Monty Python’s Terry Jones on Graham Chapman’s Biopic – by Steve Marsh
When the five surviving members of Monty Python are photographed nowadays, there’s always a witty allusion to the dead one: an upturned urn or a disembodied pipe. So it’s no surprise that when an old recording of Graham Chapman reading his 1986 memoir A Liar’s Autobiography was discovered, a project came together nearly as quickly as it takes to ask “What’s all this, then? Are they going to make a 2Pac hologram of Police Constable Pan Am?” Chapman’s recording became the basis for A Liar’s Autobiography, a surreal new animated movie (in select theaters and on EPIX on November 2), to which the surviving Pythons (except for Eric Idle) contributed their voices. We talked to original Python Terry Jones about Chapman’s drinking, his mum’s influence, and Terry Gilliam’s bossiness.
You’ve played a medieval historian on TV. What do you think the misconceptions about Graham Chapman and Monty Python will be 1,500 years from now?
This movie [and the original memoir] intentionally twists the facts. So what directions do you think your story will drift in over 1,500 years?
Fifteen hundred years is a long time! My God. Will human beings even survive? Well, obviously the first misconception was that Graham was straight. But, then, maybe he was straight? David, his partner, said he was quite picky. And I suppose Monty Python would be seen as a realistic documentary program.
After you’ve watched the funniest trailer for anything that we’ve ever seen (and we see a lot of $#@!ing trailers), click through to the URL and learn what’s behind it.
It’s the story of the late Graham Chapman’s autobiography, his recorded reading of it before he died, and how it took John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and 14 different animators working in 17 different animation styles to bring the book to the screen.
We have no idea what kind of guy Chapman really was, but John Cleese’s eulogy certainly brings the “freeloading bastard” into focus. Wouldn’t you die happy knowing you’d left friends like that behind? (Yeah, far behind. Rimshot, please?)
The whole film will be out “in select U.S. theatres in 3D on November 2, 2012.” We can’t wait.
Because we live to serve you the latest and greatest (and, well, let’s face it, some of the most awful) news, history, wisdom, nonsense, and, as in times like these—still steaming piles of fresh gossip—we point you to the Twitter feed of comedy legend John Cleese, who twittered,just minutes ago (it’s around 10 AM on the 14th day of December, 2011), of his Monty Python partner, Eric Idle:
Oh dear. Somebody’s a Mr. Crabby Pants this morning.
John Cleese may have been forced to go on tour to pay for his third divorce, but he has won little sympathy from Eric Idle.
Idle says he dropped his fellow Monty Python star from his touring production of Spamalot, his hit musical, because he had given him enough money already.
“I fired John Cleese – surgically removed him,” he says. “It wasn’t mean – he’s had millions of dollars from it. He charges people a fortune for using his voice. He’s always been in financial crisis.”
Now stop. Come on – you guys are heroes! Okay, just a little more:
He adds: “His ex wife was married to him for 20 years. I wouldn’t take £13 million to be married to him.”
Do you understand the comedic possibilities if these two really get going? It’d be like two Jedi knights fighting! The Force could be seriously damaged!
Ever since Mom gave us a copy for our most recent birthday, we’ve been coming across fascinating stories in Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Tunes into TV. And each item is just the right length for even the most fastidious, OCD, Type A crapper. Hey, maybe if you tell them TVWriter™ sent you they’ll do something nice for us! (Can’t hurt, right?)