zip is its own inverse! Provided you use the special * operator.
>>> zip(*[('a', 1), ('b', 2), ('c', 3), ('d', 4)])
[('a', 'b', 'c', 'd'), (1, 2, 3, 4)]
The way this works is by calling zip with the arguments:
zip(('a', 1), ('b', 2), ('c', 3), ('d', 4))
except the arguments are passed to zip directly , so there's no need to worry about the number of arguments getting too big.
Hope this work!!