49 of Monty Python's most absurdly funny jokes and quotes

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The work of legendary comedy ensemble Monty Python has been entertaining fans for nearly 50 years with its wonderfully surreal wit. And there are fresh reasons to celebrate the group's legacy.

Bizarre song-packed movie The Meaning Of Life turns 35 next week, while Netflix is adding a whole load of films and TV from the ensemble in April.

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So here are some of Palin, Chapman, Idle, Jones, Cleese and Gilliam's finest (and funniest) jokes and quotes to savour.

From Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government."

Bedevere: "What makes you think she is a witch?" Peasant: "She turned me into a newt." Bedevere: "A newt?" Peasant: "Well I got better."

"I am an enchanter. There are some who call me...Tim."

Black Knight: "Tis but a scratch." King Arthur: "A scratch? Your arm's off!"

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King Arthur: "Look, you stupid b***ard, you've got no arms left!"Black Knight: "Yes I have."King Arthur: "Look!"Black Knight: "It's just a flesh wound..."

Black Knight: "Right, I'll do you for that!" King Arthur: "You'll what?" Black Knight: "Come here!" King Arthur: "What are you gonna do, bleed on me?"

[French soldier to Arthur]: "I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries..."

[Knights who say Ni to Arthur] "You must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with...a herring!"

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"What sad times are these when passing ruffians can say 'Ni' at will to old ladies."

"Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

"Who's that then?""I dunno, must be a king.""Why?""He hasn't got sh** all over him."

"We'll not risk another frontal assault. That rabbit's dynamite."

"Brother Maynard - bring forth the holy hand grenade!"

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"You only killed the bride's father, you know." "I didn't mean to." "Didn't mean to? You put your sword right through his head." "Oh dear... is he all right?"

"Please. This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who..."

['Brave' Sir Robin] "I've soiled my armour!"

[Robin's minstrel, singing]: "Brave Sir Robin ran away. Bravely ran away away. When danger reared it's ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled. Brave Sir Robin turned about and gallantly he chickened out..."

"One day, lad, all this will be yours." "What, the curtains?"

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Bridgekeeper: "Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, 'ere the other side he see."Sir Lancelot: "Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid."Bridgekeeper: "What... is your name?"Sir Lancelot: "My name is Sir Lancelot of Camelot."Bridgekeeper: "What... is your quest?"Sir Lancelot: "To seek the Holy Grail."Bridgekeeper: "What... is your favourite colour?"Sir Lancelot: "Blue."Bridgekeeper: "Right. Off you go."

Bridgekeeper: "What... is your name?" King Arthur: "It is Arthur - King of the Britons." Bridgekeeper: "What... is your quest?" King Arthur: "To seek the Holy Grail. Bridgekeeper: "What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" King Arthur: "What do you mean? An African or a European swallow?" Bridgekeeper: "I don't know that. Aaaaaaaaagh!"

"On second thoughts, let us not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."

From The Life of Brian

"He's not the Messiah - he's a very naughty boy."

"Look, I don't think it ought to be blasphemy, just saying 'Jehovah'.""You're only making it worse for yourself!"

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"Alright, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

"What did he say?""I think it was, 'blessed are the cheesemakers'."

"Excuse me. Are you the Judean People's Front?" "F*** off! 'Judean People's Front'?. We're the People's Front of Judea!'"

"Did you say 'ex-leper'?""That's right, sir. 16 years behind a veil and proud of it, sir."

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"What's this then?" "It says 'Romans go home'." "No it doesn't. What's Latin for 'Roman'?"

"Look, you've got it all wrong. You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody. You've got to think for yourselves. You're all individuals.""YES. WE'RE ALL INDIVIDUALS."

"We are three wise men." "Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o'clock in the morning? That doesn't sound very wise to me."

"I am not the Messiah!""I say you are, and I should know. I've followed a few."

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"Crucifixion?" "Ah, no. Freedom. They said I hadn't done anything, so I can go free and live on an island somewhere." "Oh, that´s jolly good. Well, off you go then." "Nah, I'm only pulling your leg, it's crucifixion really!"

From The Meaning of Life

"Is it a boy or a girl?""I think it's a bit early to start imposing roles on it, don't you?"

"The mill's closed. There's no more work. We're destitute. I've got no option but to sell you all for scientific experiments."

"Ah, I see you have the machine that goes 'ping!'. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to - that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account."

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[singing] "Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate!"

"During the night old Perkins had his leg bitten sort of... off.""There's a lot of it about — probably a virus. Keep warm, plenty of rest, and if you're playing any football try and favour the other leg."

[singing] "Just remember that your standing on a planet that's evolving, revolving at nine-hundred miles an hour. It's orbiting at ninety miles a second, so it's reckoned. A sun that is the source of all our power..."

"It's only a wafer-thin mint, sir..."

From the Flying Circus TV show

"This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies! It's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This is an ex-parrot!"

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"This morning, shortly after 11am, comedy struck this little house on Dibley Road. Sudden, violent comedy."

[Disapproving coal miner son to his playwright dad] "Look what you've done to mother. She's worn out from meeting film stars, attending premieres, and giving gala luncheons." Dad: "There's nowt wrong with gala lunches lad. I've had more gala luncheons than you've had hot dinners."

[The Lumberjack Song] "I cut down trees, I eat my lunch, I go to the lavatory. On Wednesdays I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea."

"Have you got anything without spam?" "Well, spam, egg, sausage, and spam - that's not got much spam in it."

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"The BBC wishes to deny rumours that it is going into liquidation. Mrs Kelly, who owns the flat where they live, has said that they can stay on till the end of the month."

"Good evening. Tonight on 'Is There?' we examine the question, 'Is there a life after death?' And here to discuss it are three dead people."

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise! Surprise and fear. Fear and surprise. Our two weapons are fear and surprise - and ruthless efficiency! Our three weapons are fear, and surprise, and ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. Our four, no, among our weapons are such elements as fear, surpr- I'll come in again."

And from their live shows - The Four Yorkshiremen sketch:

"House? You were lucky to have a house! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of falling."

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"You were lucky to have a room. We used to have to live in a corridor.""Oh we used to dream of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us."

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