Tag Archives: Terry Jones

Spam, Spam, Spam, Terry Jones, Spam, Spam And Spam

I really don’t think I can write anything that hasn’t already been said about Monty Python. A pioneering group of comedians who changed British, and indeed, the world of comedy forever. I could sit here and talk about things like the parrot sketch, the lumberjack song, silly walks, spam and all that… but it’s been done hundreds of times over already

The sad news of Terry Jones’ death, while upsetting, was hardly a shock. He’d been suffering from dementia for a while now. He was diagnosed with the awful disease back in 2015, or as he put it…

“I’ve got dementia, you know. My frontal brain lobe has absconded.”

–  Terry Jones

Yet even while on limited time and slowly loosing his humanity, his mind, his very person, he still remained active. According to Terry’s very close friend and fellow Python, Michael Palin, Terry loved to go for long walks, enjoyed a beer, loved watching classic movies and would talk as much as he could, right up to the point where the dementia eventually took over. Having lost family members to dementia myself, I know just how soul destroying it is.

Terry Jones

I can’t really remember how or when my love of Monty Python began, but I do remember my older brother having a copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail on VHS and us watching and re-watching it, almost to the point of it becoming religious. It was probably the first film that I recall that I could watch and watch, yet never get bored of it. I knew all of the dialogue by heart and would quote the film in every day life. I could re-enact scenes with pinpoint accuracy. Knew the lyrics to all the songs (“I have to push the pram a lot.”). I loved and still love the absurd silliness of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Of course, there were more Python films. The epicly funny and hugely controversial Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the bizarre Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. They did several live shows over the years including a reunion with all the remaining Python members in 2014, Monty Python Live (Mostly). This was where his fellow cast first noticed something was not right with Terry. He was known among his colleges to be fantastic at remembering lines. But during this live show, he had to rely on cleverly hidden cue-cards and a teleprompter to deliver his dialogue correctly and on time. If you have ever seen the show, then you can really tell Terry was struggling at times, yet he still did it for the fans and for himself.

Terry co-wrote and directed all of the main Python films, but his talents went way beyond just being part of one of the most famous and influential comedy troupes ever. He had a very successful TV and movie career outside of all the Monty Python stuff as a writer, director and actor. He wrote the screenplay for one of my all time favourite childhood films…

Labyrinth

Labyrinth, a wonderful melding of Jim Henson’s puppets, fantasy story telling and David Bowie’s codpiece. Loved this film as a child and still adore it today. You can really tell Terry wrote this one, the humour is there, it has that distinct Jones flavour and style. Terry also wrote and directed the overlooked Absolutely Anything. A fun comedy about a man (Simon Pegg) who is given the power to have/do anything he wants by some aliens… who are all played by the other surviving Pythons. It’s also the final film of Robin Williams.

Terry also loved history and wrote many books covering medieval history for children and adults. Terry Jones’s War on the War on Terror was a collection of articles and editorials published as a paperback condemning the Iraq War. He also wrote several poems that were featured in the long running Poetry Review magazine. In 2016, Terry Jones received a Lifetime Achievement award for his outstanding contribution to television and film.

There is just way too much to cover that this man was responsible for. His talent never seemed to end. He was funny, articulate, charming, clever and sadly, now gone.

I guess there is only really one way to bring this article to an end…

Life of Brian

Terry Jones 2

“I don’t think people who have children are acting selfishly or unselfishly. Having a child who’ll be loved, to parents who love each other, is the important thing.”

–  Terry Jones

Labyrinth

We have lost a legend.

poster

Little Bit of History: Released by Lucasfilm in 1986 and directed by Jim Henson with a screenplay by Monty Python’s Terry Jones. A magical mixture of music, dance, comedy, thrills and puppets. Labyrinth was the first film ever to feature a fully computer generated animal.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: 15 year old Sarah has to babysit for her younger brother, Toby. Frustrated by Toby’s constant crying, Sarah wishes for the goblins to take Toby away…and they do. Sarah must then enter the eponymous labyrinth and try to get to the castle in the middle to reclaim her brother from The Goblin King.

Little Bit of Character: Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is joined by a cast of amazing and wonderful characters including; Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus and his (sometimes) faithful dog Ambrosius. All topped off with Jareth-The Goblin King (David Bowie) and his impressive codpiece.

Little Bit of Influence: The film went on to inspire a manga sequel called; Return To Labyrinth. As well as a prequel graphic novel which is in the works announced by Archaia Studios. There was even a sequel film that almost made it to the big screen called; Curse of the Goblin King, but ultimately is was decided to take the film in a different direction and the film was reworked and relased as MirrorMask in 2005.

Little Bit of Memories: I don’t really recall the first time I saw this, but whenever it was, it made a lasting impression on me. It a film I have grown with and love more and more each time I see it.

Little Bit of Watchability: This has to be my favourite non-Muppets Jim Henson puppet film. I often watch some old films I loved as a kid and can never work out why I liked them. This film is one I find even more enjoyable now than I did (almost) 30 years ago. The story is simple but it really works. Sarah is a loveable heroine and the characters she meets are equally as enjoyable (must mention the little worm she meets near the beginning: “I’m just a worm. Say, come inside, and meet the missus.”). Brilliant cast of fun, outrageous characters all levelled out with the main villain, Jareth played perfectly by the recently gone David Bowie.

Jerad

Jareth:You remind me of the babe…

Bowie

David Bowie:I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.

Thanks for the music and everything else over the years David.

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