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Spam, spam, spam or Monty Python reunion?

By Susannah Cullinane, CNN
updated 6:23 PM EST, Tue November 19, 2013
The "Monty Python's Flying Circus" troupe -- John Cleese (from left), Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Eric Idle -- did far more than simply star in an influential TV series and a handful of movies. Here's what the members achieved outside of their Python careers. The "Monty Python's Flying Circus" troupe -- John Cleese (from left), Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Eric Idle -- did far more than simply star in an influential TV series and a handful of movies. Here's what the members achieved outside of their Python careers.
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'Monty Python': Where are they now?
'Monty Python': Where are they now?
'Monty Python': Where are they now?
'Monty Python': Where are they now?
'Monty Python': Where are they now?
'Monty Python': Where are they now?
'Monty Python': Where are they now?
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Terry Jones tells the BBC that a reunion is happening
  • The comedy group Monty Python's Flying Circus was formed in October 1969
  • They produced 45 TV episodes for the BBC and five feature films before separating in 1983
  • Ex-Python Eric Idle has tweeted that there will be "a big forthcoming news event"

(CNN) -- A series of cryptic tweets and the announcement of a news conference sparked speculation that the five surviving members of British comedy troupe Monty Python may be about to reunite.

And one of the members appears to have let the cat out of the bag, telling the BBC that a reunion is indeed happening.

"We're getting together and putting on a show -- it's real," Terry Jones told the BBC, adding: "I'm quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!"

The news conference will be in London on Thursday.

Member Eric Idle tweeted Tuesday that there was a "Python meeting this morning," after tweeting Monday: "Only three days to go till the Python press conference. Make sure Python fans are alerted to the big forthcoming news event."

The public relations agency that sent out the invitations to the news conference declined to confirm it was to announce a reunion, saying: "All will be revealed on Thursday."

Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and the late Graham Chapman became comedic legends with the creation of Monty Python's Flying Circus in October 1969.

Read more: What is Monty Python?

They produced 45 TV episodes for the BBC and five feature films together before going their separate ways in 1983.

The shows mostly consisted of a string of barely coherent sketches, often lacking conventional punch lines and loosely tied together by Gilliam's stream of consciousness animations.

The group dressed as old ladies, dressed as transvestite lumberjacks, performed sketches about pompous middle class men, used catchphrases such as "And now for something completely different," and sang amusing ditties such as "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam ..."

Read more: 40 years of silliness

Although the TV show ran for only four seasons, it proved a massive cult hit when it was shown in the United States beginning in 1974 -- just as the show was winding up on the other side of the Atlantic.

That success spawned a series of spin-off productions, including the films "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the Bible-baiting "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" as well as "Live at the Hollywood Bowl."

Many of today's comedians cite Python as a key influence, and its influence can be seen in comedy shows including "The Daily Show" and "The Simpsons."

Read more: Gilliam reveals world of Monty Python art

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