Eric Idle Rants About Depleted ‘Monty Python’ Riches: ‘I Have to Work for My Living’

A Monty Python reunion? ‘No thanks’
Eric Idle Rants About Depleted ‘Monty Python’ Riches: ‘I Have to Work for My Living’

For at least one weekend, Eric Idle was tired of looking on the bright side of life. In a series of tweets that mostly answered questions from fans, Idle set the record straight about his relationship with Monty Python and the supposed millions he has in the bank thanks to his long career in comedy. “I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded,” he tweeted. “Python is a disaster. Spamalot made money 20 years ago. I have to work for my living. Not easy at this age.”

Wait a minute — Idle isn’t flush? As one Twitter/X user (sarcastically) pointed out, the comedian and musician is worth $70 million, at least according to the Interwebz. 

Idle’s response? “I think you ought to be able to sue people for this kind of bullshit.”

Fans were frankly upset by the news. “I honestly can’t tell if this is a bit or if you’re being sincere,” tweeted one user. “I hope it’s a bit and you’re at least financially secure if not wealthy.”

Certainly not wealthy, according to Idle. And all of that intellectual property has little meaning in the era of streaming, he says.

“We own everything we ever made in Python and I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously,” he tweeted.

Maybe one way to cash in on his comedy legacy, suggested one user, could be a Netflix documentary “on the rise and fall of Monty Python. Seems like a little bit of a rollercoaster between everyone.” Idle wasn’t having it. 

What’s the problem with documentaries? “They like them,” Idle says, “because they don’t have to pay actors and writers.”

Then there’s the matter of a Python reunion, a reconciliation that Idle wants no part of. “We finished in 1983,” he says. “Do you know how long that was ago. I was forty. That’s half my lifetime ago.”

“It sounds like it’s time for you and the guys to get the band back together for some fun and antics,” suggested a fan. Idle quickly shot down that suggestion.

Idle puts part of the blame on Monty Python’s failed finances on Holly Gilliam, Terry’s daughter who was put in charge of the brand in 2013. “Once they put Gilliam’s daughter in as Manager and Cleese fires Jim Beach, well it’s over,” Idle tweeted. “I guess if you put a Gilliam child in as your manager you should not be so surprised. One Gilliam is bad enough. Two can take out any company.”

While Idle still sings for his supper, he’s not asking fans to feel sorry for him. “I’m fine,” he says. “I’m engaged and writing. It’s the thing I do and like the most. Creating a new show. Something that feels so completely normal. Been doing it since 1963. I have learned a lot. But then I had some great mentors.”  And if fans want to support him in some way? There’s an easy avenue for that. After all, Spamalot is still playing on Broadway.

Idle’s daughter Lily took to her own socials to support her father. “I’m so proud of my dad for finally finally finally starting to share the truth,” she said. “He has always stood up to bullies and narcissists and absolutely deserves reassurance and validation for doing so.”


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