do you think this scene should have been cut? We were so worried when the boys were writing it. But now we're glad! It's better than some of the previous scenes, I think."
      Three-headed Knight: At least ours was better visually.
      Dennis the Peasant: At least ours was committed and wasn't just a string of pussy jokes.
      Old Man from Scene 24: Get on with it.
      Tim the Enchanter: Yes, get on with it!
      Army of Knights: YES, GET ON WITH IT!
      Dingo: Oh, I am enjoying this scene.
      God: Get ON with it!
  • All of Sir Lancelot's Quest. No really, all of it.
    • [Arrow hits his squire through the chest] "Message for you, sir!"
    • "One day, lad, all of this will be yours!" "What, the curtains?"
    • "All I want to sing!" "NO SINGING!"
    • "She's got huuuuuge... tracts of land..."
    • The confusion with the two guards, one of whom has hiccups.
    • Lancelot running towards the castle with dramatic music, but making no ground. They cut between him and the guards watching five times before he suddenly gets there.
    • The Rampage of Sir Lancelot.
    • On his way up the stairs, he stops to chop a bouquet of flowers before proceeding with his rampage.
    • "You got my note!" "Well, uh... I got a note..."
    • "He's come to rescue me!" "Well, let's not jump to conclusions..."
    • "You see, I thought your son was a lady..." "Well, I can understand that!"
    • "Now then, now then, this is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who!"
    • Lancelot going out of his way to kill people on his second trip up the stairs.
    • The King's description of building a castle in the middle of a swamp. The first one sank into the swamp. The second one sank into the swamp. The third one burned down, fell over and THEN sank into the swamp.
  • This:
    "There, they met sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad. And there was much rejoicing."
    "In the frozen land of Nador, they were forced to eat Robin's minstrels. And there was much rejoicing."
    • Bonus: the "Yaaaay" for eating Robin's minstrels was a bit less Flat Joy than the one for meeting Lancelot and Galahad.
  • Tim the Enchanter hyping up the Beast of Caerbannog:
    Tim: And so, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage, come no further! For death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth!
    Bedevere: What an eccentric performance.
  • The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.
    • "What, behind the rabbit?" "It is the rabbit."
    • This little exchange after they see the rabbit is just wonderful:
      Tim: Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!
      Sir Galahad: Get stuffed!
      Tim: He'll do you up a treat, mate!
      Sir Galahad: Oh yeah?
      Sir Robin: You manky Scots git!
      Tim: [thoroughly offended] I'M WARNING YOU!
    • "JEEZUS CHRYST!!!" "Ooh. I've done it again..."
      • "RUN AWAY!"
      • Sir Robin on the ground with his shield up while getting away from the Rabbit is the same as his pictures in the book earlier in the movie.
    • "O Lord, bless this thy Holy Hand Grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy..."
      • "And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and large chu..."
        "Skip a bit, brother."
    • "Three is the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Thou shall not count four. Nor shall though count two unless thou then proceed to three. Five is right out!"
    • "...who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."
      "One, two, five!"
      "Three, sir!"
  • The cave containing the last words of Joseph of Arimathea:
    Brother Maynard: 'Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Arimathea. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the Castle of (puts on a pained face and voice) aaarrrrggh...'.
    Arthur: What?
    Brother Maynard: 'The Castle of...aaaaaargh.'
    Bedevere: What is that?
    Brother Maynard: He must've died while carving it.
    Launcelot: Oh come on!
    Brother Maynard: Well, that's what it says.
    King Arthur: If he was dying, he wouldn't bother to carve "Aaaarrrgh"! He'd just say it!
    Sir Galahad: Perhaps he was dictating.
    King Arthur: Oh, shut up!
  • All leading, of course, to the dramatic entrance of the legendary Black Beast of AAAAARRRRRRGGGHHH!
  • The Bridge of Death.
    • "What... is the capital of Assyria?"
      • "...I don't know that!" [ejected into the Gorge of Eternal Peril]
    • " your favorite colour?"
    • "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" "What do you mean? An African or European swallow?"
      • "...I don't know that!" [ejected into the chasm]
        Bedevere: How do you know so much about swallows?
        King Arthur: Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know.
  • The Ending, because who the hell expected that?


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