Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam. . .Lovely Spam!

Monty Python's Flying Circus Spam Sketch. Courtesy of

Technology that Shapes Our Lives

October 5, 1969

Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show, first aired on the BBC.

Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, spawning touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books and a stage musical as well as launching the members to individual stardom. The group’s influence on comedy has been compared to The Beatles’ influence on music.

And from a techie’s perspective, Monty Python was the originator of the use of the term “spam” for unwanted, unsolicited email. In one of Monty Python’s famous sketches, a restaurant serves all its food with lots of spam. The waitress repeats the word several times when describing how much spam is in the items. When she does this, a group of Vikings (don’t ask) in the corner start a song:

“Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, lovely spam! Wonderful spam!”

Until told to shut up.

Thus the meaning of the term: something that keeps repeating and repeating to great annoyance.

Mmmm, feeling a bit hungry. ..