16: Monty Python -- Enough

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Monty Python -- Enough
I went to a dinner where there was a full 10 minutes of Holy Grail quotes exchanged, with no context, in lieu of conversation.  It depressed me badly.
Title text: I went to a dinner where there was a full 10 minutes of Holy Grail quotes exchanged, with no context, in lieu of conversation. It depressed me badly.

[edit] Explanation

This comic refers to the classic British sketch comedy group, Monty Python (active primarily during the 1970s and early 1980s) whose humour style was frequently based on surreal jokes that did not make sense. Their sketches are so popular that, as noted in the comic, many fans can repeat the dialogue word-for-word, and often do. This comic points out the inherent irony of repeating a surrealist sketch, as surrealist humour primarily depends on presenting something the audience does not expect. By repeating the sketch verbatim among those who have already seen it, the listeners know and expect the punchlines and jokes. This is akin to a common ironic concept of a teenager who wants to rebel against conformity by doing all the things his friends are also doing.

The Monty Python sketch in question here is the "Knights who say Ni" sketch about a group of knights who protect certain sacred words, including the word "Ni" (pronounced like "knee", but shortened and with more staccato). The image text refers to the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which the Knights sketch appeared.

The comic suggests that readers continue in the surreal traditions of Monty Python, and provides an example: The character in panels 3-6 interrupts his retelling of the sketch with what appears to be a traumatic recalling of the time he saw someone run a woman over with his car and kill her, before returning to the sketch. The surreal humour is that the character dismisses the significant and serious comment he has just made by returning to the sketch as if nothing happened.

The image text refers to how fans of Monty Python can go for long periods of time simply quoting the sketches, as one person quotes a sketch, another recognizes it and says another quote without context, assuming everyone will recognize it. Perhaps a more contemporary version of this might be Simpsons or Family Guy quote frenzies.

[edit] Transcript

Character #1 [Raising his hands]: We are the knights who say... Ni!!
Two guys and a girl: hahaha
Does anyone else find it funny that decades later, people are still quoting—word-for-word—a group loved for its mastery of shock, the unexpected and defiance of convention?
[Two guys looking at a third.]
Third guy: We are the knights who... Oh, God, I'm so sorry
[Close up to Third guy's face.]
Third guy: So sorry, the car just came too fast and
[Words crumpled inside the panel, there's barely enough space for the third guy.]
Third guy: She was right there and I saw her and then it was a blur and so much I ran to help didn't know what she wasn't moving I'm so sorry ... so sorry
[Same two guys looking again at the third guy.]
Third guy: Anyway, yeah, knights who say "Ni".
[Written centered, in marquee format.]
Monty Python:
Promote surreal humor.

[edit] Trivia

Comment.png add a comment!


An army of suicidal scotsmen are outside. They would like to object to your refusal to remember their plight. Davidy22[talk] 14:11, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Comic image broken

I'm hoping that someone else will notice this comment and fix it, since I'm not sure how to. -- 22:53, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

fixed. 03:57, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

People are always asking my why I spend so much time quoting Monty Python, but I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition! It's the meaning of life, Bruce. My mother just says "He's a very naughty boy!", but that might just be because I dress in women's clothing and hang around in bars. No, no, no, sorry, it's all getting too silly now. My brain hurts, and now for something completely different. It's... 16:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC) (PS., sorry for all this spam, spam, spam, spam and spam. Perhaps I should just have stripped naked and played with my organ, instead?)
Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?