He later committed himself to directing the Python films Monty Python and the Holy Grail (with Terry Gilliam), The Life of Brian, and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, and as director, finally gained fuller control of the projects, devising a visual style that allowed the performers 'space'; for instance, in the use of wide shots for long exchanges of dialogue, and more economical use of music. As demonstrated in many of his sketches with Palin, Jones was also interested in making comedy that was visually impressive, feeling that interesting settings augmented, rather than detracted from, the humour. His methods encouraged many future television comedians to break away from conventional studio-bound shooting styles, as demonstrated into the 21st century by shows such as Green Wing, Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen. Of Jones's contributions as a performer, his parodic, screechy-voiced depictions of "pepperpots" (middle-aged women, such as the Waitress in the "Spam" sketch) are among the most memorable. His humour, in collaboration with Palin, tends to be conceptual in nature; a typical Palin/Jones sketch draws its humour from the absurdity of the scenario.
For example, in the “Summarise Proust Competition”, Jones plays a cheesy game show host giving a series of contestants 15 seconds to condense Marcel Proust's lengthy work À la recherche du temps perdu; in the "Mouse Organ" sketch, he plays a tuxedoed man using mallets to bash mice who have been trained to squeak at a select pitch, and when “played” in the correct order reproduce the tune "Bells of St. Mary". In both cases, the laughs originate in the madness of the idea itself. Jones was also notable for his gifts as a Chaplinesque physical comedian, perhaps best demonstrated in the "Undressing in Public" sketch.
He was often cast as the straight man, or as a nerdy or put-upon character, often with ambitions or dreams beyond his abilities, in contrast to the authority figures often played by John Cleese or Graham Chapman. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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