How popular is Monty Python?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
October 12, 2019, 7:00 AM GMT+0

How popular are the comedy group’s films and television shows in 2019, and who is the nation’s favourite Python?

Monty Python is held up as a classic example of British comedy, but how does its wacky humour fare with the public half a century after it was first aired?

All three of the group’s narrative-based films are seen positively by a majority of Britons. Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python’s Flying Circus are liked by 55%, 54% and 51% of Brits respectively.

Half of Brits (51%) also say they enjoy the group’s various television series.

Monty Python’s fanbase skews older. Two thirds (66%) of Britons over 40 years old say they like the comedy group, compared to 49% of Brits aged between 18 and 24.

However, which of the three films gets the biggest laugh from younger Brits?

By a margin of 14 percentage points, the comedy group’s quest in Monty Python and the Holy Grail has the highest score (50%), compared to just over a third (36%) who have a positive opinion of The Life of Brian. Only 31% of young Brits also say they like Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The Cast

Brits are divided over which member of the group is their favourite. Just under two thirds of Brits (63%) say they like Michael Palin, and the same number have a positive opinion of John Cleese.

However, Palin comes out on top when you take into account that just 5% of Brits have a negative opinion of him, and 9% have a negative opinion of Cleese.

Interesting, both John Cleese and Michael Palin are ranked by Brits higher than the group as a whole, with 60% of Brits saying they have a positive opinion of Monty Python compared to the 63% who like Cleese and Palin.

Once again, the cast proves more popular with older Brits. But when breaking it down by age, those aged over 55 have a clear preference for Michael Palin (75%) over John Cleese (68%).

Younger Brits have a lower positive opinion of all the actors and are also divided over their favourite, with 33% saying they have a positive opinion of Michael Palin and 35% liking John Cleese.

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and Monty Python Live (mostly) are not included in YouGov rankings.

Image: Getty