Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, and while most of the neighbors celebrated the day as a mysterious Mexican holiday that involves drinking large amounts of margaritas and eating a variety of tacos, we realized that there were other reasons to hold a party on this day. Most importantly, it’s a day to sing the praises of the M.P. Now, that wouldn’t be the Military Police or your Member of Parliament though it does hold a double meaning for us as well.
We are referring to one Michael Palin, one of the original members of Monty Python and popular host of several travel shows. The always engaging Mr. Palin celebrated his 75th birthday on May 5th and we though we would take a moment to say “Mazel Tov!” to one of our favorite comedians.
Die-hard fans of the Flying Circus still recall such memorable sketches as the Dead Parrot, the Arguement Clinic, Nudge Nudge, the Lumberjack Song, the Fish Slapping Song…. Those in the know are probably snickering right now just reading the list. Palin’s role also extended to the Monty Python movies. There was Pontius Pilate in Life of Brian, Dennis in The Holy Grail (you don’t get to be King of the Britons just because some watery tart throws a sword at you) and the Window Washer in The Meaning of Life.
After the group split up, Palin had a successful second career with the BBC serving as host for a series of travel shows. It was Palin’s moment to shine. Palin is always open to a new experience and while he is clearly smart, articulate and well-read, he also brings a bit of childlike innocence to many of his encounters. He’s the perfect travel companion, even if you only get to join him through the magic of television.
Palin also continued his comedic forays with such odd ball hits as Time Bandits and Brazil and a few more serious parts. Of course, who could possibly forget Palin’s part as Ken in A Fish Called Wanda. Ken’s Revenge is surely the stuff of dreams for anyone who has ever faced a bully or had to listen to the tauntings of a long-time nemesis.
So how to celebrate the inimitable style of Michael Palin? With warm weather here to stay and given Mr. Palin’s love of travel, we thought we’d go for something fun, light and maybe a bit foreign. It was time to bring out our fish bottle (Wanda…I really, really Wanda) and enjoy some lovely verdicchio. Once a cheap white sold in abundance before falling out of favor, modern verdiccio is still light and lively but undergoing a rennaissance of sorts. Modern vintners have created something that even the snobbiest of wine drinkers can enjoy without spending a small fortune. So, here’s to Wanda and fighting repression and hoping that ninja suicide squad arrives in time. And of course, to Michael Palin, for all those laughs he gave us over the years.