Monty Python's 1983 film "The Meaning of Life
" effortlessly set the gold standard in sketch comedy movies -- which, for clarification, we'll define here as feature-length anthologies of stand-alone comic bits that don't serve to push along any overarching storyline. But while the Pythons' greatest film (gauntlet thrown down!) omitted a plot, their skits were still tied together by the most timeless of through lines: the trials of human life, presented in chapters like "The Miracle of Birth," "Middle Age" and "Death." Furthermore, 1971's "And Now For Something Completely Different
," a re-filmed compilation of greatest hits from the first two pioneering seasons of "Monty Python's Flying Circus
," is arguably the silver medalist of its kind, and good luck coming up with a third film that actually deserves the bronze.
The cold, hard truth is that sketch comedy movies are nearly impossible to pull off, and most are doomed to fail the test of time.