The Humour of The Knights Who Say Ni
The knights Who Say Ni are a group of knights that appear in the 70’s film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. The group of knights are the protector of the sacred words Ni, Ping, and Nee-womm. It is hinted at by the movies protagonist that the Knights Who Say Ni are capable of killing by using the sacred words.
Monty Python is a 1970’s British comedy group that became famous for their uniquely British sense of humor in their skits. Their humor is more often then not based upon making fun of society or playing on the viewers expectations. In this skit Arthur and his knights of the round table are travelling through the forest when they are ambushed by The Knights Who Say Ni.
Knights are portrayed as serious and stalwart men who go on deadly adventures. In the skit the Knights Who Say Ni are a peculiar band of short cloak clad men with high pitch voices lead by a remarkably tall man. These odd knights guard the forest paths. The knights stop Arthur and his followers and threaten to kill them by repeatedly saying Ni. However, they offer to spare the travelers if they retrieve a “shrubbery”. Later the knights go back on their deal and tell the travelers that they want another “shrubbery”. After the travelers do this, the knights in a most unchivalrous way demand that they cut down a tree with a herring.
Along with the silly quests the Knights Who Say Ni have one fatal weakness. They cannot say or hear the word “it”. If they do hear it they feel pain. This does not match the typical strong resilient man that is the stereotypical knight. Another point to be made is that the Knights Who Say Ni are quick to abandon a cause as is demonstrated when they without apparent cause become The Knights Who Say Ekiekiekieki vitangzoomboingadan za’eihem. This quick change in heart is very different than the knights we think of today. The Knights Who Say Ni are almost the opposite of what real knights are portrayed as. The only similarities between them and real knights is the fact that they are part of a brotherhood. Beside that there is no real connection between the Knights Who Say Ni and the knights of real life.
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