« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 962 - Eric Idle

2018-10-24 | 🔗
Python Week continues on WTF as Eric Idle gives Marc his perspective on the creation of the legendary British comedy group, talks about the making of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Rutles, and Spamalot, and explores his feelings about the other Pythons. Eric also explains what it was like growing up at the end of World War II, how rock and roll became his escape from reality, and why he wound up having lasting friendships with David Bowie, George Harrison and Robin Williams. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music and Quip.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right? Let's do this, how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck and ears what the fuck's there's what's happening? A mark marin. This is my podcast w p I'm recording this from a diff location, I'm not in the garage. I imagine you can hear a little difference in the sound quality, I'm in a hotel room in new york city in man, at ten and I'm actually I'm abraham debt, that I'm not usually in that they put me up in midtown As some of you know, I will be working on the joker movie. I start tomorrow, and I'm not nervous yet, but I'm I'm going to be I I know many of you know this. I know some of you still don't think addressed the
the reality of it properly, given my criticism of superhero movies, but I will stand by my, not only defence of taking this opportunity to do a scene with Robert de niro and Joaquin phoenix, but also in defense of this particular movie. It's not what you think and that's the truth. I want two set, can't tell you where it is, but it do it was outside the city. That's that's where they were set up for that day and I fifty I got for my outfit and I I have been going over my lines and I'm I'm ready, I'm ready in my mind. I don't know what it'll be like to be standing next to Robert DE niro doing a scene walking actually we're going to, look at me, I tell you that we're going to be walking and doing a scene, I'm going to be walking and talking Robert de Niro and then standing still and talking to both of them
I can tell you that much. I believe, I'm free and clear to say that don't think. I've went on anything really but imagine tomorrow, when I get there I'll be like holy shit, but who knows, I don't know, dimension, who's on the show, Eric idle issue from monty python, there's been a month I thought were week so new york, yeah. You know I've been coming here. I lived here A big chunk of my life here and I come here and I always have odd feelings. You know I die don't this is a perfect time of year fall on the east coast when it gets a little crisp in the air and the the the skies clear and the leaves are starting to turn. Some of them have turned your you, starting to just where the that one layer or two layers. It's it just does something to my brain gets me into a space into a it's, not.
A high feeling. I don't know really. You know what to call it, but it's it's sort of thoughtful there. Is there It's a time of reflection. I really like I don't really do what I used to do when I come here and I don't know how to really stay here more than three days. I left for a reason- and I talked about that before you know it gets be a little overwhelming. Working. You get to a point where you just got to get out So much of my might, my brain is interfaced with this I know how to be in new york, but I I think I finally sort of figured out- I don't really like staying here more than a few days when I used to just love it here and the truth is its likeness. The algae can be sort of malignant, I'm not nostalgic a person. I don't really think about the past as a better time or think that things were necessarily better in the past, or I don't I don't have. I dont worry revised things from my past. Or sort of ruminate
on them in a way that that makes me feel like my present is no good. Generally, I I tend to forget. Most of of what I want with anything and my memories of things. They never tend towards like being better than they what they were. They always go. The other way really, but I think in general. You know on personal histories and whatever we ve come through in whatever we ve gone through sort of define us, and I looked up the word- nostalgia that The nation is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically free period or place with happy personal associations something done or presented in order to evoke feelings of nostalgia. But then, if you go to the origin of nostalgia, it's greek, it's no stone! I don't know if I'm pronouncing this right, I'm not some sort of linguistic person, nostos. Which is return home. An owl goes, which is pain and that sort of evolved into homesickness
And then the stout evolved into a cute homesickness and I dont know think right as I think we really what's most cafe to me about the origin. Is that return home pain? I think more. Why we don't go back places they like me. I understand how it evolved into why? when you're, not home. That is a pain for not being here, but I just think if we break it down to no steps in our goes return home. There is pain you return home and then the pain will come back so even in the natural evolution of the word to where it becomes homesickness in that idea of nostalgia is this essence: of the trauma of the past, like go around this town and likewise it feel a little haunted. Whatever my life was here, it was a fucking struggle. All of it. I went through
a marriage. Here I went through my stand up early stand career here I went through drugs here I went through complete chaotic. You know existential earthquakes of self here. I you know part of it to find me, but I just started to realize that this sort of overwhelming kind of energy makes new york. Amazing you'll always had this do it, because I was always you to be here, but what was that tinge? What was at isolate feeling what was that? That kind of darkness the edges outside of it just be new york. Was that holy shit? I was chaotic fucking mess. When I was here just we all different points in the decade or so that I was here and I realize like oh that's it I mean I'm not miss. algae for any of that cause it is to come back and can walk past the old haunts in everything? That's what they are their old haunts for a reason, because they are did you and they still haunt you and it's why,
If you really put yourself back in that place from your past, I would never want to fucking. Be there again, so it's not getting me depressed obviously you move through to a point where you're like? Why? Guy I did ok you even given all that bullshit you I made it out and I'm alive and things are going ok, but that doesn't mean that performing for four p or sweating alone. In my apartment or or wondering you know what the fuck was going to happen, what my life get fucked up all the time, identity crisis of rio wet. What am I doing with my life in that stuff? It's all here, sweaty marin, wander the streets eternally in it comes down to like year's new york, but here those two blocks. Man here as four blocks are. Those tour free clubs. This was your life for years and you sweaty and angry and freaked out and terrified and in unsure of everything and just
barely hanging on that guy. If I go back those two blocks, are I go back to that area or those three gloves are, I can still feel and that part of me that that me who I was just wandered around sweaty and angry and lost and fuck in you hang. Hopes are nothing granted. I got through it, but when I get in it it's sort of like oh okay, that's the dark so maybe my realizing this- maybe just a yearning and do I think I'm gonna go downtown, and a fine sweaty mark a prior to wait till it two in the morning- maybe go or to the seller. With sweaty mark and in just go. I do you know you can you can leave is it you know you don't have to you know it worked out. It worked out, sweaty mark, so let's, let's get together on this and frame
right way. So you're not nagging at me when I come back here yeah. That was that experience. I'm glad I put that together Return home pain right, so Eric idle. This was a great a great conversation. It was it was fun having the honor actually to talk to John cleese and Eric idle was it? Was experience in when I talk to eric- and I didn't talk too much about John about this- pacifically, but I remember man I remember. Do you remember I mean I'm fifty five now and I remember when Monty python was on pbs. That was where you had to and I remember when I first heard about it and turning that channel over to pbs, which was generally at that point, I guess it was in the seventies and I was young. It was kind of flat. It was not that
gauging I didn't watch sesame street. I didn't watch macneil where I didn't. I don't know programs on there, but I don't know that I really understood what public broadcasting as, but it was on there, but I remember late at night. You would tuning in those credits the terry gilliam credits I am proud. I read every bed and bread and bread and butter it would just like it was fucking mind blowing. It's like what am I watching what the fuck is happening, and I was thinking about this- a thinking about nostalgia and thinking about when I was younger and thinking about you have getting into that space and thinking. it's sitting in front of that tv set late at night downstairs in the house. I grew up in you're alone in the dark in front of that tv set and that Monty python came on and you're like what is this? There is none. Like this on any planet except here and now what is going on and then it would just unfold, the show it unfolding you like. What am I watching what's happening, brain? It was fucking
mind blowing and I just really kind of locked into that today, was thinking about talking to you guys about this. That, like there was nothing like it and to this day the remains. It remains that there is nothing like it, but watching that when it was happening at the time it was happening. I it you know having that we're, secret feeling of like does anybody else know about this, this insane. What watching that was the beauty of it and then just taking it in and trying to wrap your brain around. It was spectacular, it was. It was incredible experience and now I get to talk to one of the guys another one of the guys Eric idle has a book out. It's his memory I always look on. The bright side of life is now available. Wherever you get books in this was a convert. asian that happened a few weeks ago in the garage
and had love we time these geyser there, their great adroit I'd like to talk to Pailin, I maybe that can happen. I don't know but but this is me in Eric idle back in the garage? I got your book and I picked someone sent me. The The oral history of David Bowie and I notice you weren't in there you're like one of them. Did they ask you to do that somebody's regime? You said I'm so sure I didn't talk to you about that that's what they knew. We were friends you, it wasn't a very broad cost right. It was just happen. We happen to be friends quite a long time. Actually, when did you meet a reason? I went through bobcat goethe, wait here in the end, I think eighties, humanity bobcat
