by Hans ten Cate
Sunday, 22 February 2004

The December 2003 issue of Maxim Goes to the Movies rated a Monty Python scene as the funniest ever

Recently, men's magazine Maxim published its second ever issue of Maxim Goes To the Movies (December 2003), honoring the trendiest, hippest, and sexiest things in cinema.

The issue includes an eight-page spread entitled The 50 Funniest Movie Scenes of All Time. The line-up includes scenes from such priceless film comedies as Airplane, Dr. Strangelove, The Odd Couple, and Blazing Saddles. And the funniest film moment ever, according to Maxim, goes to the Mr. Creosote restaurant scene from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

Originally the sequence had been nearly rejected by the Python chaps as being not funny enough. Later, the Pythons gave the scene another read-through and kept it in. In the recent Pythons Autobiography book, Michael Palin says: “Creosote, I think, was one of the best hings that Python has ever done in terms of elevating some tiny idea to a sort of great Gothic extravaganza.”

Python fans would be interested to note that the 50 funniest moments also includes the following gems:

  • #21 Monty Python and the Holy Grail - The French Taunters - with John Cleese as the chief rude Frenchman yelling creative insults to King Arthur
  • #12 Life of Brian - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - sung by the Python boys during their crucifixion
  • #6 South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut - "Uncle Fucka" - the dirtiest song and dance number for the animated film, featuring a cameo by Eric Idle
  • #3 A Fish Called Wanda - "Kevin Kline goes for Sushi" - John Cleese's romantic bank-robbery film, in which bad-boy Kline gobbles up Michael Palin's favorite pet fish

The article also includes a Q&A with John Cleese about the Mr. Creosote scene and the possibility of a Python reunion. John is lured into agreeing that if you had a $100 burning a hole in your pocket, you could bet on a reunion, but don't bet on it being funny. “A big part of Python onstage was the energy,” says Cleese, “and I'm not sure if we could produce that now over two hours on a big stage.”