Ridden On A Horse?! You’re Using Coconuts!

From the online-only archives of The New Yorker, Dave Eggers talks about Monty Python.

The anarchic form of the show was really my first look into how you can break something down, break down the fourth wall and take it all apart, and then be left with not less but more.

So it influenced your writing directly?

Yeah, absolutely. Later on I found what they were doing in book form. The year after we found


  1. I can remember Monty Python breaking down the fourth wall. Usually it would be by dropping a ten ton weight on a building, simultaneously dealing with the first, second and third walls. I have a feeling that this level of analysis is beyond me, even for something like Monty Python, which I think I’ve probably looked at in almost every possible way.

    I worry about analysing comedy too. Hugh Laurie said something very good in the front of a PG Wodehouse book. He said analysing why something is funny is a bit like taking a beautiful crystal vase, hitting it with a hammer and then remarking how, if the pieces were arranged in exactly the right way, they’d make an excellent crystal vase.

    Having said that, a bit more analysis would have helped me figure out why the last word in the quote below was funny in less than SIX YEARS!

    “I blow my nose at you, so-called Arthur-king, you and all your silly English kerniggets”

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