Anyway, Michael has a way with playing shopkeepers and doing funny voices that always makes me laugh, and he seems like a genuinely nice, likable person. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about him from the other Pythons, and in some ways, I think of him as the Ringo of the Monty Python Troupe, because he seems to have always gotten along with everyone else. I believe he is the youngest member of Monty Python, although he’s only about a month younger than Eric, and his Python sketches were always acted with a charming boyish quality that I love dearly. I’ve made a pact this summer to start watching his travel shows, which I’ve heard are great, and from the clips I’ve seen on Youtube, I fully agree. I also read today that he received this year’s BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award, which made me very happy! So, to celebrate his birthday, here are some of my favorite clips of Michael Palin being his lovely, hilarious self!
Here’s a scene from The Rutles with Michael as Rutles press officer Eric Manchester. And yes, that’s George Harrison as the interviewer! Not even a mustache, wig, and glasses can disguise those fantastic cheekbones…
One of my favorite scenes from Life of Brian, and perhaps Michael’s shining moment in his Python career. The suppressed laughter of the Roman guards in this scene is apparently real because they did not know the script, and they were told that if they laughed at anything Michael said, they would be fired. Obviously, they weren’t actually fired, but I’d imagine that hearing this for the first time on set would make just about anyone laugh their head off.
Ah, yes, it’s… Bicycle Repairman! This sketch never fails to make me laugh, even though I know exactly what’s coming. It’s just hilarious!
I actually first watched this sketch in Euro class, when we were learning about the Spanish Inquisition. I tried not to laugh too much while in class so as not to appear obnoxious, but when I watched the full episode, months later, in the comfort of my own home, I could not stop laughing! This is truly a classic moment in the history of Monty Python, and because of this sketch, I don’t think anyone will EVER expect the Spanish Inquisition!
That’s all I’ve got for now. Once again, happy birthday Michael Palin!!! I love you!!!