Gods of Atheism: Monty Python (October 5, 1969 – October 4, 1989)

Okay…no, Monty Python is not dead.  The end date was the date Graham Chapman passed away and, of course, the other five members are still living…unless you count Douglas Adams who was, allegedly, the only non-performing member of the comedic troup.  With this post, Monty Python becomes the second “group” entry onto this list…the first being the Canadian rock band, Rush.

“God was treated like this powerful, erratic, rather punitive father who has to be pacified and praised. You know, flattered.” – John Cleese

“We don’t deliberately set out to offend. Unless we feel it’s justified.”  –  Graham Chapman

Monty Python first appeared on British television on October 5, 1969.  The respective members of the group had worked on projects prior, but their first production together was the premier of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

“There is barely a country in the world where you will be completely safe.” – Michael Palin

The group officially consisted of John Cleese, likely best known these days as Harry Potter’s Nearly-Headless Nick; the aforementioned Graham Chapman;  Michael Palin, though better known for the line spoken by Kevin Kline of “Kah-kah-kah-Ken is coming to kah-kah-kah-kill me!” in A Fish Called Wanda he has more recently been working on travel documentaries; Eric Idle, best known for some of his singing parts;  Terry Jones, of course known as Mr. Creosote eating a wafer but also took the co-directing helm for Monty Python and the Holy Grail; and cartoonist Terry Gilliam who since co-directing Holy Grail has also sat behind the cameras on films such as The Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys.

“Actually, I began to think that maybe there is a god, after all. Or maybe it`s a different one. The old one got fired.” – Terry Gilliam

Quick point on Twelve Monkeys.  It is interesting when you figure that Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt are, like Director Gilliam, very open about their atheism.

To take a step further back…I did mention Eric Idle’s songs…and for atheism, this one is one of the best.

Nothing was sacred to this group of men as they took on everything from sex ed, to the story of Christ, to even the purchasing of a parrot.  On the Christ story, Python did the film The Life of Brian…the story of Brian whom is mistaken for a messiah after being born in the stable next door.

Perhaps this particular group of funny men should have been added earlier on in this list…but they definitely deserve to be included.

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