Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Joan Herrington

Second Advisor

Mark Liermann


Monty Python is largely recognized as one of the most significant comedy troupes of the 20th century. Monty Python poked fun at the individual through surrealist comedy and technique to encourage people to question their own beliefs and to not take life so seriously. The post-war feelings drove many people into depression and caused great unrest against the current governments at the time. Monty Python helped to voice these discomforts and bring light to the situation all while educating the populous on how to better deal with these feelings: through comedy.

The Pythons learned very early on that Absurdism would be their vehicle of choice for approaching their work. This was a popular “movement” in Europe as it helped to grapple with the unimaginable destruction that had terrorized the countryside for the previous decades. All educated at prestigious universities, the Pythons wanted to empower and educate people through their comedy, all while emphasizing that the meaninglessness of life was something to embrace, not fear.

Furthermore, utilizing the most popular art forms of the time, theatre and recorded theatre, helped to create a reach that would eventually populate most of the modern Western world. In addition, they used satire to bring most of the intellectual conversation to the forefront, while questioning the people in power. The violent and savage humor that paired with the satire helped to emulate the atmosphere that many Europeans were experiencing at the time. However, they used a light tone for their comedy, helping to bring a refreshing, humorous take on the current issues. Finally, the Python’s writing was one of the shining aspects of their work. Their ability to manipulate language brought forth a form of comedy that has permeated their era. Overall, the Pythons created a legacy of comedy that ripples through our current world today through their form, function, and execution.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted