Chaos Attraction

Cleese and Idle

2016-11-06, 7:11 p.m.

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I saw John Cleese and Eric Idle together on Sunday night. It was worth it. I saw John Cleese when he came to my town several years ago on the Alimony Tour and it was a delight.

Both guys did some discussion and explaining about the old British TV shows they worked on early in their career, Monty Python, and during the second half, each of them had a little solo time to talk about stuff like Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda and some crazy TV show Eric Idle worked on that had George Harrison on as a guest singer, but he really wanted to play a pirate. Eric Idle sang various songs, including “Fuck Selfies” to start off the show, “Fuck Christmas” as the finale, and a few sing-alongs to stuff like “Sit On My Face” and “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.” He also did that song about the universe, said he gets into arguments about the factuality of it with Professor Brian Cox (apparently England’s version of Neil deGrasse Tyson), and showed a video of Cox going on about the inaccuracies of it while Stephen Hawking ran him over. Cleese said something along the lines of, “There’s nothing funnier than total stupidity,” and they also told the story of the time when Germany wanted them to make a special in Germany and took them to Dachau, right before closing, and one of the gang said, “We’re Jewish” in order to be let in. Fortunately, they were let back out....

They showed some show clips and the two guys also re-enacted sketches, both from old TV shows you can never see and a few you may have, such as:
(a) Cleese is a bookseller and Idle is an irritating potential customer who keeps asking for (a) books that clearly don’t exist, (b) books that are obvious ripoffs of other books with kr8tive spelling to distinguish them from the original, (c) a book on birding that’s abridged without his least favorite birds in it (Cleese ripped out the pages and when the guy said he wouldn’t buy it when it was damaged, Cleese threw it to someone in the front row. Pre-autographed.). When the seller finally had one book that was requested, the guy said he had no money and couldn’t read. The bookseller was all, I WILL BUY IT FOR YOU AND READ IT ALOUD RIGHT NOW.
(b) A scene in which Cleese is selling a memory system that is based on the Empress Josephine, naked.
(c) A scene in which a wine expert is being fed pee (even Cleese admitted that was gross)
(d) A scene in which Idle is an undertaker and suggests eating Cleese’s mother’s corpse (ditto)
(e) Idle plays Michaelangelo and Cleese plays the pope objecting to the kangaroo, 28 disciples, pole dancing, mariachi band and 3 Jesuses he added to the Last Supper. Yes, they showed said painting.

They also did some tributes to fallen Pythons--Cleese re-enacted the eulogy speech he made for Graham Chapman (yes, it featured dead parrot text and telling off Chapman), followed by showing the HBO special in which they knocked over his ashes. And apparently Terry Jones has dementia and can’t hold a conversation any more, so they said that the Pythons would probably never reunite again after that (though they did show footage of the last time, with PHOTO OPPORTUNITY blinking over their images on stage). This made me all the gladder that I saw these two guys while they’re still alive.


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