yeah. She was good friendship, but he loved comedians. I didn't I had no idea. The bobcat knew him and I've talked to a bobcat has directed my. Oh, I bet he's been on this show a million times and he added- I not know he didn't know bowie. While I think he did introduce us and them, then message on holiday, yeah same box with John Michael's yeah and we got on really well. Then we went to stay with him several times in it in Switzerland. Oh really yeah really good friends when we on a couple of cruises with him with very the gates it always is surprises me as a fan of people that debt they just have normal lives. That's the thing, isn't it a figure you're? So you down, and bars with lorne michaels David Bowie kid resign, my kid resale right, viewed him duncan I don't care. I there's a picture of him in the bulgaria that I guess we're on. The same and where we are and how do we there? Is it
thing, though mystique perhaps that dad when you reach a certain level of celebrity that you sort of have to hang out with the the other ones. I think it becomes neutralized yeah. I don't think they aren't. They aren't celebrities, they're, just people, you meet happen to be in showbiz in the same business you are yeah that makes sense or not even the same business that doing music. You know I'm not in that business. You are in that business while peripherally. I mean it seems like that was the it almost seems like. That was the thing you most passionate about early on early on. When I first came to america. Most of my life here was rock and roll, so I was up at night only yeah that was harrison and george But when one was that what yearly hot, I suppose we're talking. Seventy five. We first came here. Seventy three with the true would a guy stays at the riot house over at the hyatt is now the highest yeah cause the comedy store. They called the riot yeah yeah he's crazy yeah and seventy three yeah and where we can
It was crazy. All the guys, all except John, who missed a good time, always have nature what it was all in armenia, landlady alders, more he's born in nineteen, thirty nine. So he will be walk next year. He will be eighty yeah, that's right, yeah yeah next year, my daddy's Emily nine. This I'm? Only seventy five yeah also has a pale into where the youngest two, how was he had to cambridge when you were there if he was five years old and because of the war. All of the servicemen got a preference to go into cambridge and oxford, so he got had to wait. His generation had to wait. couple of years and he might have been liable for national service. But what he did is went back to his old prep school and taught latin for two years. That's right! Yeah! I think he told me that crazy you- and this is happiest time, I was even rear. Their knees. Really, a teacher John. I made him india many good ways, so so
through your here. It's all rock n roll chauvinism here too? We have not reached the summer rockin round. We came out of cheering canada as a group as the group, and that was a rock and roll reaction, at the end of it. That was the end of the tv show Seventy three now the tv show was: oh, we know. We were deciding whether to do a fourth series and on the lord John, and he was not going to do that, and so he left us bank which was the last days and we would be taken by neil both the record company buddha records, so they took his down to allay here to do promo cause. We were only on record sphere here. If you only knew issues a record, they thought we were like what was that go far scientists, they rightly we just did comedy rate record. Was there were two of em right to records? I don't know what they released here, but they they were. They were. Border. Let me I had to do we did that tonight show we did in a very weird promotion of thinking and it was in
it's interesting, so the so the tv show didn't start airing here. Until when I would say seven, it was started in Dallas. What strange beginning? Isn't it on the pbs, the Dallas PBS Rhonda valley. I picked it up. It was very cheap from the bbc and he noticed an immediate spike on Sunday nights here and he persuaded other stations, including new york, right to run it other pbs station. I grew up in new mexico and I remember that was where you found it. It was a strange thing defined where you know word got out and you're like that's on pbs. What is it and beyond late at night and you'd be sitting there? Your kid and you're like what? What am I watching I was like thirteen and for two twenty five thirty years. That was it and that was so great for us cuz he ran You cared yeah and it was all people could find age right in every city, all over america. It didn't hit it is right things some pbs and they didn't cut They didn't have commercial breaks rio. It was just
home, we wouldn't have been there. But for that and it's interesting because that cultivate It is a true I mean that young people became very dedicated to it. It was a unique find who would who would want pbs india, this whole generation of people that were discovering something that almost no one knew about. That's, but the experience of peace in the area of discovered it like a cult It was like getting viewing and if we know this we ever did a tour, they would come out and they find other fans at concert with That was like news to news: convert yeah yeah, the other people I see I see so they'd go to the show and they're like. Oh you I come to other people yeah. You know my gosh. I thought just my little secret, so I when I thought it was roger waters. I think who I talk to the generation of people that were born during world war, two and and sort of the effect that has because that's one big diff,
between americans and europeans is that europeans were they. They got the shit bombed out of them and it was a re thing and that's something we have no real. Awareness of here now and if you remember it, how old are you I remember the sound of the sirens I was. I was about two and a half when the war ended in forty five of irish but yeah. It went but terror. It communicates itself very quickly and yeah. So it was an experience and then off the post war. It was very bleak because we had rationing till I was ten or eleven because it was about four ever was rubble everywhere and your father didn't die in the war by father, died, hitchhiking home for chris, is it from the refs. He made it through the war made it through the wall from nineteen forty one in the back. You know the lancaster obama, but he was in transport on most of their butt and then must serve killed in a road accident on the way home for christmas. Oh, my guy, I know it's the better.
you don't remember that? No, I don't remember that you remember his absence. I think so yes, I mean there were always absent because they were in the war right so they were away. You don't remember, but I mean I have pictures and his diaries things yeah. I sweet afterwards. You put these things together and you have siblings. No, only child and a child, yes wow. So when, when after your father passed, I mean just grub. What your mother, my mother, one is term many ifs of depression and roy was, with my one. I call my grandma my pop, who I think were her uncle and aunt in manchester, and they were very loving so dear to me, so they depend and lasted a lifetime? No, while yet on and off he did. I think she was bipolar by eventually, then she got a job as a nurse in a while, She was the other side of the mercy from Liverpool and I went, school there with her for the first time at five.
Indeed and stay there thou, whether two years and then she got an offer from the our if benevolent fund, to put me into this boarding school which pay for our entire education. So they did they got into oxford- is what her cambridge of that really later, but all boys. I was at school with had no fathers, but it is, they, some of them remembered them passing or like a young having or shall we, the main kids here in the guinness book? You sort of talk about how you they were all crying. And do you dance We can always only you're in the middle of the sort of awful I share his awful yeah I know it was awful. Let's finish, school was over, we were in a dormitory, and the senior school was at one hundred yards long re. The bed every three feet
I know not great know that not much privacy or no privacy at all lot of bullying and quite a lot of beating, can be beaten by the prefix of l really That was that was okay, the endemic may. then the marshes could beat with keynes. Really it was a privilege It happened to you a lot, a lot like, as you re, smart ass? Well, you can put it that way. I mean I was once beaten for silent, insolence chances yeah, but you we sense what you were thinking. Yes, and when did you like with the british years, that the entire comedic sensibilities different, I believe, then than here in the states in theirs, history of comedy that I learned about in bits and pieces, So when you were younger at that age, what were your first experiences with with the the the of being funny or what was entertaining to you. What we didn't have
change its aim and what we going to most of all was rock and roll. So when I always came saved our lives here, we have little transistor radios, reggie built crystal sex to listen to their from music, all radio, and so your your clever kids? Well, we respond yeah, we think about. After all this time, your fourteen weeks of school right, it's just endless and her mother people grew up in her teenage lives. You know they're going out dating and dancing here, but we're stuck in this place. So we listened a lot to music. Rock'n'roll was very, very poor. It was why saving the data in a totally always totally saved our lives, really the remember the first time you heard it, but you could absolutely, as I shouted our ours and a cat that was a heartbreak hotel and was fifty seven. I think I was at this sort of holiday camp here called butlins where you going for two weeks and found by all the girls, and that would doubt singing gittin bugging too, that Elvis yeah so
it opened, unleash the primal desire. Apps of all the children seemed to be on our side. He seemed to be talking to us and did were you playing music. At the time I was in a skiffle group or a folk group. I started harmonica. Can you still monica? only terrorism about humanity, Eric pitiable account, my going and then we did sort of black protest songs cause, I think we associate is somehow being white in Wolverhampton about three thousand miles from the deep south right, maybe five thousand miles, or we somehow associated with that those protects the the the the idea of repression and oppression and in not being free to do what you want to do totally. So it was between that and a british war films. While there was escaping from cold it. So we our school, we called cold. It was like the cold, it's right,
do you have to break out always climbing over the wall so before they were before Elvis was there? There was if a folk thing happening I mean, do you remember, because it seemed like the that you grew up in this prime era of upheaval. Yes, social upheaval so like folk was was popular, and that was it was that. Did you see yourself like I'm going to do this now no no. No! It's just that. I was fond playwright, china, but terrorist a banjo plan and I was a harmonica play and eventually I got a fourteen- I got myself a guitar and stuff learn. You know the basic chords and play songs and song, something that was the at that time. The comedic influences like what were you listening to outside of Elvis was you listening to the radio must have been No, no, I'm well aware great shows on the radio, but they were always on when we were doing one prep, which was like in the I for change. We do a two hours of prep writings go school in me.
