Listening to Terry Gilliam on BBC's Desert Island Discs this morning, I got dignified support for my theory. You remember Gilliam: the one non-Brit in the Monty Python team, he was the cartoonist, the talent behind all those weird, surreal framing exercises that distinguish the Pythons from so many other first-rate British sketch operations of the time.
Listen to Gilliam and you come to realize that it was the Pythons felt the same way about sketches: try to give them a punch line and more often than not, the punch line will fall flat. Better just have someone drop in and crush everybody with a giant foot.
Sounds right to me, but Mrs. Buce asks: don't people getting bored seeing everyone get crushed with a giant foot? Fair point, which may explain why the classic Python show lasted for only 45 episodes--and the movies, it seemed to me, never did quite so well. Ironically, when Life of Brian came out, I tended to dismiss it as too linear. Yet of all the movies, it may be the one to have proven most durable.
Here's a giant foot: