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Spam spam spam or Monty Python reunion?

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The comedy group Monty Python's Flying Circus was formed in October 1969
  • They produced 45 TV episodes for the BBC and five feature films before separating in 1983
  • Ex-Python Eric Idle has tweeted that there will be "a big forthcoming news event"
  • Announcement of a Thursday news conference has prompted reunion speculation

By CNN Staff

A series of cryptic tweets and a news conference announcement have sparked speculation that the five surviving members of British comedy troupe Monty Python may be about to reunite.

They are holding the news conference in London on Thursday.

Member Eric Idle tweeted Tuesday that there was a "Python meeting this morning," after tweeting Monday: "Only three days to go till the Python press conference. Make sure Python fans are alerted to the big forthcoming news event."

The public relations agency that sent out the invitations to the news conference declined to confirm it was to announce a reunion, saying: "All will be revealed on Thursday."

Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and the late Graham Chapman became comedic legends with the creation of Monty Python's Flying Circus in October 1969.

They produced 45 TV episodes for the BBC and five feature films together before going their separate ways in 1983.

The shows mostly consisted of a string of barely coherent sketches, often lacking conventional punch lines and loosely tied together by Gilliam's stream of consciousness animations.

The group dressed as old ladies, dressed as transvestite lumberjacks, performed sketches about pompous middle class men, used catchphrases such as "And now for something completely different," and sang amusing ditties such as "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam ..."

Although the TV show ran for only four seasons, it proved a massive cult hit when it was shown in the United States beginning in 1974 -- just as the show was winding up on the other side of the Atlantic.

That success spawned a series of spin-off productions, including the films "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the Bible-baiting "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" as well as "Live at the Hollywood Bowl."

Many of today's comedians cite Python as a key influence, and its influence can be seen in comedy shows including "The Daily Show" and "The Simpsons."
   
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