Monty Python, the irreverent, iconoclastic comic troupe, is happily celebrating its upcoming 40th anniversary with a six-part documentary on the IFC channel. "Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)" airs Oct. 18 and charts the history of the comedy phenomenon.
Other Python-esque events include a new play in Los Angeles, based on its classic TV sketches, a book describing its live performances, and a rare reunion of the group for a Q&A session in New York on Oct. 15 at the Ziegfeld Theater.
The October event will honor the British comedians with a special award, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Co-hosted by IFC, the event promises John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin in attendance. (Graham Chapman died in 1989.) A new theatrical version of the IFC documentary will be screened at that time.
This six-part series, airing one hour per night in October, features interviews with all surviving "Python" members, plus archival representation for Chapman. Various comedians weigh in on the "Python" legacy, including Jimmy Fallon, Eddie Izzard, Dan Aykroyd and Seth Green.
Jennifer Caserta, executive vice president and general manager of IFC, said the network was showcasing "the definitive documentary tribute to one of comedy's greatest legends. Everyone has their favorite Python moments, and they continue to inspire new generations of comedians."
In addition to the documentary, IFC will also air the company's feature films: "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl."
"Monty Python's Flying Circus" -- as it was initially known -- produced 45 shows on British television from 1969 to 1974. Zany and intellectual, it developed a cult following in England and the U.S. Skit fans can view the original series online, as "Python" has its own YouTube channel.