Classroom and two hours of homework. Yeah compulsory watched homework you talk a little in the book about the of being somewhat that some You were a legacy of of performers somewhere in your genealogy, there were circus. Performers are Brian. I would It's, though, that's my great great grandfather was a circus ringmaster in the eighties Haiti is eighty nineties and did you like? Did you go to the circus I was taken to the sex it five in Bellevue manchester by my pop, who was enough to me and the clowns treated us like but he was unbelievable because his name was bertrand air and the sky was called bertram. Then they ate in hd, greatgrandfather prettier was famous famous ringmaster and the clowns. and the closure of respect for the terrified of clowns when you little, but there were way back stage of this kind of cool arcas royalty and were you terrified of clowns either
scary? Yes, there are knocking. You know ass, fresh in real life, performances and arctic very much, I guess, never thought about that way, but that's true. They have this sort of like the freedom to do the absolutely and they mess around with the other performers, and they spread pretend to throw buckets of water over the audience and true yeah, marry them off. Actually in real life like that in bunches. I think yeah groups of clans are more confined to the union. Isolated clown could be sad become sends the bobcat recent strange agendas to kill you I, but gay did you. I guess I never really process that in your car, like money by then swine circus, where they come from, I mean it was. It was very strange amalgamation, but only afterwards did I I was also in the circus. We're stuck me really strange and then I looked into my great grandfather, rigour, but I found he was also a comedian waiting.
Started before he became a ring marcia. He was a comedian like doing like the boy, the equivalent of pre vaudeville. I guess less cows and I would say musical What of all that he was in folkestone is one of the censuses these him and another guy. Staying there now listed as comedians. Really, I wonder if they were a team, I think they were No, they won't notice that they were, but I dont know what they did: the hours, the noah, no historical record of that no videotape nobody or no transcripts. Eighteen. Twenty nine is very ancient crack wreck already doing mainly visual comedy. You can see that, but did you like it like? I have to assume that the living, what kind of life and that sort of there it sounds dark. It sounds. There was a darkness that it must have been a relief to laugh. I would imagine laughter was very
because it was our rebellion and you laughed at the the authority and you subverted alrighty we learned to climb over the walls and go the off licence and buy beer and fine mix made girls, girls and ear all the decent. The things you learn in confinement. Well, yes, because it is sort of halfway between being in the military and being in prison was the agenda of the school, to get you into the military. I don't think so. I think I think they were kind supposed. I mean there are all these sort of semi orphans that the order, the area for paying for right and cause there's a widow so that it was my house. for single women to have a job and to bring up a kid from seven to eighty. Ass, when you re wrong geo, I they were being philanthropic here and doing- and we got to and education. I mean I I discovered you know I got onto to cambridge where were you? What were your interests? When you were at the at the boarding school I mean like as it it seems like he, he
look at python and you look at the work. You did even a music and stuff that there is a historical tradition to it that you know. Certainly the movies python de stuff you guys dealt with was pretty deep, stuff lofty stuff, Well, I always have two things. I have two choices, one of which is on my gran gave me a typewriter yeah. So I started to write stories here and that was an escape and the other things get. Our wish is a fantastic mode of escape, and I suppose the third thing I would say- I learned to read that is an enormous escape. If you're in a huge crowded community of things. You know we football and around and play cricket and fears that when it wasn't all bleak right at me, I think the overall commit was bleak, because there's no emotional support right right right, yet no thrive like not, I guess
personal guidance or someone to look up to I mean when you don't have a father, that's a it's a big void in terms of like well, who am I going to be? Who is going to be my role model but also your mother. Isn't there so no hug, she, as you know, kind of a warrior, feel blue and I know, shut up, gown go over exactly yeah, and so I think it was tough arm and biofuels chick good. I learned a lot of really valuable thing said: you are now to accept pugs, eventually, eventually I persuaded women to. Let me have them, let them hug me. No, of course you I mean after you left. It was just like a pursuit in a desperate pursuit and somebody yeah, and then you have to learn how to treat. You know how to actually appreciate women for being women when she asked a lot longer. Well, yeah, it's a culturally they're having a it's a big issue. Now they're, not just things we play with they're human beings, but I mean
to learn that? I think I have ever teaches you and also by new you guys. I mean you get you got co ed. So you is. Are you that's a lie? Do you know Their rows grow with them right there, yeah yeah try to talk to them. We had to climb the crime climb over schools and rules and things to get towards them, so Oxford he went to. Cambridge, cambridge, sorry I get the two confused. it is one better than the other or they both equally. As I know they have different kinds of personalities. I mean, if you look at python. Michael Palin and terry Jones went to oxford. John cleese me and graham chapman were at cambridge and I think about oxford, a very much more. For the appreciate all the politicians in england come out of oxford, always so they're much more controlling and cambridge is much more flamboyant. We produce spies. Radical, the against it. The russians were
cambridge era has gay or extremely flamboyant on drunk, and so they dismissed where joint in cambridge show business is tolerated. It's kind of a new casing too, to be successful in cambridge, was in actual use of have to apologize for and and write diaries forever says. Alan lenient, not supposed to be re into Shelby's milkshake except politics is just not entertaining show business for politics is, I don't quite know what politics ease I think, there's a degree they do at oxford. They don't do at cambridge. This is why the older do they all go to it. That's funny that The prerequisite for spying is flamboyance and drinking and the tolerance of show business. I guess there is a lot of of of acting, roleplaying when you're ear professional spy. There was a miss one. I think his name was burgess and he was in america is english, and he's in america and he's an extraordinary alcoholic and every night he got drunk and would tell everybody he was a russian spy.
What year shut the fuck up? Executive research was russians. He ran away actually gay scaped that there is the. I that that was his big front is that he was so upfront about it. That people didn't believe it was a clever double bluff. He was just drunk so when you get there like, so you how? How did that too? So the state has the works of eight day. You got scholarship fur for being a good student yeah. In those days you I, u get accepted by the college or twenty three colleges at cambridge and acknowledged it will take you on and then I recall just in different places. There is neither janshah, ok, ok, so the different colleges in the union, so there's an engineering colleges of what should I do not wish to know that you you're in college and that's how it is you and contacts you, but you can be doing math could be doing it's. Ok, I don't architecture, it doesn't matter what you're doing and then you going to study in the
diversity for whatever you're doing right. I get it, and so would you get accepted to do english, which is nothing at all Most importantly, I may I all yours reed didn't do much except a comedy. I actually stumbled into comedy very early on. I met John gleeson, my second term via an eye or dish, and- and I did it the college review, and I the first piece I did ABBA Publicly- was a piece he'd written, really yeah. So but you weren't, like I guess in terms of like when I look at some of the lyrics, the songs you weren't you weren't in any way obsessed with the you know the poetry of Alexander pope or swift or the funnier shakespeare, like those kind of, like a historical satirists show. I still have my love. I love swift. I love pope. I absolutely I liked was nice to read english literature. leaving chaucer was hilarious. Absolutely, but the thing was it english studying wishes. You don't have to go to the lectures. You need the balkans, three minutes you he can.
