Terry Jones passed away this week at the age of 77. He was a member of the legendary comedy troupe Monty Python and had thus earned considerable fame, but his prominence had faded in the years since the breakup of the group. John Cleese and Eric Idle continued to appear in blockbuster movies, Terry Gilliam has become a highly respected director, and Jones’ former partner Michael Palin has filmed internationally acclaimed travelogues.
Terry’s interests lay in other directions; specifically, those of writing and history. Even as his old friend was showing people what the world around them was like, Terry was researching the roots of modern civilization.
He put his connections in the television and film industry to use making documentaries while continuing to produce a wide array of books on humor, history, and children’s topics. The man stayed busy, and he kept his hand in the humor business as a mentor and confidante of many up-and-comers.
The last few years of his life saw him dealing with neurological disease, including a progressively worse aphasia that left him unable to speak. Now, after his passing, his many friends are speaking for him in a variety of memorials.
So, a little bit of Terry Jones through the years as a tip of the hat to a man whose comedy brightened some of my days. A sample history program…
A cartoon he produced and co-created (but didn’t directly write), the first episode of which has a very familiar theme for those familiar with Monty Python…
Another show he co-wrote and co-starred in alongside Michael Palin was named Ripping Yarns, and featured silly takes on adventure stories:
And, of course, a sample from Monty Python:
Question of the night: What’s one of your favorite pieces of silly or absurdist humor?