Good Neighbors

How A Classic Comedy Sketch Is Inspiring Silliness All Over The Globe, And Making People Laugh Again

See how people are getting a much-needed mood booster by doing 'silly walks' in their neighborhoods.

At a time when people are being told a lot of what they can't do, it's refreshing to see communities giving their neighbors permission to be as silly as possible.

Folks have been putting up 'silly walk' signs in front of their homes encouraging people passing by to let loose within the designated 'jurisdiction of silly walks.'

The idea comes from the classic 1970 Monty Python comedy sketch, "The Ministry of Silly Walks." In the sketch, actor John Cleese demonstrates a variety of silly walks, and is approached by a man looking to get funding to develop his own silly walk – which, after seeing it, Cleese claims is not nearly silly enough. (You can watch the original clip here.)

Residents like Cynda Fleming in Toronto are reviving the old sketch and bringing smiles to passersby who, Fleming says, are quickly catching on to the idea.

"The very day I put them out, people started embracing the idea of doing a silly walk in this little zone here," Fleming told CTV News. "It was quite amazing."

Here's Cynda Fleming, posing in front of her silly walk sign in Toronto, Canada. Cynda Fleming/Facebook

Fleming says she saw the idea online and wanted to put up her own signs to bring a bit of joy to her community. She says watching the parade of silly walks each day is "better than Netflix."

"I just wanted to do this to bring some positivity into this crazy situation we're in right now and it just, I think, gives permission for people to be positive and silly," she said.

This silly walk sign is posted in Clearwater, FL. 7 Day Makeover Shearwater/Facebook

A family in Grosse Point, MI also jumped on the trend and started an Instagram account called "Yorkshire Silly Walks" to document all of the fun people were having with the signs.

"My neighbors seem to love it. Some of them walk by more than once a day and make sure to silly walk," Liz Koto told BoredPanda.

With her doorbell ring camera, the Kotos have caught one family walking like Egyptians. Others have high-kicked, skipped and twirled past the family's home while out on their daily strolls. (Koto included a message on her sign letting people know that their walks may be posted online.)

One resident even left a handwritten thank you note on Koto's porch that read, "Thanks for the laugh! It made my day."

Thanks to social media, Koto's videos have reached a worldwide audience and people from all over have reached out to compliment her idea and have sent photos of their own signs that were inspired by her project.

Here are a few more silly walks that the Koto family captured in front of their home....

For both Koto and Fleming, their homes are now local attractions, with people biking, driving and walking by at all times of the day to practice their silly walks.

Even though the original sketch the signs are inspired by is over 50 years old, its newfound popularity proves that silliness never goes out of style.

"It's just about making fun of yourself and not taking yourself too seriously, which I think we need," Fleming said. "We need that all the time, but we need that especially right now."

How can you start something good?

Want to jump on the 'silly walks' sign trend? You can post your own signs to lift spirits and bring laughs to those in your community. Check out the #SillyWalks hashtag on Facebook and Instagram for some inspiration.

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