It's an object oriented, open-source, multiplatform scripting language. Its target is similar Perl's: you can do anything from System adminstration, quick application prototyping, CGI web scripting, text processing, math, to whatever else with it. There are even toolkits like Tkinter and wxPython that allow you to do GUI application development, but I've never really used them before.
The syntax of Python is nice-- it basically makes you write readable code. Unlike C, C++, Java, any other language, really, the indentation of the code isn't optional-- it's actually part of the syntax, and if a nested statement isn't properly indented, the interpreter will actually bark back at you, stating that what you just wrote is "wrong" because it's not indented correctly.
I'm just starting to get my feet wet with Python, but I love it already-- it's fun to program with it, and the documentation is EXCELLENT-- there are some great O'Reilly books that have helped me out with it, and on top of that, being open source, the Python website, has just about everything you'd need to know to get started, too.
Heck, its an old thread, but I just discovered it! Here is my wooden nickel's worth.
Python is an interpreted language. It has its origins in C, ABC and Modula2, and reads like pseudocode. It is very object oriented, just about everything is an object in Python. Yes, it is named after Monty Python's Flying Circus. Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, was a fan of the TV comedy.
The language is very versatile and runs on just about any operating system. Python is extensible, and its modules are written in C, C++, Pascal and many other compiled languages. There are a number of code snippets on DaniWeb, look at them, they are mostly educational in nature and should give you a taste of Python. Be careful though, Python is addictive!