everything he's gonna, say the lecture you could have scheme through right right. I'm really their interest in what you think right, where you have to read the texts and then respond to it. So what is the trajectory jack assumed of somebody English at cambridge date was like here, like he just sort of like well, that's a degree I have now. I I work at a photo mat or a a copy store. What I guess are tito on to be a teacher. I don't honestly know what I guess you could be a journalist. You could be a writer. I have an english degree in my garage talking to Eric idle and I'm here in the garage with my english degree. Talking to you, you know I I it's. because I would find that it at cambridge, everybody just studying everything else had already read the same books. I was reading right. He said they were its becoming architect right, right, mathematicians, the they actually had the foresight to create a life for themselves had some security perhaps,
turn that that good good? It was a good thing to be, because I didn't have anything particular to do so. I went into for about six minutes and then I got into writing comedy. What's rep refugees it We did oh what a lovely war lester rap on then, but by euro cambridge, after just leaving out so when you're I came at you meekly and you meta, who, graham I know, gone down, but I met him at the end of that year. I met Michael Pailin and terry judge of the professional right but clean, but when cambridge and started doing comedy cause. I talked to a sasha baron cohen, who I believe could not get into was turned down from the. What is the footlight of court lights? Now? The footlights that this is sort of like important yeah, but he went on to study clowning with a master that forget the guy's by day but I think it was a sort of deciding
actor in his commedia gag career, where they were turned down from footlights him. What was footlights stork club that had been there forever? Eighteen? Eighty three, and that what was the idea of it? I wish there isn't a review society, a comedy society and we had it's own clubrooms. There was a little stage at one end and a bar at the other, which opened at ten thirty at night and you could stay as late as you want. So that was our social life. They did lunches. So from about three drinks: for now you gotta yeah, but drink yeah. Yeah sure I mean the pubs close at ten right when we opened that Jan fifteen, it was really good. You know you just went on and body. It was very show, and then I got to watch all these people like John, please buildings and which are therefore all performing and doing stuff. yeah. That's only way you can learn comedy yeah and what were so What was the thing that he wrote that you performed like? How did you
Gideon do you have to addiction? What is the issue of you to write a piece in all decision which I did and I got him with Jonathan Lynn, whose film director johnny land, he did the nuns on the run and he did vinnie. My cousin binny, oh yeah, movie and what tat? What did you write? The iranians age, but the one I did with John was actually based on risk will be bc bc The BBC news rita good, even here, is the news yeah and it was like, as I did, the weather forecast tonight either been over. The last few days has been bit rough. There's been playing frogs, lizards, love, the. Weather forecast right after that death of all the firstborn? Sorry about that objective is just so you won't be able to go. It was little news BBC bc so that gotcha that got me.
You should know alone mcleish, chemicals to be. I was introduced and the os me the join the footlights and I never heard of it. So he said no just come in addition, so we and we got in there why some old peter cook, stuff and dudley moore, jesse I can hear the way he approached characters was something like the way you guys did. Were you guys contemporaries, or was he older Peter had gone down about four years, but his voice was everywhere. Everybody taught not discusses, he wished. He ought to be a minor, but I don't have to to get the money exam. I said what is your name, and I got fifty percent on that they, like you, this weird kind of like tradition, it's good. I watch some of the the goons and there was this really relentless satirizing between classes, Yeah, yeah yeah that, like the irish, took a big hit on some of the guns, shows
it was of the army. Those goon show people came out of the army, yeah I'll pay, the sellers seek them all that lot and then off to them came peter cook and dudley moore they would be on the fringe and they were the first satirists yeah and they mocked the prime. lista and the army and the queen was that happening when you were in coward. I swim at night, just before I got there. I nineteen sixty two. I saw that show and it changed my life. So a o really. Yes, either I loved haha. I couldn't believe you're allowed to laugh at these things right, as you aren't allowed to laugh these things openly in school, right or or even say it, especially in a government, run school not in front of the growing authority. yeah yeah, you said everything, but the the mid sixties was a time where, like a lot of that, stuff broke open right. It was just at the satire in england sixty three sixty four there, a show called that was the week that on television ring, which was david frost and so that brought down a government that she changed. A conservative government, the power, the powers
on television and what what what else is going on. I can because I've talked to you. I talked to musicians and it seem like that. and in that time in the sixties, there was just so so much going on with the inner with music like we're there everything was like changing very quickly. It was a real nice on sea and it was because there is nothing that this bomb sites. I another generation of people who are on tv. There wasn't any television writer onto another who commit as they were in the army, yellow we will. But we can one to an open field and radiated arts, young people, the young people. All of this misfits were sent off to our colleague jean and they all became rock the who It was sounds largely all wearing, not colleges came out of all colleges here and they were the so bad boys and so started early, but that we are the same generation and their lot went into you note eventually, television and radio. That's it that's why?
in its it's really interesting that all those guys like when you talk about in this just me talking about music when you bring up sonny, terry and brownie mcghee, which is a fairly esoteric reference that those records came through In Britain they like you, there must have been some premium put unlike like where'd, you get that record like it was. Must we sort of difficult to get those records, but I think that was Ok, that was the folk. Why would I was kind of a hip for a little while vs folk rifle war, but even the booze records radish thrill of getting the cause, all those bans, the who and end the stones and yet the beatles, not not to the same degree. As it were, influenced by american blues, turned it inside out and then resold it to america was kind of genius. I think answer that question They came in on the banana boats, liverpool and they came from the west indies and they came from america livable support here like hamburgers
well the records. These records came with sailors yeah, we brought them and they liked it liked the music and that the music spread that way. Yeah it's er it it. It kind of blows me away. What was going on there in theater was like a crazy, then to write. Theater was an angry young man. They were protesting. The changes over from being rather polite sage of noel, coward's, yeah, and that goes and brice very dated suddenly and there's a play called look back in the by John Osborne right that we should change, is everything right, and so they become their windows. The angry young man and that's in that that happens, simultaneous out of the same dollars, gene it is now twenty years so like now. You have this like this, this open, it's like the wild west. You know for a fact. Comedy like you know that the the floodgates have been opened and there's nobody stopping you getting in yeah you're. In fact, we need courage to come into television. Air force gave us all jobs year, writers and how did you meet edge
jones in pale and if they were at at oxford, because we are part of the festive, ok, rainbows fort Lyon, and they were part of the arch, would review Z. I went to check him out so when at edinburgh, which is still a festival with the same festival every year. The one that's to go is still going on huge. Now I know everybody looks for comedians, but beyond the fringe year, reversal of edinburgh festival fringe, yes, where they came out of year, and so we're only a few years later, there's a tradition for oxford and cambridge to send reviews that yeah we will. We will We were part of that and that's where you met them. That's why and see them on? Why should pay them first performing and jones? You first performing You can tell us where the same age you doing the same things so funny. Therefore, pay was very funny, He was hilarious. I mean I saw him performing for the first tire. I never forget. The sketch it was he was and he is really funny yeah. What was the? What was the nature that he came on stage and he was displaying an old performer. He said you know hello.
