October 5 - 1969 - Monty Python's Flying Circus Premieres on the BBC
Monty Python did not invent sketch comedy with Flying Circus, or even use surrealistic, interconnected sketches. Yet Monty Python's Flying Circus influenced all comedy that came after it, their success made them both a cult hit and widely beloved. Three members of the troupe, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, and Eric Idle, went to Cambridge University and were members of the Cambridge Footlights. The other two Brits, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, were part of the Oxford Revue at Oxford University. Joined by American cartoonist Terry Gilliam, the troupe created a particular comedic blend of absurdity, slapstick, and intellectualism. Once it made it to America, Monty Python's Flying Circus would reshape English-speaking comedy.