Happy belated 81st, Eric Idle!

ric Idle at the Majestic Dallas. Photo: Bill Young

With humble apologies,  we can’t let the week end without wishing a belated happy birthday to founding member of Monty Python and the brilliant parody rock band, The Rutles. The genius mind-palace behind Spamalot turned 81 on Friday.

Widely known for his musical prowess, Idle penned “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, the closing song in Life of Brian and “Galaxy Song” from The Meaning of Life, he won the Tony for Best Musical in 2005 for Spamalot and wrote “Not the Messiah” in 2009. If that wasn’t enough for an entire career, he performed at the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony. To this day, he definitely continues to follow his own advice in the photo below snapped by his daughter, Lily.

Eric Idle’s words to live by. Photo: @LilyIdle (Eric’s daughter)

His pre-Python days began while at Cambridge where he met Graham Chapman and John Cleese. He starred in the television comedy series Do Not Adjust Your Set co-starring his future Python castmates Terry Jones and Michael Palin with Terry Gilliam providing the animations for the show.  Idle also appeared as guest in some episodes of the television series At Last the 1948 Show, which featured Cleese and Chapman in its principal cast.

On the television side, Idle created and wrote Rutland Weekend Television (RWT), a sketch show on BBC2 with music by Neil Innes. During Python, Idle mainly wrote material by himself while others paired up in teams. In 2019, Idle donated his archives which includes 50-plus years of notes, scripts, librettos, letters, scores and to-do lists as part of the Huntington Library in San Marino archive collection.

The English actor, comedian, songwriter, musician, screenwriter and playwright continues to not remain ‘idle’ with his comedic hand in a number of different arenas even competing in season eight of The Masked Singer as “Hedgehog” where he did a cover of the Beatles’ “Love Me Do” with help from the USC Trojan Marching Band.

Happy 81st, Eric! Can’t wait to see what’s next!


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