people, I'd like a very nice to be here, mcdonald's, is this is big present of an says, extend it says, oh to my from the audience with love every people- oh my gosh, I'm so touched I thought I was too old and out of touch nobody cared about me anymore, I was well and what you do sing my biggest hit when love by in a million tiny pieces The box blew up yeah cigarette J. Had he played it so well, it was the emotion of it all. So you start writing together shortly after that. We then We find ourselves, what would you like a bbc
dollar at higher show, will hire you write. It gives you a cherry. I was writing a bit. I think, with graham It's so funny in my memory I don't know like I didn't know him frost it's a yeah, comedian. Well I shall not refer. It wasn't very good, but you are a good host right, very good. Knowing who was funny right so he got it would bring people in like a ball games or jobs. Twenty three on writing on a big hit show the bbc and then like, so that that cause like, I think, one of the things that you have python a outside of a just comedically was was revolutionary, was because of the structure of lack of structure. Then, with the movement trump sketch to sketch piece to piece, was that you obviously wasn't random, but it didn't abide by any any sort of set structure flowed lyrically, almost we got rid of punchline zia about meat. We don't get weed for all these are the shows should rather fractional writer. Iran is tommy cooper. Everyone
written for various other big english comedians. Did you or didn't you write a children's show for awhile, and then we were on a tv show called do not adjust your set. Who was all If I was asked to do it- and I asked, for my contrary to be with mia and then a terry gilliam eventually came and joined us, and that's where you met terry hall yeah. She just came in on the kid show on the kid show, a mike and Sherry hated him said. No, no he's got something. Use America he's america. the. How do we need this american for Well, he's east conjure always fun easier way, we're the jail just like a lighted and two brat airy and then yeah option, and so that I think that seems to have made good sense. to me that you all sort of started to explore possibilities on a children's show. It was nice, have a children's show because we decided we wouldn't talk down to children. We do what we found funny, but we couldn't use blue right. Also very good discipline, so easy just be for shock, so he had to
yeah to sweeten it. Wouldn't with sweet, it's kind of in your face. It's still a bit short of odd yeah. We won lots of awards. It was very popular and then it was on at five twenty five, and so a lot of people would come home from work early to watch it grownups grow see energizing john, I'm graham writing movies for Peter pizza. As at the time They were, they would stop a show. They were movies. Did they write for Peter christian? Yes, january, southern bit johns in that area- and so graham, I think in a scene, they were watching terry southern settings, things and that may be some other things for frost, though Peter cooked long rise, arise or michael remarks. They might have been involved in that they were. There were serious scriptwriters, they locked into the to the children show because there was a large insurance show, cost jobs that it was a funny thing on television
if they wanted to just laugh. What were you doing? That was different than what might have been thought of as a children's show, and I think it was just more in your face kind of pie. dog, doo Dah band, europe here, and I think that the whole thing was very sorta. It was kind of funny was only about twenty five minute and the kids loved it, the kids loved it and then the adults of it too, which is, and we won awards and that's That's an amazing feat. Why, culturally that's too, it seems to be the the of the movie industry now is like. If you can get kids, I'm grown ups to enjoy the thing, then it's good to hear a like advance. Your time is at an end and all of the animated stuff, like that now bryce they have her head, you, people who watches a kid who went on to creative professions, come up to you and say like that, changed my entire,
we were things. People remember that share of a certain age year, but then this python and then, as I mean you know, a special age, you come in what you tune into peter cook and dudley moore had their own series, not only, but also he has really funny year, the bbc wiped it. Why save tape at a really young like two inch ampex a wiped it yeah, so only the bits remain arm. Film shot, some film bitch keeping nuns of gnrh at which peter on the trampoline club button, the app yeah, the looping nuns of norwich very, very funny. He was hilarious. I knew him, I loved him his door, I was he was. He was unique because he was the only one who did improv. Nobody at the improv wasn't existing in our day. It was all scripted, but could improvise in utah cabaret really yeah, absolutely unique in that way was very unique in that way and everybody did his voices and he went on television and yeah. He was groundbreaking and you
do you or did you eventually have a relationship with him? Yeah yeah we went. We got right to be great friends. We were on a film yellow beard where we had a lot of fun. At the nile together with John cleese and stephen fry. This great trip up the nile. Went up. The nile did just as a vacation in a jar to celebrate his hand. donavan about his hundred wedding with his wife, who in ad, doesn't refer to not a good way. Forty friends, the nile for three when a boat and a boat is an amazing time. So it's like you know. You got peter cook every night. You laugh, you got william goldman was on tat. You know, stephen fry would sit on the deck we read this children's book called banter on the nile pity time, it is just great? to me. That was amazing. Plus Egypt is the most fantastic place of araby. No, I got it's like. If you go down those tombs. They ve only just been reveal. So it's like fresh paint on the walls
What does that finnish? They killed a myth, but they sailed it. So it is an extraordinary like alien world. I can t I That was what year was at on them nine chee womb, possibly three hours. And anyway. Ninety two, perhaps I can imagine what Wait. You can just go see it, but I think this certain it's danger sell, but I think it's just the most wonderful trip I ever took and how far did you go where story when all the way up from from the particular cairo near and then we go about their lives, We went all the way up to the first counteract whether the damn yeah. So then we got on a bus and that's two hours further up. You go to Abu simbel, which is a lake that flooded. They flooded it, but they raised this temple up three hundred feet here. So it's still. The sun still hits on the longest day and hits the pharaoh yeah that cave,
wow, I'm adage yeah. It is an extraordinary place to visit. you make of it like a mystically here five thousand years ago, it's crazy is very long time ago and that they're building these pyramids yeah and and are you a superstitious, mystical person in any way? Do you think that they're not so much for ye, know I think it's very interesting. This is our early conscious, sheer under what they're doing that doing here. If writing we only really recently discovered how to read what they were. Writing and hieroglyphics roguish or back with emojis I notice that too we're going backwards. You're going be completely primitive, but completely equipped with with technology. for us. This thing on that on the web. You can actually translates your email,
Egypt should fire, and I did it. I sent it to people. In fact I thought and thereby like do. I have these on my phone. How come I don't know if it's in the affair so a what How did the the python deal happen? The python deal happen to be caused by graham were watching our show, and they John had been offered a show forward. Bbc late night show on Sunday night, where I wasn't a shout mia and he'd I'll do you wanted to do was graham alone, and he didn't want to be a star himself, so he wanted Michael Pailin suddenly so to michael Michael. We been offered another show on so we all met together. So it's like a strange makes of the nineteen. Forty eight show meets a universal set yeah, I'm so, we should know. Well, we'll just do this show until our studios ready to do. The other show we're gonna do, which is nine o clock on I tv for three quarters of an hour.
we never got to that. Right they didn't and the BBC say what you you do we do we can have music. Maybe you're gonna have a fill or film films because they will have film here and they should all just go away and make thirteen year. That's what they said and they didn't care it watch how much of their culture, because when you watch a lot of python in your if timeless, but there was a lot going on that day. That was that was pretty article I mean, was it happening around you? Were you guys so insulated? Well, I mean I'd, been in london, I think she's sixty five, so I've been living there yeah and there was sixty six and then the beatles, and then there was a summer of love yugoslav season. I never saw the beatles when I was working for frost and george came on and was doing tm,
Johnson employees right? I added point: is every met him? No, I didn't meet him till about after the resource. I met him. Seventy five here in hollywood. Ah the screening of holy grail, the old directive skilled but you we weren't, really part of rock and roll. I we sort of, but the culture was very miss if it were an creatively right, I mean a mirage and television, it was totally right. We got to make, would now be. There was no, nothing on ten. So that's for the start. Second, is it's on to night nobody's watching and we were in color, I months otherwise, a really data right then, the more importantly, nobody what to do and we didn't know what to do so. We just did it anyway, and in that you do just without how? How did this structure unfolds? What how did you decide that we had lots of conversations? We couldn't agree on anything, so we just started to write it, and then we would just start to put things on a board so well with we
thirteen shows well that's a bit like that one. So We've read over here all put things together, and you know that I think the forty years just things we got Gilliam I give him does all these links. Yet we are limited that weird, very peculiar interest. not style. May it frames it or we make it looked like it knows what it has some shape right and I think that's the very fortuitous thing. And then he would just like eight. I think the thing that I always remember is that you know in between sketches. You would just cut to just beats of like maybe exactly like debate bricks together. You know like just these moments rights that would just kind of recur for no reason that there was great cause, In my mind. Can comedy there is. There is no real tradition of absurd ism that that is as defined as seven the stuff you did, and I think that that that seems to come from from
