Monty Python and the Holy Grail: How to Embrace Your Limitations

On this episode of Remarkable, we’re taking lessons from one of the most iconic scenes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: the coconut scene. We’re going to show you how you can embrace your own limitations – and hopefully create a cult following of your own.

Episode Summary

Your marketing budget is limited. It might even be bare bones.  And, believe it or not, that could be a really good thing for you.

Here’s the thing about limitations: they inspire creativity. Limited resources force you to figure out how to take advantage of what you have in order to create the most impact. When you lean into those choices, you can create something stylistically unique and compelling – and become the stuff marketing legends (and Remarkable episodes) are made of.

On this episode of Remarkable, we’re taking lessons from one of the most iconic scenes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: the coconut scene – aka the very first scene of the movie.

For those who haven’t seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the movie opens with the distant sound of a galloping horse heard through thick fog. But what emerges from the fog is not a horse. It’s King Arthur skipping around on foot. His squire Patsy is following him, rhythmically knocking a pair of coconut shells together to mimic a horse’s trot.

There’s a reason this knight is using coconuts to stand in for a horse: the film couldn’t afford real horses. Instead, they improvised one of the funniest scenes in film history. They grabbed a couple of coconuts and knocked them together to sound like the gallop of a horse. This absurd yet brilliant idea is just one of the many reasons Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a cult classic. Today, we’re going to show you how you can embrace your own limitations – and hopefully create a cult following of your own.

About Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 low budget British comedy that satirizes the legend of King Arthur. It stars the Monty Python comedy troupe in key roles: Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Eric Idle. Carol Cleveland and Sandy Johnson also star in the film. Gilliam and Jones directed the movie, and Gilliam also did the animation and artwork.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

  • Acknowledge your limitations and brainstorm creative ways to work around them. Don’t dwell on your limitations. Embrace them! Think outside the box about how you can tell your story with what you have. Monty Python thought WAY outside the box with their coconut solution, but it worked – and according to co-director Terry Gilliam, it even helped set the stage for the film: "We would never have got through that movie with real horses,” he said. “It makes a wonderful leap, because with that opening shot you accept the kind of lunatic logic that's there." Caspian team member Dane Eckerle gives us another example from his work producing an independent film:

“We could only afford stunt coordinators on a certain amount of days, which meant that a lot of the action needed to get consolidated into those days. But we wanted the action that we did have to look really good, and we didn't want to have to stretch ourselves too thin trying to cram in 50 stunts in two days. So we decided to do 10 stunts really, really well in those two days. Then we leaned into the emotion of it. And so instead of showing the action, we captured the first part of the action. And the cameras slowly push into the character’s face, and you hear the carnage.” - Dane Eckerle, Producer, and Head of Development at Caspian

  • Demonstrate self-awareness about your workaround. Emphasize your workaround to let your audience know that it was truly a choice, not some mistake or half-baked idea. They’ll feel like they’re in on your secret, and it can help create audience awareness as well. For the premiere of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the comedy group advertised that they would give out free coconuts to the first thousand people who bought tickets. The next morning, fans were lined up as early as 5:30 in the morning to get their hands on a coconut!

*“I just feel like when you have the money, when you have all the resources - and this isn't to say that big movies or big commercials or big marketing campaigns are bad, but there's no limitations. There's no box that you're put in that breeds a new level of creativity or outside-the-box thinking. It's just, you do what you can or what's been done before, or what you can afford, which is anything. I think it robs a little bit of that DIY scrappy thinking. You lose a little bit of that inventiveness when you have it all. It's easier to stand out from the crowd if you're embracing your limitations.” - Dane Eckerle

*”’Do more with less’ is really interesting to me because it implies two things. Number one, that you need to do more. So, you need to push the boundaries of what you have done in the past. So if you had a million dollar budget and you achieved X results, now you need to surpass what you used to do. And then the second piece is that you have less to do it with, which means you have less physical dollars that you can invest.’ - Ian Faison

*”When you don't look at it realistically and just go, ‘Okay, this is what we got and this is how we're gonna have to work with it,’ When you fight the tide, it actually ends up looking bad. Like if you try and stretch something and make something that you really don't have any business making, everyone can feel it.” - Dane Eckerle

Episode Highlights


Watch “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

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About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both non-fiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios), Dane Eckerle (Head of Development), Colin Stamps (Podcast Launch Manager), Anagha Das (B2B Content Marketing Manager), and Meredith O’Neil (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Meredith O’Neil, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

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