Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 April 2015

Jones in dark over Python influence

Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese are reuniting for their new show Monty Python Live (Mostly) at London's O2 Arena
Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese are reuniting for their new show Monty Python Live (Mostly) at London's O2 Arena

Terry Jones has revealed that he never knew how much the Monty Pythons influenced the comedy genre - because he never watched TV.

The 72-year-old funnyman admitted he had no idea about the comedy group's influence in the 60s with their sketch show, Monty Python's Flying Circus.

"Everybody keeps telling me it has. But I don't really see comedy. I don't have a television in the house," he told Radio Times magazine.

But he said of trying to subvert the Establishment: "It was so stuffy in the 60s. The class system had a stranglehold."

Fellow Python Michael Palin, 71, added: "The BBC was confident enough at the time to commission a series like Python on the merest whim. We gave them very, very little information as to what should be in it and that helped us a lot. We weren't easy to dictate to."

The group will perform together for a series of long-awaited reunion shows at London's O2 Arena.

Eric Idle, 71, said: "This is a musical revue with a chorus of 20 and lots of Python songs, many of which have never been done by the Pythons before. And many of the sketches have never been performed live by us."

"Comedy has been largely stand-up for the past 25 years. This show is different in so far as it is sketch comedy. This is the first attempt at musical revue for about 50 years. I called it ironically 'Deja revue'".

He continued: "We haven't been dead! Many of us have been writing for years... Everything changes all the time, but we change with it. We are no longer the same people we were in 1969. No-one lives in the past.

"This is the Age of Entitlement. Modern celebrity culture is a product of television. Python always mocked television."

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