What? If I? Yes, there was absurd theatre, this out, the owl, but the males brothers. There was a so there's an absurd tradition and a nonsense. Addition from Leah edward there going on here, but ours was, I think, because we could fighting about. You know it's like it. Wasn't intellectual irresistibly the way you sort of armenia, which was we don't want to be missed taken for a show that she has and now something completely different and then play a music. Yes all right. So we adapted that very slogan and turn it against them right. So I think we liked to play with ok audience year released this oh shoot 'em up yeah. I was like the three sided record: yeah, don't tell him, he just don't yeah you'll love their side yeah. You have to have people who are seriously disturbed by that, but they still haven't recovered from the shock of not finding the records either. So it's a weird that this sort of things that, as
about it now and I was watching it when I was thirteen or whatever that stuff that your mind. You know that the sam peckinpah film festival, that was as a kid deal with no fingers in the way, the right it's some backup our salad day and those is inaccurate, Julian Slade, musical salad, dangerously all anyone pertain Israel. It is all very drawn at small, may twenty seven begging barville really that chinese rockets thrown it cut somebody's head off and like every way. I think we were faced with it. I think we would. I think we just pushed each other. You know, if you're in the gang near a nobody ashes in charge, you go and you don't would do anything? That's been done, rice, the other thing. so you, Dr Zira, that you read or on sing it a little bit because I know I've, that's a bit, that's a bit obvious as rich. ronnie society to them. The outer sketches a bit on the site, but as but I think you know just put
he's had as a vikings and then you move on EU watches it's only the answer that question no right, but its it throws people at home cause they're, not seeing people do that light. That was why I give anything speaks to the time and the freedom you had the idea of not doing anything. That's happened before a creature. If we, as is profound like you know like You guys were able to do it. I think we have the opportunity and weeks we did use it. Was it always a fight, but I mean no I mean it's a fight, because you want your material on right and we would argue about whether the chair should be a comfy chair, or a straight backed chair but check very seriously, but it's because you care about your picture. What may be funny, so we didn't. We argued entirely all the time about whether matures good enough weight should stop here, and I think that
What's the sure, like yeah, I'm great criticism, yeah, you get great christian paper saying you know I thought for the first page that was really funny yeah. it stop being funny. So lets us, yet we over them around all we just book you, together with all storm the thought. So, as you like by aggressive committee, mean it. Wasn't it there were no emotions involving all right me. I wish I people were britishly utters british, with that. I have now gone ocean of touchy feeling, I'm dyin no one's starting carrying about so my appetite get running into a war with an arab in paris. You know you got a ditch all over for the british. That justice aims. Everybody out reality anchorage that was
and if it does for me the end of it, but I was here gotten out. I hit the side of a world of america where there's no sympathy for people just because they're, sick or poor anywhere on any level. It's your whole. So there was no motions evolve? But today there is competition and andrew sort of your kind constantly a hard on yourselves to do the best products are basically, I bet left after the third series, because we're we're, beginning to repeat ourselves by then he'd had enough, and he was quite right and off he went and he read he rent the faulty towers yeah and we did a mini series, half a series, and then I left, because I said, look So the shame without Gmos does not the change. so we got where you have set when John left with the rest of the crew like. Why would you do this? We got a good thing go and I think we were disappointed in various levels. Graham was absolutely desperate. Gives you needed the money we did do a second,
little miniseries is not discussed some funny bits in and then, when it out That and then what was good was that John was happy to work with us on movies right so then we wrote the holy grail. Did you alright? It yeah yeah. that, was sort of that must have been a challenge to you. Do you have story and you had to follow it I have a story. You do when you look at the first drafts of the holy grail shut in harrods people in the ant department and to by department, and so it's all over the place. And then, when we came back, we said no, no stop! All that is going to be the story of king arthur. It's got to be medieval, he's going to be looking for the grail That said, the game is of some kind. shape, but again We still had various desperate things happening to put in a shape and I did spamalot I finally made since our debate and put a shape on because it is clearly the seven samurai you you get the guy's together, you round them up, then you go on the crash right, but
the grand movie was in any blackie shape. You know we moved it around a lot, but grandma's, consisting he moved and graham was consistent, and you know we understand quest. Do the plots, it's interesting. How aware you all were of there is even if they were only for a minute or two who would play them. I did seems like there was. How did that sort? It happened. What did you guys cast each other or I made this and I'm doing this. We always wrote. First finish the writing fitting said nobody could hang onto bits. They love because they are going to be in it yeah. So then we would cost yeah unused. It was pretty obvious, you know, cleese by todd, Aaron, ashley people judged by the frumpy that all women graham play music, certainly bewildered p You know like he, Brian king, arthur and the rest of it. Let's say Erica MIKE, that's, I would say
in writing. I does that middle class work incontrovertible. We enjoy playing at the differences the enlightened do erika mike. We think with what was MIKE's beaten in grower they're, just playing in the dirt yeah he's in the module yet well to call me, I don't know king comes along our king. I very night. I knew voted for you. They don't vote for kings, ouch army. How did he becomes a gang beyond the lady of the lake through our nice motion been seen ponds, throwing swords is no system for basis, for system of government fun doing those in writing watch yeah. I think I think the actual filming was always miserable, because we were up in scotland and it was wet and damp. It was funny, and then you guys,
it was the rebels after the grill was right off python split up. I had my own tv series called rutland weekend. Vision, and I did it with neil initial neil would do a song what you a week here and he would send me the shapes and he sent me what it was oh bt near and I somehow this thought of the rustle of fear. idea of the guy talking to camera on the camera. Moving away him, starting to and and so we showed showed them saturday. Night live We had letters to the rebels year alone said way. And I said I think, I'm doing a documentary on these guys use it. Would it ran bc? That's right. I saw that there's, no it whenever they were only when it was a title. The documentary boy you need to carry out an ideal, sheikh will combine me luxury. Why went round people actually hanks and gary shambling here and they talked about the influence of the rustles on their lives. Here on hanks cried brilliance.
I would go around in my mac as the interview you them some brilliant stuff on that. How when you were like, when did you start to feel it along these lines because yeah, I think of all that the crew you america and you as a committed personality, seem do in brace each other and the the american comedic community Like you, you seem to be the most active in kind of like being the guy, from python, who, like hanging out with shandling hanging out with people. When did that start to happen? I must been sort of an overwhelming amount of risk active came your way. Any of my must surprising. Initially, it was surprising. It happened in seventy four when we first came and opened the holy grail and we were trapped in a theater by two thousand people you're coming with trying to get that coconut signed
and then we may belushi and people. I cried said what is seventy six seventy function again, then. I think I first did seventy six, I first additional. I lost it. I like second season like season? Second show oh wow, and I you know I loved. I love comedy well sure that show was. It was fascinating to be in their world yeah. I think I hosted it four times in the seventies and in what was it? What was the or did it seem? The writing. process air compared to to python or what yeah the drinking problem here yeah they would. They would work on tuesday, night and they'd smoke enormous amounts of marijuana in their offices. The idea that you'd have a joint to the bbc is unheard of, but they had all these offices barricaded off here and they'd write all night and it was complete. Different than they'd? Never because I'm is a writer commune writers. Rynch are so I did everything, but there's it's more of a performer, show right. they would build a shed just on the pitch,
is and they would never have tried to rewrite and you never have time to rehearsal learn it. You just read it of cards because we would rehearse for five days here. Are our python shows yeah? So we were word perfect and you are also shooting on film or anywhere shoot for for F all of the series on film there were inserts wow yeah. We had to write the whole lot for you can't just kind of do. Dara, the day after the plan re carefully planned and was sunday night was lie the hours they live near via when the new york in quite different and how do- you sort of gravitate towards when you're like? Who do you hang out with? While I love Gilda yeah and I I liked Ackroyd very much she was the only one I thought could actually been in python, because she was a good writer and a great perform here and he was very like what we did. We writing and performing as
and then I met a bill. Murray came in, I surf. I hang hung with chevy who was hurt because he'd been gerald ford and in bad AL rehab. We live in a meal. Great idea. It was just wonderful to amend I've been through london potential neo was a nice place to go, but I must have. I have to assume that they were like dislike ear when you got here when python guide here. They're, like it was a completely new thing, is the in completely different than anything that was happening in america and it just sort of like this is day what kind of fans when we first, when I hear the shore, they were kind of right, gobs might call it a just come on pbs as well as the movie opened. Suddenly I heard it storm in you, and where'd. You meet robin williams, I met robin williams in england in london in a nightclub and it still is called a comic strip. It was at the top of a strip club at nineteen. Eighty and been filming popeye in Malta and semi. Should you gotta see this she has got to meet him
