For anyone holding out hope that last year’s Monty Python live shows were the start of a second wind for the acclaimed comedy troupe, there’s disappointment waiting – group member Terry Jones has today seemingly confirmed that Python has been put to bed for good.
While he said the shows had gone well, when asked by comedian and broadcaster Clive Anderson if the live show was the end, Jones replied “I think so, yes,” adding “Michael Palin doesn’t want to do another show.”
First coming to TV screens in 1969’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the sketch comedy group went on to make four TV series and four feature films including Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. After years of inactivity (and following the death of group member Graham Chapman), the Pythons returned in triumph to a sold out ten-night run at the 02 arena in London earlier this year – which now looks to be the end of their work together as a group.
Jones and Anderson (among others) were speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to commemorate author Douglas Adams, who wrote the best-selling science fiction-comedy novel and radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and who passed away suddenly in 2001 at the age of 49.
Jones also revealed that he and fellow Python Palin were among the first to hear the groundbreaking radio series – but weren’t all that impressed.
“I wish I could report that Mike and I were immediately struck by the originality, humour and excitement of listening to such a groundbreaking series for the first time,” the comedian and director said.
“All I can say in our defence is that we were sitting in this tiny office with Douglas and Geoffrey [Perkins, the producer] sitting opposite us, eagerly watching for our every reaction… I cannot tell you how much of an ordeal that half hour was.”
He added: “As we walked away from the BBC, I think I said to Mike, ‘you know, it wasn’t that bad, was it? It was quite funny in places.’ Such it is to be blessed with foresight and a discerning ear for great comedy.”
Visibly emotional at remembering his departed friend (Adams also wrote with the Pythons and had cameos in some sketches), Jones concluded: “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a wonderful and exhilarating ride. If you haven’t read it before, you’re in for a treat.”
“If you have read it before – it’ll still be just as good.”