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6 Shows like Monty Python: Embrace the Surreal

Louisa Jordan itcherA breakthrough show coupling animation with surreal comedy plus a few catchy songs thrown in, ‘Monty Python’s sketches are a mix of a unique take on history, realism and some random, bizarre thoughts. An ensemble cast of six with some good support added in, it has paved the way for many colourful sketch shows, sitcoms and movies. Make sure you see these TV shows like ‘Monty Python’, including ‘Horrible Histories’, ‘The Mighty Boosh’ and ‘House of Fools’. ~ Louisa Jordan

Surrealism Leading the Bizarre:

‘Monty Python’ – four seasons on TV plus four feature films – is a sketch show of surreal British humour acted out through songs, dance, animation and fantastic costumes.

It won’t be long until you’re singing those songs or repeating those catchphrases. If you are looking for another show with a similar format, watch these TV series similar to ‘Monty Python’.


Shows Similar to ‘Monty Python’…

‘Horrible Histories’ (Marcus Brigstocke, 2009-2013)

Isn’t this a children’s show, I hear you say? Yes – it did start out aimed at teenagers – but it is now embraced by many adults. Those adults being of the ‘Monty Python’ generation who are now enthralled by the historical comedy sketches, animation and surreal songs of ‘Horrible Histories’!

‘Horrible Histories’ is a fast-paced sketch show telling the history of the world using surreal humour through an ensemble cast, colourful costumes a little animation, and a bit of gore.

If you like your TV to be educational and wrapped up in a bit of gruesome humour then Horrible Histories will thrill you to the core.

Similarity Match: 90%
Turning the historical sketches of Monty Python into a full show, the songs and animation, satire, and surrealism make this show a must watch.

‘The Mighty Boosh’ (Paul King, 2004-2007)

‘The Mighty Boosh’ is full of wonderful animation, influenced by Terry Gilliam’s ‘Monty Python’ creations. Throw in a few catchy songs with surreal lyrics and you can see the influence that lies within.

A sitcom of 3 seasons, each season is set in new surroundings with the main actors playing various roles. With storylines that are surreal bordering on fantasy, the comedy that is sometimes dark but also slapstick. You’ll soon have those catchy songs in your head and the need to watch it all again.  

Similarity Match: 80%
More like the ‘Monty Python’ movies than a sketch show, the colourful sets, catchy songs and animations overflow with the influence of ‘Monty Python’.

‘The Fast Show’ (Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse 1994-1997)

The show features an ensemble cast acting out comedy that is enriched in satire, slapstick, and the surreal. With up to 27 sketches per 30 minute episode, it can be quite exciting to watch and will satiate anyone with a short attention span.

With catchphrases galore and recurring characters, you will be enticed in no time.  Just remember to breathe!

Similarity Match: 70%
Although not as surreal as ‘Monty Python’, it’s still a great example of a British ensemble sketch show with a nod to the bizarre.

‘House of Fools’ (Nick Wood, 2014-2015)

‘Crazy’ would be a good place to start. Filmed in front of a live audience, in the format of a 30-minute theatre show, the cast dance and sing their hearts out trying to tell the story (the story being as offbeat as the antics unfolding on screen).

Written by and staring British comedy duo, Reeves and Mortimer, we have stunts and flying objects, explosions and costume changes galore.  

If you like the slapstick end of the comedy spectrum with sketches so surreal it will make your head hurt, then ‘House of Fools’ is for you.

Similarity Match: 65%
This show features offbeat British humour and surrealism, like one aspect of Monty Python acted out in its extreme.

‘This is Jinsy’ (Matt Lipsey, 2011-2014)

Imagine that your mind had gone on a day trip to a land of surreal – ‘This is Jinsy’ is that land. Set in a bleak, fictional island, the inhabitants sing original offbeat songs, wear strange clothing, and live just like they’re trapped in the mind of Terry Gilliam’s animations.

If you enjoy being taken to a strange place in your head then ‘This is Jinsy’ is where you need to go.

Similarity Match: 60%
It’s strange, surreal, but not a sketch show. It’s not quite a sitcom, either. However, like ‘Monty Python’, it gives us the eccentric take on British inhabitants.


If You Like ‘Monty Python’, You Will Like…

Looking for more series similar to ‘Monty Python’? Check out this excellent British anarchic comedy with a dash more reality than the former.

‘The Young Ones’ (Paul Jackson, Geoff Posner, Ed Bye, 1982-1984)

‘Monty Python’ didn’t always do colourful sketches or historical satire; some of their best sketches involved everyday realism. ‘The Young Ones’ takes the political dramas of the 1980’s and turns it into an anarchic but offbeat sitcom.

There are songs – although they were already released singles by famous bands at the time – and there are short bursts of animated fantasy sketches.  

‘The Young Ones’ will be enjoyed by anyone that likes their sitcoms to be on the edge, satirical, and offbeat.


They Said What?

All of these recommendations have catchphrases that have stood the test of time.  

Can you quote any famous catchphrases from the shows above?

itcher Mag is the place for entertainment recommendations across movies, books, music and games.
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