Monty Python turns 50

The Week (US) - - 10 News -

Eric Idle was one of five mem­bers of the com­edy troupe Monty Python when it de­buted on the BBC nearly 50 years ago, said Sopan Deb in The New York Times. The group’s hugely in­flu­en­tial movies—Holy Grail, Life of Brian, The Mean­ing of Life—re­main widely beloved, and Idle, 75, is work­ing on a film adap­ta­tion of the hit mu­si­cal he wrote, Spa­malot. “It’s kind of weird be­cause Python gets big­ger and big­ger,” says Idle, who still en­coun­ters fans wher­ever he goes. “There’s a lot of re­spect for Python, prob­a­bly too much.” He says his sense of hu­mor de­rives from a “grim pes­simism” bred by los­ing his father at a young age. At his Bri­tish board­ing school, “They were say­ing when they were beat­ing you, ‘This is for your own good.’ Re­ally? Why don’t I hit you then?” Monty Python formed while Idle was a stu­dent at Cam­bridge, and the re­main­ing mem­bers of the group were openly an­gry af­ter the BBC com­edy com­mis­sioner re­cently said that the makeup of a com­edy team should be more di­verse than Monty Python was. “Times have changed,” Idle says. “We were char­ac­ter­ized as be­ing like Oxbridge, priv­i­leged peo­ple. I didn’t come from any kind of priv­i­leged back­ground. We poured our way into the BBC through a back­door and re­fused to leave.”

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