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Family Guy’s “Monty Python” cold open

In case you missed it last night.

Ahh, if only the series was this “witty” all the time…

  • mat

    Simpsons did a monty python intro years ago. I wonder how many younger folks will know what this is spoofing.

    • Pieter

      That “Monty Python foot-couch gag” was in the Lisa Simpson vs Malibu Stacy episode which aired in 1994…You can argue that enough time has passed for another show to give a tribute, don’t you think? Moreover, I find Family Guy’s take on it a lot more entertaining as a spoof as it parodies the whole intro of Monty Python’s show, while the Simpsons just used the crushing foot bit…

      • I wouldn’t call that a “parody” so much as a “remake with our blandly-drawn characters in it.”

  • Wow, oldschool comedy meets my recent favorite cartoon … Love it!

  • Mohegan

    What is with these tributes to Monty Python?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Monty Python, but that’s the second time I’ve seen a tribute to them in a serie. Is it some sort of anniversary?

  • Too bad the show itself is left to be desired nowadays. Either way, that sequence was clever though.

    • cjseaton

      It was clever because Terry Gilliam conceived and animated it over 40 years ago, not because Family Guy characters were cut and pasted into it.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Been there done that. “Family Guy” has also opened with a parody of the iconic “Law & Order” opening, but this was a direct quote right down to using footage from the show with Terry Jones (?) in castaway mode. Still, it was better than the last variation of their usual opening which showed Peter acting like a complete butthead with one of the chorus girls. Let it die, already!

  • akira

    fringe did a terry gilliam “homage” a few episodes back, too

  • JimK

    It was Fringe that less than a month ago included some Gilliam inspired animation during a Walter Bishop LSD trip.
    I thoroughly enjoyed both homages. Keep it coming.

  • It would’ve been better had they not said “Monty Python’s”, as it implies they made it.
    Michael Palin is the “it’s” guy.
    I’ve noticed in my own comics before before when I make a reference to pop culture before 1985, I’m sometimes told I got it from FAMILY GUY.

    • the Gee

      “when I make a reference to pop culture before 1985, I’m sometimes told I got it from FAMILY GUY”

      That says a lot about how narrow someone’s frame of reference can be, doesn’t it?

      Even when early episodes of “The Simpsons” riffed off of things like “The Twilight Zone”, the joke was understood by the audience as not being original to “The Simpsons’” show.

      Bah. Humbugga!

      • Chris Sobieniak

        This is how you know how ‘old’ you really are, and yet it’s a good thing in my book.

        • the Gee

          Chris, Don’t think that thought did not enter my head as I read Sam’s comment and while I was wording my own.

          I don’t mean to be rude but there is a lot of cultural inbreeding when your first source for the history of comedy is one, recent TV show. Perhaps, for some, that is the case. Who knows.

      • What I hate more than anything is when people say “How would you know? You weren’t even born yet.”, but when most peoples’ frame of reference only dates back to what they had for breakfast, I understand why anyone would ask that.

        • Mick

          Strangely I just had a conversation like that. I asked a guy about a 1970s song. He said he wasn’t born then. I had to point out that recordings of music, some really quite old songs in fact were still accessible. I is a sign of both the times and that people are often idiots

          • Chris Sobieniak

            This is where I feel glad to have had parents and grandparents who filled me with enough details to get me by. There’s also a place called a library, use it!

  • James Fox

    Mongrels pwns South Park and Family Guy

    • Richard Gadd

      Mongrels is a great series – by far the best thing from BBC3 (possibly the only decent thing from BBC3)

  • Brendan Spillane

    With “Family Guy”, they aren’t parodies at all- they’re just all-out ripoffs! Prime example: The ANCHORS AWEIGH “homage” wherein Gene Kelly is dancing with Stewie, not Jerry Mouse. There’s no satire to speak of, not matter WHAT the parody.

    • Royal Tenenbaum

      I watched the Anchors Aweigh clip and it got to the end and I thought “what was the point?” It seemed to exist to show that using computers people can place one cartoon character over the top of another with a weird sense of scale to cover it however they didn’t even bother to change the refection of Jerry on the floor.

  • Not sure if this is the reason why we’re getting so many Monty Python homages recently, but Graham Chapman’s birthday IS tomorrow!

  • Glowworm

    I preferred a gag several years ago from one of the Family Guy episodes where Stewie was the king, and as he was entering, a woman clearly says “I didn’t vote for him.” ala Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  • Michael

    Apart from the characters it’s basically just an extremely faithful fan recreation rather than an homage or parody, almost like doing a note-for-note rerecording of a song. They can be technically challenging and this is entertaining on that level. But the Fringe bit used it for a reason, and did something inventive with it.

    Also: sadly (and this isn’t Family Guy’s fault) ever since Spamalot up through this and the Fringe thing, Monty Python references have become ordinary and mundane. There was a time when even just knowing the show was a mark of taste and distinction and emphatically not for everyone, but now that time is well and truly over. It pains me to say this, but Python has become the stuffy comedy Establishment.

