Terry Jones, 77 has died, meaning that he’s about to find out if the Messiah really is a very naughty boy.
Jones, whose comedy somehow managed to combine nudity and stupid voices with an air of amiable upper-class befuddlement, managed to make screeching ‘Spam’ into a global catchphrase and technical term.
As well as comedy, Jones managed to become a documentary-maker, children’s writer, historian, poet, and director and writer of film, theatre and opera and at one point was responsible for 75% of all the films banned in ireland.
However, his primary contributions to the national consciousness were dressing up as a middle-aged woman and setting about his colleagues with a handbag, trying to ascertain the relative weights of witches and ducks, and exploding after just one too many mints – all the while whilst maintaining an air of being completely unaware of just how funny he was.
Anyone who aspires to write comedy could do worse than watching his deranged enthusiasm for attacking singing mice with a mallet, or his wide-eyed lunacy bursting through the door as a member of the Spanish Inquisition in a flying helmet.
But for Terry, just like his best character in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, it’s curtains. We hope he’s gone somewhere he can…just…sing!