The other day I chanced again on one of the great comedy sketches of all time: Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks. (If you haven’t seen it, may I recommend you have a look. Sorry about the laugh track: that’s the way things were back then.) Part of John Cleese’s stride — how does he do that?! — put me in mind of a soldier’s exaggerated parade step, so I thought I’d see what “silly walks” I could find among the armies of the world. As ever, the internet provided. What follow are videos about which I have little to say, except to observe how the male of the species does love to put on a display. Feel free to provide your own laugh track.
The simplest “walk” is perhaps the slow march, where the arms don’t move and the soldiers don’t pick up their feet. Not so much “silly” as just very stiff.
Now comes the “Cleese,” or, as it’s better known, the goose step, beloved of you know who — and dozens of armies still today.
Next we have the Greek National Guard performing what surely must have been the inspiration for the Python sketch.
And finally, the acme of military walks, the cockerel display that takes place on the India-Pakistan border each day. Click on the image below to see an MSN video that I can’t embed; it’s of much better quality than the YouTube videos, however. Worth the trip outside Slaw.