Logic at its best

Most English speakers, particularly those of my generation, are probably familiar with Monty Python. They’re a group of British comic actors … kind of like the Japanese comedy group of the 70s and 80s, The Drifters, I suppose … who had a TV show and made a series of movies in the 1970s and early 80s.

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” has always been my favorite. Here’s one of the most famous scenes, which will probably not be laugh-out-loud funny to my students, but it does give you a good sense of what Monty Python-style humor is like. The logic they use to decide if someone is a witch or not is … well, it’s logical.

I thought about this scene today when I stumbled across this:

17 Signs That You’d Qualify as a Witch in 1692

I suppose anyone who’s familiar with Monty Python and saw this tongue-in-cheek list thought the same.

Writing/speaking/research prompts:

  • If you’re familiar with The Drifters, compare their comedy style with what you see in the Monty Python video. If you’re not, ask your parents. If you want to watch more Monty Python clips, there are plenty on YouTube.
  • What do you know about “witch-hunting”, either literally (see “Salem Witch Trials”) or metaphorically (see “McCarthyism” for example)? What does “witch-hunting” mean? Was there a period in Japanese history in which something like this happened?
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