Eric Idle was the only member of the Monty Python team who wrote solitarily. While John Cleese , Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Michael Palin forged close working relationships.
He often wrote the songs, the most famous of which the deceptively chirpy finale of the 1979 ”Python” film Life of Brian provides the title for this breathless “sortabiography”.
Idle was a lone wolf, he often wrote the songs, the most famous of which the deceptively chirpy finale of the 1979 ”Python” film Life of Brian provides the title for this breathless “sortabiography. Idle’s splendid isolation might explain frustration with this book and is considered one of the greatest comedy series ever made.
Always Look on Bright Side of Life’
Idle, who lives in Los Angeles, doesn’t just provide a detailed account of his days with John Cleese, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. His relationships with celebrities as Robin Williams, Mike Nichols and Steve Martin also give readers a nuanced look into talented Americans whose love of what they do enriched Idle’s path to stardom.
The book begins with his easygoing British childhood and education at Cambridge, before he segues to how he met the future Python members during TV writing stints.
Idle touches on his love of comedy writing, which was priority No. 1 for the Pythons. Acting played second fiddle to the scripts they sweated over. This section could have benefited from deeper dives into how certain sketches came to be, although Idle does reveal the origin story behind the classic ”wink wink nudge nudge say no more” bit.
The Python road to fame might have looked smooth, but Idle writes on how painful it was to endure Chapman’s death in 1989. Ever the jokers, the troupe still found a way to poke fun at this grief in several gags too shocking to spoil.