Terry Jones has left us.

Jones was always the member of Monty Python to whom I paid, if not the least attention, then perhaps the greatest measure of taking for granted, at least during the Python years.

I came to them through Live at the Hollywood Bowl first, a movie in which other members have greater roles to play. Then the TV series, in which John Cleese’s size, Eric Idle’s speed, Graham Chapman’s fury, Michael Palin’s virtuosity, and above all, Terry Gilliam’s animation, overshadowed what I later learned to understand and appreciate — his sheer solidity and perfect comic timing. In a show, and movies, that were often scattergun and slipshod, he simple never was. He was the bedrock that made everything else believable. I had to develop my own sensibilities before I could see it.

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