Elvis Presley Saw 1 Monty Python Movie 4 Times, Quoted Their Sketches

Elvis Presley starred in a number of comedic movies, however, he isn’t primarily remembered as a comic actor. Despite this, he was a huge fan of Monty Python and used to quote some of the skits from their show.. Here’s a look at the sketches he enjoyed — and the Monty Python film he watched four times.

Elvis Presley on a futon
Elvis Presley | GAB Archive/Redferns

This Monty Python sketch changed how Elvis Presley talked

During an interview with GQ, Monty Python member Terry Gilliam said the troupe was such a big deal that every major rock group seemed to like them. In response, fellow Monty Python member Eric Idle mentioned Elvis. “I never met Elvis, but I did meet his girlfriend, Linda Thompson. I knew already that he called people, ‘squire’ because of the Nudge Nudge sketch and that just freaked me out because he saved my life when I was 14.”

The “Nudge Nudge” sketch is a famous bit from the show Monty Python’s Flying Circus where a man keeps making sexual innuendos while saying “nudge nudge.” The troupe reprized the sketch in one of the films they released during Elvis’ lifetime: And Now for Something Completely Different. It’s unclear if Elvis was familiar with the sketch through the show or the film.

Eric Idle wearing a suit
Eric Idle | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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Elvis Presley watched one Monty Python movie four times in theaters

Idle also revealed Elvis liked one of the troupe’s most famous movies: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “And we knew that he used to take the boys to the local cinema and watch Holy Grail four times,” he recalled. Monty Python member Michael Palin added “I remember hearing that Elvis, who I’d never met, loved the Knights Who Say Ni.” The Knight Who Say Ni is one of the most famous jokes from the aforementioned film. It involves a group of knights who demand a shrubbery for no apparent reason.

Members of the Python troupe aren’t the only people to discuss the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s enjoyment of their unique brand of comedy. During an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Elvis’ bodyguard Sam Thompson was particularly fond of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the film, the Black Knight gets both his arms chopped off in battle only to proclaim “It’s just a flesh wound.” Elvis was a fan of this line and he would quote it after he performed a show he felt was inadequate. 

A trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Did the world like ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ as much as Elvis Presley did?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail clearly mattered quite a bit to Elvis. It seemed to resonate with the public as well — at least over time. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie earned over $1.9 million. While this gross was not phenomenal, the movie has since been referenced in popular culture multiple times, in works as varied as Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One to Futurama. It even inspired a popular musical called Spamalot. Elvis thought Monty Python and the Holy Grail was great — and it seems the public would come to agree with him.