“Do you find it risible?”

Steve has put up one of the very funny and philosophically acute scenes from Monty Python’s Life of Brian in the adjacent post. The funniest scene of the many funny scenes in the film takes on tyranny and laughter (and a few other issues related to human nature, as in the scene Steve highlights). “Anybody else feel like a little giggle?” I have taken the liberty of embedding it below.

Part of the humor in the scene derives from combining funny pseudoRoman names with Pilate’s prohibition against laughing at them. The struggle to suppress laughter in the face of the absurd names would be difficult enough. The addition of Pilate’s speech impediment to the mix makes it impossible. It is a stroke of genius. The Python crew turns us all into helpless centurions (or “centuwions”) who are unable to suppress our laughter. Fortunately, unlike them, we are at no risk of being sent to “gladiator school” as punishment.

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