reform, I want to see him perform and he just killed and then we match and then we went out to dinner and know to that end or ever loved him. I mean it. I can't believe anybody can be that quick yeah, it's a real loss, you know, but I guess it. What do you know I don't want to bring the whole interview down, but I I miss him. While he had a brain disease and I know you're a body's disease horrible, I wondered because I used the first one. I knew him. I just follow him around. All the nightclubs yeah hear me will go out and have enormous amounts of cocaine and go on the road keep going on till about four in the morning when he finally receives seize up and no longer be funny yeah cause of the dreaded white powder, yeah yeah. We can go to bed now, but I wondered if eventually comedy hosted. Surely people have these might brain problems, whether that in fact helped it or caused it or
yes, I think we will find out that it's not very good for you. I think that's true, I think that's what they were. I mean I tend to think that with a m s as well, there are these neurological problems that come from. I'm sure it's not good no matter what even just cocaine? What else is china into it? You know during the iraq rioting straight into your brain. Like it's f d, a approved california If you were never a drug guy, oh yeah you kidding? Abyss lay shall take. Everything was going, you maybe I'd watch and I couldn't afford what he could afford it. So so after gillian went on to do them. The amazing movies. You do I those movies with him. You acted in a couple right, one. Why aren't you I want you to have? Was it out of my house? I don't know how we put such together. Why? I was
some months of hell, I said I'd rather go back to boarding school over me back on that movie. Complete chaos but he is wonderful. I love him he's he only shot when this chaos, always go to these like the present animator yeah. Do you trust walt disney right? moving bits and pieces around, have big pictures and they have complete control over. So, if you're, an actor on a show you're just a bit in the scene, you're right right or right, so it doesn't matter if you're from something. Oh yeah. What do you mean? You fell off, don't fall off, I've got the shot yet, and where did you find the time I mean this is what your third book you wrote, but this one's a memoir that you've written several books This is that I wrote a chore diary, call the greedy bosnia Irian about two thousand and three as those on the road, but this is rife autobiography acres. we're getting to age where you go well, you've been and down. Now, oh, you remember anything and that's an issue
john soon be having any of those issues while but Jones he's gone, mere malawi, ba can speak and that's really sad, and so you know so I just anyway the fiftieth anniversary next year of pipe the. So I shall ask questions. I better get my thoughts down thea and I thought this was a good time. Reflects beyond eve of that, and so I went off to france and I wrote and wrote a knife with would just it was it's very good. I mean I'm seventy five, it's a very good stage to look back at you I think what the fuck happened look at this year. How weird is that I said to my wife today, the first twenty five years we're preparing, and then we did python when I was twenty six and Five years we did all of that year. Twenty five, the last twenty five years. I came erica america he s like three different portions of your life, are quite different. Yeah in that that lack the twenty five in america, you sort of adjusted to you figuring out how to maintain your.
tourism sure is as humorous and also function in show business very successfully. Yom in that area. I have a strange to be in and immigrants of fifty I mean what am I gonna do, but it was better than staying in england where they want to pigeonhole you right and then I you know. Finally, we we got to make spamalot, which is really yeah. How did they get away before we, and show that in writing. As I I've written a bit myself, did you find yourself like in the This of writing, like discovering memories and being moved by writing the book. Yes, no kind of crazy right? I didn't go to a publisher. I saw I'm going to write the book. Me I want to know what I think, what I feel that what my life feels like to me and then sell it afterwards, I want it, but I don't want to find I'm o a book to somebody for having added or on you and near that before I knew when I wanted and what worse things like in terms of looking back your whole life both for yo yelling darkness.
In whatever in history yeah? What were some of them and where you were like- oh my god, I really hadn't seen it that way. I think why it became for me. I had to try and discover the subject of the book and why it became for me the subject: what was that generation how odd that generation was coming out of war? I say always when I was. VON Hitler was trying to kill me yeah and now my name's on mars, yeah, it's own curiosity or over a year and that's kind of whew excuse me: yeah yeah, that's extra in areas that are ill. Is an amazing time. Which time our science has exploded, our knowledge of science of the universe and what we've been able to do be ruins of the moon here I mean it. Is this an extraordinary homage? It's one of the benefits of peace. Here right and now. It is an historic interesting that, with all those of dances and with that sort of the hind site your from yeah real world war,
You know we are now entering you, these cultural tribal. him again in all this insanity that the human animal is is so significantly flawed. That progress is a it is not to eat. You know what everybody sees as a positive thing: yeah I think it's it's sad people don't know what war she I said I joke about the younger generation. They think it is so when they lose the internet connection somewhere, which, on a bomb, you fear, but war is a really serious thing and it goes on a lot on the planet. We always. You know now we are getting people to divide us because for their own power I ask. Is it awful? But isn't surprisingly, because I mean even like you- don't talk about class much in america, but there are. I guess it when I really think about the history. I mean it's not surprise how stupid and easily lead people are well most chapter five. Back. Is your television foundation powerful on people to talk on the internet,
it powerful and they can fight back. I mean who knew that it would be possible to subvert america by these idiotic and bloody russian kgb. Knew, though they're not that smart, yeah and also they don't even have democracy so serves some kind of right fear, but I am, they will lose because we're better off too. I hear them they're, mostly yeah, no matter what yeah so go for the time being yeah and do you think like he did you ever? Did you also think about how, like you know, the the media landscape was much more intimate? in smaller back when you were coming up that You could get all eyes upon you and away over time, and now it say so fragmented that I wonder it's hard to know how anybody become successful. It's usually not because of their necessarily yeah? I mean there's many more famous people The trouble is that america has gone from the pursuit of happiness to the pursuit of fame and money are not the same things at all
That's true! I soon should pretty happy me yeah I'm very happy yeah, but I came. I came and pursued happiness in america, yet I found it what it is and enjoy sewer you just find your diet do battle anything. You know, like the other days where you're like how yeah, I mean you know, but it's it is We always look on the bright side is not bad motto, but I you know I I I came here. I shall I settle down here. I lived here but a child through school. I have a normal life of your kid. She is now twenty. Agent, but yeah sure to college, and I loved all that I love taking kids school. You whites american mice. Why should from Chicago And have spend time in Chicago yeah, it's great is going on in a much lower eating reopen spam. A lot that you did. I picture if they wanted to have an abortion? She said no bloody way chicago the only place cause. They don't give a thing about new york. You can say they don't care, but they
you know they in but in Boston, they have a slight in a chip on mission what about new york and they're, always looking over their shoulder yeah but a chicago. No. This is people, don't wear shirts in the winter, oh yeah and they all smoke still yeah yeah. Well, that's like the french. He told the french and elsewhere they have a pretty a pretty decent theatre world in chicago totally yeah very good theater world, and that they're just very funny people did you? Did you assume that you know when you eat? What was the impetus like when he said I'm going to make spam a lot of what what was? Where did the idea come from while we'd been I join d brain. I had written a musical compact cricket region on radio for and we were looking for and the subjects, and we were here and I suddenly thought why should the grail is pretty amazing subject because it's like it's a comic, Is it called it's a bit like the ring of the knee behind the united states, the arthurian legend yeah? You can take the law
which, and then market are small right and also because we had no horses, you can actually do it on stage yeah and because it's sketchy it keeps stopping and feels like. It should be a song yeah. I mean we, dead, yet we have always been a song. Surely never got to write a limited right. And in and in terms of writing. Songs like when he said at the beginning of the book. talk about the always look on the bright side of life and I had no idea that it has been recorded by so many different artists. In that you know. Sort of in the rotation of of songs people do, a weddings and do a funeral. True number one of animals practice a number one song funerals in the uk, which is kind cute. You yeah, it's amazing, don't pay, but
if your birthday, you know you can't, how are you going to monitor or they pay happy birthday? Now I don't think so anymore. I think he got released into the public domain recently favorite, not charging parties there's no one making rounds. It was seriously Should it as the alternative national anthem in england and so they sing it whenever the great germans, when the media lynn, hole of the german stadium sang, always look on the bright the germans were losing her lynn. german stadium sang, always look on the bright side of life in English. It is my great here. I love that, no, I'm suddenly sense of humour rubbish. I shall listen. The english you wouldn't have done. That's exactly pretty long relationship with george Harrison. Now I e the beatles thing is sort a. You know why what was your variants you I'd knowing a beetle here, because When I interviewed Paul natalie for some reason, there's a there's, a grooving, our brains are just waiting for them to be put in a generation, so we
