Monty Python team set for one last laugh

THE FIVE five surviving members of the Monty Python team are to take to the stage in Aspen, Colorado, next month for the first time in 10 years. While the event is not billed as a Monty Python show, the mere fact they are appearing together is generating huge excitement among comedy fans.

John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam will meet for a retrospective and tribute to their work at the US Comedy Arts Festival, surrounded by contemporary American comics who regard Python's anarchic style as an inspiration.

The 90-minute appearance is being taped for the American cable channel Home Box Office. They will take questions as clips of their work are played, an HBO spokesman said, with a US comedian, Robert Klein, presiding. But Michael Palin, fuelling speculation, told the Hollywood trade magazine Variety that they will probably perform a sketch or two.

The last time the five performed together was for a more sombre occasion - the memorial service for fellow Python Graham Chapman, who died of cancer in 1989. "We've considered getting together before, but there's been this feeling that we aren't quite complete without Graham and it would always be so," Palin said. It is 30 years since Python first aired in 1969.

A five-year television run led to spin-off films like 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But the team have long since forged separate and creative careers, and sometimes tire of being asked about a show that is now enshrined in modern comic and cultural history.

Palin's star is riding high as the host of a series of phenomenally successful travel shows, the latest a jaunt around the Pacific titled Palin's Rim.

He declined an invitation to a 25th anniversary dinner in the US, which had also fuelled speculation of a reunion. But he told Variety in January that "when we meet up together face-to-face, there's always the chance that something may come of it ... if we have a good time in Aspen, that may just mean that we'd consider a future project - most likely a movie, I would think."

John Cleese's latest film was Fierce Creatures, the less than stellar follow-up to A Fish Called Wanda. More recently he was the voice of an erudite talking gorilla in the recent Disney film George of the Jungle. Terry Gilliam has won accolades as a director of such films as Brazil and The Fisher King; Terry Jones is a successful film-maker and children's- book writer, while Eric Idle became a Hollywood writer.

The four-day Aspen festival draws many top contemporary comic acts in America, running from the television skit Politically Incorrect to the scatological cartoon South Park.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Games Developer - HTML5

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Product Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to on-going expansion, this leading provid...

Recruitment Genius: Shift Leaders - Front of House Staff - Full Time and Part Time

£6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a family ...

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works