Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

(UK, 1983)

I can’t think of a comedy movie that has this many superlatives. Best sacrilegious musical number (“Every Sperm is Sacred”). Best total gross-out scene (Mr. Creosote eats one more “wafer-thin mint” and explodes). Best gory scene (live organ donations). There are half a dozen other masterpieces here. Eric Idle’s “Galaxy Song.” The Grim Reaper. The British officer class in the Zulu War, where the guy whose leg has been bitten off by a tiger (a tiger? In Africa?) casually remarks, “Woke up this morning, one sock too many.” John Cleese’s sex education class. “Christmas in Heaven.” It is also interspersed with skits of lesser quality. Since the movie doesn’t have a story line, it loses some of the manic energy of Life of Brian and The Holy Grail, but when it hits the mark, these are the funniest things Monty Python ever did. And that’s saying something.