Compiled by: Amelia Manley with information provided by MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT
What is SPAM?
SPAM is a canned “shoulder pork and ham/spiced ham” pork product made by the Hormel Food Corporation. SPAM luncheon meat, like most other luncheon meats, is precooked. However, SPAM is often pan-fried or otherwise heated through again to add texture.
How Monty Python Gave the Word a New Meaning:
SPAM was one of the few meat products excluded from the British food rationing that began in World War II (and continued for a number of years after the war), and the British grew heartily tired of it. The British comedy troupe Monty Python used this as the context for their Spam sketch, which gave rise to the term spam.
In the Python sketch, a restaurant serves all its food with lots of SPAM, and the waitress repeats the word several times in describing how much SPAM is in the items.
When she does this, a group of Vikings in the corner start a song:
“SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!” That is, until they’re told to keep quiet!
Thus the word SPAM became a term to describe something that keeps repeating and repeating to great annoyance. Today, the term “spam” also means network abuse on the Internet, particularly junk e-mails and massive junk postings.
Hormel, the maker of SPAM, does not object to the term, but insists that it be spelled in lower case so as to distinguish it from the capitalized SPAM trademark.
Where is most of the SPAM in the U.S. made?
Austin, Minnesota is home to the plant that produces the SPAM for most of North America and Europe. That is also where the SPAM Museum is located.
What state consumes the most SPAM?
The state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam consume the most SPAM per capita.
What is the SPAM Club?
The SPAM Club is a group of devoted Eric Idle and Monty Python fans. SPAM Club members get exclusives throughout the site, such as e-mailed issues of The Daily Dirty Fork newspaper, Adopt-An-Eric, access into virtual parties, and, such club events, as “The SPAM Bag” and “Get Well Soon Eric.”
…But what exactly is a Grail?
In the Medieval Legend, the Grail is the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. The origin of the “Legend of The Holy Grail” is believed to belong to the ancient Britons probably of Welsh and Celtic heritage. There are two explanations for the term. One is that the term “grail” itself is believed to originate from the Latin “gradale” meaning a dish used during a meal. This Latin term evolved into the Old French word “grail” meaning a “broad and capacious dish or slaver.”
What is so magical about The Grail?
It supposedly possesses the ability to heal the sick, or in King Arthur’s case, the mortally wounded. It also has the power to ensure all who are worthy to approach it remain youthful; and the power to provide sumptuous food of any type except for those who are not worthy to eat from it or approach it, as they were regarded as cowards. In Christian terms this means only those being strong enough and pure of mind, body and spirit are able to seek and approach it. Anyone else approaching it would simply see it disappear before their eyes.
Christian Grail romances became popular during the late twelfth and early thirteenth century, with “Robert de Borron” being the first poet to bring the legends of King Arthur seeking The Grail to print. The Quest for similar vessels that have magical, mythical powers like The Holy Grail can be found in most ancient belief systems such as ancient Greek mythology.
Come learn more about SPAM and the quest for The Grail when MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT comes to Miller Auditorium for four performances from Nov. 9-11, 2018. Learn more at https://www.millerauditorium.com/monty-pythons-spamalot.