• Michael Palin walks the Praça da Matriz in Alcântara, Brazil, on day 23 of his visit.

    Michael Palin walks the Praça da Matriz in Alcântara, Brazil, on day 23 of his visit. (Photo: Basil Pao)

Before Michael Palin became known for his travel writing and documentary films, he entertained people around the world as part of the Monty Python comedy troupe. We’ve compiled seven of his most famous skits.

Spanish Inquisition (Monty Python’s Flying Circus)
The Spanish Inquisition goes around torturing people with comfy chairs and dish-drying racks. This series is the reason for Palin’s famous line, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

Dead Parrot (Monty Python’s Flying Circus)
A pet-shop owner tries to convince a customer that the dead parrot he sold him is actually just sleeping.

Lumberjack Song (Monty Python’s Flying Circus)
A barber exclaims that he doesn’t want to cut hair anymore. What he really wants is to be a Canadian lumberjack. When this is revealed he breaks out into song and a choir of Mounties appears.

Argument Clinic (Monty Python’s Flying Circus)
A man arrives at the clinic and pays to have an argument but thinks he isn’t getting his money’s worth because he is only being contradicted.

Cheese Shop (Monty Python’s Flying Circus)
A man enters “The District’s Best” cheese shop only to find out the owner has no cheese.

The Knights who say Ni (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
Arthur and his knights are riding invisible horses when they run into the knights who say “ni” but who can’t stand the word “it”.

Finland Song (Monty Python Sings, Album)
This is a song about Finland that goes, “Finland, Finland, Finland the country where I want to be. Eating breakfast for dinner or snack lunch in the hall.”