Highlights from Monty Python’s Reddit AMA

Following the news that the five living members of Monty Python are reuniting for a show in London next summer, all five participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything this morning, answering questions about their new show, their old material, and each other. Here are a few of the best quotes from Eric Idle, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones.

On whether Python appeals to a younger generation:

Palin: I hope so. I’ve heard often enough, people saying their children love Python, so something still appeals. I think it’s the silliness and is quite childlike. How widespread that will be, I don’t know. We’ve not tried this for a long time so it will be interesting to see who buys the tickets.Cleese: I have no idea. We’ve always been dumb founded that so many people seem to enjoy it

On whether they’ll have other writers for the new show:

Palin: It will all be our material. It’s just easier that way. Along with Carol [Cleveland], we’ll be the main performers. What we will have is a group of dancers who’ll come on and do outrageous things whilst us oldies get changed. Various people have offered to come and help out. Eric had a tweet from Noel Fielding offering to come and make tea. There’s been a huge amount of interest from people I respect, like Bill Bailey and Eddie Izzard.

On why they waited so long to get back together:

Gilliam: We had to get old enough and wise enough - a desperate attempt to find out if there were enough fans left in the world. we were overwhelmed. tsunami of love. we can tell our family we are comedy gods. (laughs, chuckles)

On how much will be new in the reunion show:

Palin: How much in percentage of the show? There’ll be 10% that will be new stuff. There are a lot of good old sketches that will stand up. There are things you don’t have to alter too much, but we’ve got to keep the glue of it fresh.

On how he came up with Python’s distinctive, weird cartoon interludes:

Gilliam: Lots of drugs. I have within me, all the drugs anyone could ever hope to have - I’ve not had to spend my fortune on buying drugs, or days recovering - it’s what’s inside my system. I don’t know where it comes from - adrenaline gets moving, ideas keep pouring out.

On whether they ever wish they had done a “normal ending” for Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

Palin: I’m not keen on normal. I think with Python, we always say ‘What’s normal?’ and then do the opposite.

On how much of their movies are improvised:

Palin: Most of the improvisation is done in rehearsal or when we’re writing. When we actually have to film the movies, because there’s a camera crew there, they need to know where we’ll be. It’s very nice sometimes to have a handheld camera and invent little things on a tape. The basic script, we adhere to, but it’s nice to have looser moments and put things in that we’ve never done before. I remember playing the ex leaper in the Life Of Brian and it’s a really long take. We get to the very end and I nearly trod in some donkey shit. I saw it and did a little ballet.Cleese: The proportion of ad libs was about 0.0001%. I admire improv but don’t want to do it myself. I prefer writing.

On what they fight over:

Gilliam: We don’t fight over anything now - which was what made the group good in the early days. We’re calmer and nice to each other. That could be the death of Python.

On which Terry is the “good” Terry:

Jones: Terry Gilliam because he feeds us.Idle: Neither.Palin: They’re both good in different ways. Gilliam’s imagination is so amazing, and Jones listens when you talk. Jones is the best drinking Python.Gilliam:  Does there have to be a good and bad? Can we have shades of grey? 50 of them possibly?

On which one of them is the messiah:

Palin: We’re all the messiah really. It is the second coming after all.

Highlights from Monty Python’s Reddit AMA