web analytics

RIP Terry Jones

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, January 23rd, 2020 - 16 comments
Categories: humour, Satire - Tags:

Sad overnight news with the death of Terry Jones being announced.  He was part of Monty Python, a ground breaking comedic group from the 1960s and 1970s whose movies are as outlandishly funny now as they were when they were released 40 years ago.

Their movies were very clever with devastating critiques of social norms.  And left wingers and class politics were fair game.  Like this scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Or this scene from Life of Brian.

Their humour at times cut right to the edge of what could be considered to be acceptable.

I think that humour may have peaked with their efforts.  Thankfully because of the power of digital media their efforts will live on.

16 comments on “RIP Terry Jones ”

  1. tc 2

    His direction of Life of Brian John Clesse described as perfection. Couldn't agree more, RIP

  2. gsays 3

    One of the funniest men.

    His and Palin's 'Bert Feggs Nasty Book for Boys and Girls' was a long time favourite.

    As Adam says above his historical efforts are superb. His series on the Crusades was very informative without being dense.

    A great director too.

    • McFlock 3.1

      His historical work seemed to have fresh eyes, and a great appreciation of the people involved. I think he was one of the first to argue Chaucer's Knight was something other than a romantic figure – a simple mercenary.

      Comedians often have a slightly different perspective on things.

  3. joe90 4

    Sir Michael Palin on the passing of his friend and fellow Python.

    • joe90 4.1

    • joe90 4.2

      • swordfish 4.2.1

        Pretty sure Terry Jones's (slightly obscured) "Awww, fucking hell" before he takes a nip was the first time NZ TV ever broadcast the F-word (probably only because the censors somehow missed it). Rik's reply: "Farrrk !, it's a bit early for that, isn't it ???" being the 2nd time.

        Broadcast mid-1985 (almost exactly 10 years after Monty Python's first airing here).

  4. Kevin 5

    This from The Guardian comments section:

    I was 15, writing scripts, and not knowing what to do with them (at my school there wasn;t so much a lack of interest, but a lack of anyone to even offer interest in, in my grim 80s comprehensive) so I sent them to 'Monty Python'. Monty Python seemed like gods. I had never written to anyone like that, and never did again.

    A few weeks later I got a lovely letter from Terry Jones, some notes on my sketches, some annotated Python scripts and a recommendation to speak to Paul Jackson, which led to me going to the BBC and spending a day with Rik & Ade.

    I was literally no one, and that act of kindness has always stayed with me.

    RIP Terry

  5. swordfish 6

    On a Personal Note:

    (I'll transgress the unwritten etiquette by touching on personal business just this once …)

    Terry Jones got a key mention in my funeral eulogy for my older brother, Dennis, in Oxfordshire, 2016. (No relation to his manure-gathering Anarcho-Syndicalist Peasant namesake in Holy Grail … see first clip in this post).

    As I said in the eulogy, Monty Python's Flying Circus was by far the key cultural event of our childhoods (all 4 series were broadcast back-to-back on TV1 through the middle of 1975). Remember it like yesterday … from 8pm we had to sit through a whole dreary hour of god-awful light entertainment in the form of The Rolf Harris Show (less said about Rolf the better) … but as 9pm (& hence MPFC) approached we both started getting butterflies of excitement in the pit of the stomach (the only other time that automatically happened for me as a kid was immediately before we kicked off in Saturday soccer … Python & Soccer … both dominant in our childhoods) …

    … just an audacious, razor-sharp, intellectually-erudite (though rarely pompous) & often hilariously brutal satire in an otherwise turgid landscape of unwatchable, corny, cheesy, weak-kneed family values American sit-coms and almost equally abysmal Old School tits & bums seaside postcard British comedy (Sid James / Love Thy Neighbour …).

    Only very occasionally marred by the kind of smug & self-satisfied excesses that you might normally expect from an Oxbridge Elite over-indulged for much of their lives.

    Despite being a relatively low income family, our Parents (bless them) always bought the merchandise for our birthdays + xmas … all the Python books & vinyl.

    A few days after Dennis's death, I was reading through some of the vast library of books he'd accumulated in his Oxfordshire enclave over the years (contemporary, medieval & ancient history, politics, football, cult movies, punk rock, 19C travel guides, Roman Maps, bird species guides, histories of comedy) & I came across this from Terry Jones in The Pythons' Autobiography:

    My elder brother, Nigel, was my guru in all things cultural. He formed my tastes. Told me what I could listen to and what I should avoid.

    Precisely the same relationship with Dennis & me … my tastes, preferences & irritations were profoundly shaped by his very firm ideas in distinguishing between the good & bad in both Popular & High Culture (typical INTJs for those still taken with Myers-Briggs).

    So, although John Cleese was very much Dennis's fave, I decided to give Terry Jones pride of place at the end of the Eulogy.

    As John Cleese has tweeted (see joe90 above) Jones directed what was, by common Python consent, by far the most enjoyable project any of them ever worked on … Life of Brian (in stark contrast to Holy Grail … the filming of which they all apparently hated with a vengeance).

    For me, though, Jones was probably at his best when he played particularly depraved, often potentially murderous, middle aged women (always with 5 o'clock shadows) … whether Mandy in Life of Brian, Dennis's Mother in Holy Grail, or Brian Equator's wife in MPFC.

    (Trigger-warning for permanently outraged Intersectionals with last paragraph)

  6. Sanctuary 7

    Whilst the world that gave us the Pythons – the brilliant parody of earnest student politics in the "Constitutional Peasant", the hilarious shared experience (at least by me – if my Latin teacher had been issued with a sword, our classes would have been exactly the same) of the martinet Latin teacher ("People called Romanes they go the house!") looks increasingly anachronistic, the satirical humour still contains lessons. How else, for example, is one to interpret the behaviour of elite politicians to the interference of genuine political grassroots except through the irritation shown by Arthur to Dennis the constitutional peasant?

  7. Obtrectator 8

    Great piece there by Swordfish.

    But regarding his previous post: I have to point out that the first time That Word was broadcast on NZ TV was back in 1979, by the late Arthur Baysting, right at the end of The Neville Purvis Family Show, in which he played the title character.

    (Incidentally, AB's death early in Dec last year seems to have gone almost entirely unnoticed. Rather odd, seeing he was active in the music industry right up to the end.)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago