Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!

By Gary L. Hardcastle; George A. Reisch | Go to book overview

3

What Mr. Creosote Knows
About Laughter

NOËL CARROLL

And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony,
Deformed creature, on a filthie swyne:
His belly was up-blown with luxury,
And eke with fatnesse swollen were his eyne,
And like a Crane his necke was long and fyne,
With which he swallowed up excessive feast,
For want whereof poore people oft did pyne;
And all the way, most like a brutish bear,
He spued up his gorge, that all did him deteast.

In shape and life more like a monster, than a man.

—Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

Part VI: “The Autumn Years” of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life begins with a song about the glories of having a penis which is appreciated by all the audience in the cabaret, including the talking fish in an aquarium in the vicinity of the piano. The fish have the human faces of the Monty Python crew superimposed over their bodies and they call to mind something of the unsettling hybrid creatures found on hellish landscapes by Hieronymus Bosch, the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Dutch artist. Their enjoyment of the ditty, however, quickly van-

-25-

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