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Flying Circus Maximus

And now for something completely differentiated... As the Monty Python-inspired ''Spamalot'' hits Broadway, we pick the comedy troupe's top 20 sketches

John Cleese, Michael Palin, ... | CLEESE AND GRAHAM CHAPMAN IN 'MRS. PREMISE AND MRS. CONCLUSION VISIT SARTRE'
CLEESE AND GRAHAM CHAPMAN IN 'MRS. PREMISE AND MRS. CONCLUSION VISIT SARTRE'

EW counts down Monty Python's 20 funniest sketches

20 Argument Clinic (Monty Python's Flying Circus DVD 9, Episode 29)
A troupe hallmark and a paraphrasing of what Python fans are thinking now. ''That's not one of the top 20.'' ''Yes, it is.'' ''No, it isn't.'' ''Is.'' ''Isn't!''

19 Kilimanjaro Expedition (MPFC DVD 3, Ep. 9)
Who did an explorer who sees double hire to find a crew he sent to build a bridge between Kilimanjaro's two peaks? ''The Arthur Brown twins, two botanists called Machin...and a couple of the Ken Spinoza quads. The other two pulled out.''

18 The Restaurant Sketch (MPFC DVD 1, Ep. 3)
A polite complaint about a dirty fork riles a cleaver-swinging cook and suicidal manager. Highlight: John Cleese's gasping moan, ''Oh, it makes me mad.''

17 Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion Visit Sartre (MPFC DVD 9, Ep. 27)
Who better to debate Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophy and burial methods for live cats than two shrieking housewives? The best of the sketches with the Pythons' drag alter egos, the Pepperpots.

16 The Visitors (MPFC DVD 3, Ep. 9)
The rudest drop-ins ever, including Arthur Name (''What's brown and sounds like a bell? Dung''), Mr. Equator (''[The seat's a] bit lumpy...ah, no wonder, I was sitting on the cat''), and his incontinent, beans-gobbling wife.

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