  • Taylor

    Ermahgerd, Monty Python is soooo mainstream now and Family Guy is such garbage. I’m going to go watch some Brothers Quay while I can still enjoy it before Fox or Cartoon Network suck all my remaining love for the medium.

    But seriously guys, this is the first Monty Python reference I’ve been aware of lately and I enjoyed it. I spend the bulk of my waking hours working on animation and doing grown-up things, so I only catch up on this sorta thing via CartoonBrew in the late evening. Maybe if you cranky folks spent more time producing your own animation and less time picking apart television productions (of all animation to critique) you’d be happier.

  • Just call me freckles…

    There’s a slight homage to Monty Python at the end of a scene from Adventure Time. I’m sure most of the young viewers wouldn’t catch it, but I enjoyed it.

    • Bob Nelson

      ha, though the part before it could have been an homage to Stewie beating the crap out of Brian once in FG. Got to interview Chapman on my college radio station in ’82, concluding with a loud squawk. I still remember seeing clips from Python presented in ’72 on Comedy World (“Bicycle Repairman”), a summer replacement series for Dean Martin; then watched MPFC 2 yrs later when it hit PBS.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Watching that kept reminding me of something I once did in a computer graphics class in high school in the early 90’s where I made a flip book animation involving a record flying outward from the front of the view onto a phonograph and as the tone arm had dropped down to play it, I had a giant foot come down and smash the darn thing. I got an A!

  • Vince

    Why all the haters of Family Guy? It’s a funny show. A laugh out loud funny show and not many of those are on TV now. Plus, it’s a funny ANMATED show and that’s why we’re all here. Until the Simpsons, evening animated TV had gone the way of the dinosaurs with the last best appearances by the Flinstones, Jetsons and Jonny Quest. And no, the animation isn’t “Snow White” nor is it ’40’s or ’50’s WB but it is animation on Prime Time. And finally, please tell what animated prime time show on now is what anyone would consider ‘well drawn’.

    • Can’t connect with the characters. Not necessary in a Quays film but essential in a TV series. I wish it were laugh-out-loud. Lacking wit and style, it’s not even laugh-on-the-inside.

  • Spencer

    Wasn’t there just Gilliam animation in an episode of Fringe featured on the Brew just over a month ago? Maybe sooner? Seems like cut-out’s getting some good treatment these days! :)

  • Yeah, it was more a copy or an homage rather than a parody, and they could have probably done something different with the “It’s” guy , but I guess the idea is to surprise us with the ‘Family Guy’. In fact if this is the cold opening of a show some people may be confused and think they are going to air Monty Phyton.

    I’m not a fan of Family Guy and I usually think their parodies are copies and not much more, but I enjoyed this one if only because of the way they adapted the faces to the shapes and because of the sound of Monty Phyton’s Family Guy being close to Flying Circus.

    But yeah, like others have said, it was more obscure when Simpsons did it, and even though they didn’t reference the whole intro it was, in fact, more clever in context. Instead of redoing the whole intro they got the idea that the iconic element (the foot) could appear to crush the Simspons in the couch. Visually it was less elaborate but the synthesis of the homage was smarter.

    Anyway, don’t get me wrong, this is ok and I find it slightly more amusing than other FG parodies or references.

    • Sorry, I really like their show and movies but for some reason I keep mispelling Monty Python as Phyton…

  • Stripey

    I recently remembered thinking, “what a complete pile THIS is” the first time i saw a simpsons episode back in the day when it originally aired. Now Family Guy has to stack up against the likes of it? I’ve got nothing against either production, being a far bigger fan of American Dad myself, although i’ve often felt that Family Guy was never ever meant to be compared to Groening’s offering in any way.

  • Riley Willson

    I think the problem with Family Guy’s tribute is that it is so unoriginal. It used the entire Gilliam-made clip and Michael Palin’s “Its” scene for it. It was a good tribute, but nowhere near as good in comparison to… Let’s say… Fringe’s animation for example. That was almost exact to Gilliam’s work. It was an incredible tribute, that left me and everyone I’ve seen watching it laugh so hard. They had their own way of doing it, I don’t think a show should be bashed for giving their tribute to one of the most fantastic comedies of all time.

  • Mike

    If anything, maybe this will help introduce Monty Python to a younger generation.

  • Wasn’t this the same show where one character forces Meg to watch “the 95% of Monty Python that is neither funny nor memorable”?

    In the episode “The Former Life of Brian”, where the title was, ironically I thought, a Python reference?

    That was I think the point where I stopped watching it.

  • A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

  • So sorry, but Family Guy cannot hold a candle to Monty Python. The Pythons are talented, whereas Seth McFartland is not. Difference? Python is irreverent. McFartland is just plain old disrespectful and he has no idea where to draw the line. Oh sure, he does do some funny gags, but then he’ll do eighteen that are either just plain gross or are trying to mock everything held precious by Americans. Python, for all their irreverence, were at least respectful of their audience. McFartland’s attitude is, “Well I’ve been in Hollywood so f*** you.” and then he tells every gross, disgusting joke he can think of. Then man has no right to bite Python in any way, shape, or form. They are artists. He is a hack.