Eric Idle Says His ‘Monty Python’ Money Has Run Out: ‘I Have to Work for My Living’

When asked how fans can help, the comedy legend’s answer was pointed: “Come see a show”

An older white man looks slightly upward as he gestures with both hands, a far-off look in his eyes. He wears a suit and has graying hair.
Eric Idle

“Monty Python” alum Eric Idle addressed an apparent fan misconception on Friday: that he and the rest of the legendary British comedy troupe’s members aren’t swimming in cash from their productions. As he put it, “I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded. Python is a disaster. Spamalot made money 20 years ago. I have to work for my living. Not easy at this age.” Idle is 80 years old.

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

Monty Python member and filmmaker Terry Gilliam’s daughter Holly became a manager for the Monty Python brand in 2014. Terry Gilliam is a father to two daughters, Holly and Amy, and one son, Harry.

After his second tweet, Idle’s daughter Lily tweeted in support of her dad. She wrote, “I’m so proud of my dad for finally finally finally starting to share the truth. He has always stood up to bullies and narcissists and absolutely deserves reassurance and validation for doing so.”

In addition to Idle, the original members of Monty Python were Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Chapman and Jones have died.

The troupe gained fame through its sketch series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” which aired from 1969-1974. They followed the series with three movies: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Life of Brian” and “The Meaning of Life.” Idle also wrote “Holy Grail”-inspired musical “Spamalot,” which has been performed on Broadway, the West End and in Las Vegas for years.

For fans who have asked how they can help, Idle had a simple answer: “Come see a show.” “Spamalot” is currently on Broadway and tickets for the show are available through July 2024.

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