Updated: Wednesday, 02 July 2014 17:00 | By Bang

Monty Python kick off final run of gigs

Monty Python had fans in hysterics as they kicked off their final run of shows at London's The O2 arena last night (01.07.14). The star-studded audience included Emma Thompson.


Monty Python had fans in hysterics as they kicked off their final run of shows at London's The O2 arena last night (© 01.07.14)

Monty Python had fans in hysterics as they kicked off their final run of shows at London's The O2 arena last night (01.07.14). The star-studded audience included Emma Thompson.

Monty Python had fans in hysterics as they kicked off their residency at London's The O2 arena last night (01.07.14).

The legendary comedy troupe - consisting of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones - dusted off old sketches, including the Dead Parrot skit, to rapturous laughter from a star-studded audience that included Emma Thompson and David Walliams on the first night of their 'Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five To Go' shows.

The stars kicked off the show with a touching cartoon tribute to late sixth member Graham Chapman, who died at the age of 48 in 1989. The late funnyman continued to have a presence throughout the show, even performing the final number of the evening - 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' - with the five surviving members.

Speaking prior to the show, Eric explained that it was important to ensure Graham's spirit was felt during Monty Python's final shows.

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: ''Graham is on screen and even sings the last number. We want to make his presence noticeable in the show so he is not forgotten.''

The gig featured a mix of live sketches - including the famed Nudge Nudge, Four Yorkshiremen and the Bruces - musical numbers and animation.

At one point, Michael stunned the crowd by stripping down to a skimpy pair of women's underwear.

The stars were joined onstage by Stephen Fry for a sketch titled Blackmail, while Stephen Hawking also made a surprise appearance in a video.

The septuagenarian comics will perform nine more gigs at The O2, with the last show on July 20 marking their final performance together as a group.

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