Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin -- known collectively as Monty Python -- changed the face of comedy with a bold, irreverent approach that has influenced virtually everyone who has come after them. HBO honors this revolutionary British troupe when the exclusive special U.S. COMEDY ARTS FESTIVAL TRIBUTE TO MONTY PYTHON, hosted by Robert Klein, debuts SATURDAY, MARCH 21 (11:00 p.m.-midnight ET).
Other playdates: March 23 (8:00 p.m.), 26 (10:00 p.m.) and 31 (9:30 p.m.), and April 8 (12:30 a.m.) and 13 (3:35 a.m.).
Taping March 7 in front of a live audience at the Wheeler Auditorium during the 1998 U.S. Comedy Arts festival in Aspen, CO, the tribute includes a clip retrospective of classic Python routines from their TV series and films. In addition, a question-and-answer session with Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones and Palin marks the first time in nine years that the surviving members of Monty Python have been together.
Launching in 1969, the British TV series "Monty Python's Flying Circus" took comedy to bold new heights, tackling subjects ranging from sex, racism and politics to mice, mollusks and dead parrots, interspersing absurdist sketches with the outlandish visuals of Gilliam (the only American in the group). Python's irreverent, deadpan humor became a sensation both at home in Britain and in the U.S., and the troupe went on to star in five films: "...And Now for Something Completely Different," "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Monty Python's Life of Brian," "Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl" and "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life."
U.S. COMEDY ARTS FESTIVAL TRIBUTE TO MONTY PYTHON is directed by Paul Miller; executive producers, John Moffitt, Pat Tourk Lee and Stu Smiley.