The Monty Python comedy team, the world-renowned British troupe celebrating its 40th anniversary, was honored with a special award on Thursday for its contribution to film and television.

If you want to get a better view, this will be on eBay tomorrow, joked John Cleese as he accepted the award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Monty Python also included Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman.

The presentation was made at the official 40th anniversary Monty Python reunion event in New York co-hosted by the Independent Film Channel, and followed a screening of a new documentary, Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut).

Monty Python created the influential British television show Monty Python's Flying Circus, which first aired in 1969, and went on to make popular movies including Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python's Life of Brian.

The five remaining members of Monty Python took questions from the audience at the event and reminisced. Cleese recalled his most embarrassing moment as when the queen came down to watch and my trousers fell down.

BAFTA, which hands out Britain's equivalent of the Oscars each year, last honored the Monty Python team in 1987 when it received the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.