My Comedy Hero: Tony Law on Monty Python
- Brian Donaldson
- 14 February 2017
The freewheeling Canadian stand-up picks the absurdist sketch and film gang as his comic icons
In the 80s, the 15-year-old me in Canada hadn't heard of Monty Python; I loved the Saturday Night Lives they showed about ten years after they had been broadcast so I was into Bill Murray and Steve Martin and those guys, and I vaguely knew that they were somehow connected to these English people.
I went to my first high-school party with drunk kids everywhere but there was a video room for nerds like me. In this safe little room they had The Holy Grail on and I hadn't seen anything like it. The first time I saw it I just stared at it; I just couldn't work it out. I watched it again straight away and I remember laughing this deep emotional laugh: there was some real nonsense out there that was talking to me. The sky had just opened up.
The third time I saw it I actually shed tears; it had really got straight into my heart. Like everyone else, I memorised the film but I had done it over two and a half sittings. But I never turned into a real Monty Python fan, it was just with The Holy Grail. I already had an interest in history and it helped introduce the world to me through the Middle Ages and explained travel to me.
Not long after that I left Canada: it was a real recruiting film for wayward layabouts like me. And that was the beginning of me not knowing how to do stand-up comedy properly because I had The Holy Grail in the side of my head.
Tony Law: A Law Undo His-elf What Welcome is on tour from Fri 24 Feb–Fri 19 May.