I said to him think we know we know beatles songs, prenatally for some reason that there's a there's, a group, our brains are just waiting for them to be put in and they will our generation, so we knew which album came next one at cambridge we run down and get the next beetle air change the culture completely all then people would have bought albums of air and roll. Oh, they were they were. They will shorten, recruit Creative were friends were all of them. I know gringo a little? Ah now I see him quite a bit and I never met John I've. I've been I've, I've seen Paul, pull more recently and ease of is often nice is really sweet. I mean a memorial and things. say come on when you need a hug wonderful down to earth and such a genius monies to his very funny very well. That was a secret to the beatles our funding here when they came to america, everybody knew ringers name here was funny right. A funny knows funny. I got any was funny
That's what made the beatles. I think when they first hit america, he those press conference, sure sure is funny yeah yeah, we sing a lot. They were hilarious and I very identifiable personalities very quickly. They get an a in and they knew how to be themselves. You know, as opposed to be taken weird and his. we'll be longer ouch himself, a forty. You know she always yeah, so they they done age and they they, then you know it. Very heavy fall down man. The speech option: I was. It is interesting that make us. I studied it near here. That's right, the rattle yeah, I had to learn everything about them and write them. Yeah even played poll that was quite interesting because Linda was very pro that she loved yeah I'll, kick always a little bit less. You know Keith beaten right right. I he's not nice about it. And george seem to be a very spiritual guy. All the way till you know the enter one now
It is always those two. Both they naughty naughty boy in the room and the most spiritual boy in the air to he was both here, but he encouraged the rattle of semi. He was behind it. He showed me all sorts of forty. Oh yeah, you show me phone call the long and winding road which they could never agree to release but cars. They couldn't agree which bits to cut their did some of the more hated some bitter another, especially the end? Let it be so it was really about the joint never coming at the heart of what we are really never got released. So I, my films, disappearance of a film, never got released and then used all that material eventually when they did the ten parts and following the end of the nineteenth and with your group with your band, you guys toward a few years ago, and was at do you I'll? Are you still in touch with MIKE
and you stone and john, and you are okay yeah. We all know the roads for three three tours in Iraq two years ago we had a wonderful time and yeah I mean we didn't sure we came. We did a final farewell show at the o two in london twenty fourteen year, and it was just in time because jonesy was just losing his memory and wish there was a final performance, we did ten shows at the o, two eighteen thousand people a night sold house a year and it was good fun yeah. I was nice here and we meat, because we have a business, you know we're business in common. We have to deal with business a bit o you do yeah. Oh, but surely, right once a year, will have to do with it, but sort out some numbers. oh, what are we going to do innovation or anything all right? Well, let's do that then yeah, This is a rising, knew that that Michael took sort of non comedic route. In a way. I think it's sadness to me because he was really was a comedian,
got away, and even now, when he comes to visit me, sometimes you you look rather wistful. Oh yeah because she's, one of the funniest honest at such a funny writer here, but you know, Gotta made his life as this of national treasure. He's used famous, sir, Michael any minute. Oh yeah, the next year. Are you, sir, your sir? No not yet why we get it before. You well he's already a cb. He worked his way up to be then cb, a you know you have to. You have to be around wait later on. They have to be polite, I'm not polite! Now you use it as a line of progression. Yeah prince Charles asked me to be his jester one night in scotland, Billy Connolly's cause I was making him laugh, and I said why Why would I want a fucking or for job like that is obvious. Was that even a job anymore, I might go because she's not, but I mean he laughed he's out of thy said. Why would I want to fuck it over job like that? Making you be your gesture, gimme, a break it solely
you always hear about that day that there was a job at one time, but it's important job, because if trump have a gesture, he read much healthier out of things. His sense of humour will be adjusted, but the point is the gestures, the ones that said the things you're not allowed to say exactly gay head cut off adviser right, but if you're a jester yeah and that's what's so important in shakespeare, you see that the role of the jester is to tell Henry the eighth. You go and tell him, or I will get the gesture to tell him right there. It did to tell the truth to the fact that our that's what comedy for sure yeah, no job trunk, Not is ego, cannot handle a gesture, so it's beyond the it's on the shoulders of colbert, and that are to listen to them. They had now walking, some of whom get through Baldwin got through. I think sessions is jets. A boy Jackson they're all evil, thou there's! No, it's just a bunch of vocal awful. I think,
he's gonna win. She I have this fund. in america, because america saved us in nineteen? Forty three, when you all came over seems like you might let the russians just take over europe. They want right now thou relaxed what he won't natural putrid wants, but I think a will win and throw him out. I think american institutions on a map These are true. Believers in freedom and liberty stand will not with this year on either side of the iron yeah. All the fbi, I don't know, I'm not now Republicans it's not the people accused I'm getting our all show us, what we're seeing. I think you could see it in england too. Is that these politicians, you know really most of them, stand for nothing but but the proximity to power and you're honoring business interests and it's it's sort of interesting how transparently craven this lot is. I think they've. I think the russians have things on them because they told them that while they didn't
tap the democratic party right wing ideology of hiv, with, though I think linsey graham, you can explain exactly agree with this day. Have things on all of the column aerial then she grey a whole ryan. I too, I think they ve got big big black things on them. What what? What do you make of breaks it I think it's the same thing that was, it was, but the russians were behind it found. money came in and yet party did is its to disrupt europe, which is what Putin's our home thing is. The stable it's maybe can destabilize nato at the same time right so it was was corrupt I wasn't allowed to vote, but it was gay was, I think it is answer. Why wouldn't you devote because I don't have a house in england where you stole? addison, I'm still I can't vote in elections. I can't vote. I pay taxes access, but anyway I a few. Change of their view been there lately,
The london was always very much remain london's, the city with the most to lose the city's having to flee, causing khan run business operations. We will winning that game. It's totally insane policy. Wait, wait and see. What's gonna happen, that's for sure and It's you re really my dashing me and I could actually margie marching, enable you seem to have a pretty good their attitude about mortality That's from george MIA yea. evaluating song, remember you're going to die all this is going to go away. You caught. He was the most famous person group in the world here and they he realized that it was all going to go away. Yeah and that's why you know his influence was both interesting spiritual armine brought the whole indian thing into the sixty sure single handedly yeah, that's a guitar is from apple and were you there thought he at the end.
Dahlia yeah, just after I mean I've been just. I was visiting him twenty with a hotel Am I was his s house his disposition about it? Was he still fairly very comfortable meal? Yes, he felt tat. He was going to be a scape, the pain of being rebirth of rebuff and shows very comfortable the whole process of dying in the lot of the indian things, our music. And so ongoing? Oh, I don't mind, be reborn put my name. Never that one would you there wasn't anything. We have disagreed on the accepted the fact that I believe in it, and he knew he had been the case we can, then he was a hindu so, but he was always very generous, spiritually and that religion love at things a lot sure, like the dalai lama, laughs all the time for yeah yeah they're a it's a it's, a very am kind of a
the kind of not I I don't. I don't quite understand it, but it seems to be the most reasonable spiritual practice in terms of acceptance. Realizing the funny yeah, you know, yeah, that's the best thing outside of our shelves were just funny. It may be tragic to us funny to other people, is that serbia yeah yeah and you have to have a sense of humor away. It would all be so depressed. We will want to live. It's a very, I think, is a very useful, positive thing. Yet again, it's a when there is when there is very little hope. Least there's relief. That at least is no war. People go and I was very little hope, look a wound. They ve got the fifty two channels, the vision that, if these two nine hundred yards, how my phone and yet exactly- but the point is no it's bombing. You yet right and that yeah that's the important thing. Are you there yet in that I would say that what was agreed talking to you, man, you too thanks. Thank you.
How is that that was great outside I'm so glad I got to talk to her guided and John. Please. It was you know, I'm I'm living like people, it's pretty pretty fuckin amazing. Even with sweaty mark running around the streets of our men happen, he can stay there because they never eat but mark right now is living an amazing life and I'm grateful for that. Don't forget to grab paper back copy of waiting for the punch wherever you get books or mark marriage book. Com in the you know what happens on set. If I can within reason within petitions, what I'm allowed to talk about? Ok, ok
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Transcript generated on 2022-07-17.