I am the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Always Look On the Bright Side of Life (Crown, published Oct 2, 2018), a “Sortabiography” of my life from a charity boarding school through a bizarre life in comedy, on records, in books, on TV and in the movies. Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Monty Python and so, before I finally forget, I’m sharing some of the fun I had with some very talented people, comedians such as them Python fellers, the supreme Robin Williams, the great Garry Shandling, the amazing Mike Nichols, as well as some of the funniest rockers in the world like George Harrison, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger. It’s been a great ride! Ask me anything!

Buy the book: [Amazon](1984822586), Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound, or wherever books are sold.

Proof: https://twitter.com/EricIdle/status/1072559133122023424

Comments: 2460 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

cptsnydezombie3266 karma

Was there ever any part of a project you worked on that seemed too silly, even for you?

MrEricIdle8229 karma


GallusEffie2657 karma

Would you ever consider setting up an actor to parody your role "Bring out your dead" at your own funeral? Kind of a self roast?

MrEricIdle4961 karma

I have left my wife some extra money if she will be rude about me. She said she didn't need extra money for that...

kingshmiley2437 karma

Are there any sketches that you particularly remember it being difficult not to laugh during?

MrEricIdle3194 karma

The Church Police. On stage.

Quasarsphere289 karma

Some serious corpsing going on in the Hollywood Bowl version of that sketch. It was beautiful!

MrEricIdle690 karma

It was the only sketch we allowed ourselves to try and crack each other up in, which meant we could hardly get on stage for giggling each night.

Frajer2174 karma

How did George Harrison wind up producing Life Of Brian?

MrEricIdle4086 karma

Because he paid for the entire budget personally.

unclejohnsbearhugs1366 karma

But how? Why? Who approached who? Details, man!

MrEricIdle3340 karma

We were pals. He knew we were looking for finance once EMI passed and we were having difficulty finding it. It would still never have been made to this day but for George...

TooDayshipping413 karma

He just really liked the script from what I read.

MrEricIdle1508 karma

He mortgaged his house for $4.5 million dollars and put it all into the budget.

Nessimezz2027 karma

Hi, Eric!

What is the most bizarre fan encounter you've ever had?

MrEricIdle3465 karma

Stephen Hawking.

spaceballs_the_book1961 karma

How do you feel about having your song, Always look on the bright side of life, played at funerals?

Also, I have that song listed to be played at my funeral.

MrEricIdle5057 karma

I think it is more appropriate thaqn Sit on my Face.

RunDNA1339 karma

I'm sure you've met many other Erics in your life. Based on those experiences, how would you describe the average Eric?

MrEricIdle5286 karma

Tall. Handsome. Virile. And that's just the girls.

Onepopcornman1328 karma

Who's a young comic who you have become a big fan of?

MrEricIdle2600 karma

Garfunkle and Oates

MrEricIdle931 karma

I'd say Dylan Moran but he's not really young...

mrsirawesome1107 karma

All I really wanted to say was Thank you for the laughs. But Reddit forces me to ask a question, so; how are you today?

MrEricIdle2676 karma

I'm roughly the same height.

FRTSKR1104 karma

What’s it like?

MrEricIdle1683 karma

It was good for me.

Terri_Garcia-Lowe1094 karma

I've been a fan for over 20 years now and I can't imagine getting through some of the hardest times of my life without the laughter that Monty Pyton brought into my life.

Are you ever surprised that the shows/movies you created still hold up many years later?

Are you ever recognized on the street by a fan and does that ever take you by surprise?

MrEricIdle2373 karma

It is unbelievable that people still find Monty Python funny fifty years later...

Luminalsuper1079 karma

Who is the funniest human being you have ever met?

MrEricIdle2495 karma

Robin Williams. Peter Cook. Billy Connolly.

Bjarki561013 karma

Do you believe in life after death or do the words of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" absolutely express your philosophy?

MrEricIdle2937 karma

I believe that we may become anything after death including even possibly some forms of life as our carbon is redistributed through the Universe, but I don't think we'll know about it.

Typical_Humanoid829 karma

Hi Eric! Just pulling a random question from the top of my head because I'm coming up blank for a better question that hasn't been posed already: What's a skill you've always wished you had but for whatever reason couldn't completely get the hang of?

MrEricIdle1680 karma

Bank robbery.

Mrs_Bobcat797 karma

Did Michael Palin ever ask you to go with him on his travels?

MrEricIdle1734 karma

Good grief no. It would have cost too much. And he is from Yorkshire.

centrafrugal712 karma

Are you the busiest Idle in history? If not, tell us a quick story about a notable ancestor.


MrEricIdle1454 karma

Lord Idle, the first Baron Wakefield, would be carried to bed every twenty minutes for a rest.

rizzoboy679 karma

Evening Squire!?

MrEricIdle1044 karma

Evening Squirrel.

Thatguy755642 karma

Who is the most obnoxious unlikeable person you’ve ever worked with?

MrEricIdle1093 karma

My lips are sealed...

erunno89578 karma

Hi Eric - big fan here after being introduced to “Holy Grail” as a kid and then watching Monty Pythons Flying Circus on PBS.

I just saw you in Boston, a great night! And then Spamalot (again) next year!

I forgot to come up with an actual question when I saw the announcement on Twitter, but I just want to say - thank you.

Thank you for being human, for engaging with fans, on social media and tours. You’ve even liked and responded to some of my tweets.

And thank you so much for the laughs.

Aside from music and writing and comedy, what are some of your simple pleasures in this life? Favorite tea? Book? Holiday?

MrEricIdle682 karma

Tea. Book. Holiday. Guitar. Reading.

erunno89244 karma

And then I just realized Holiday is Vacation in England.

Any particular flavor of tea? :)

MrEricIdle931 karma

No I don't holiday in England: it is wet, mad and stupid...

GrimwoodCT567 karma

I always thought that “The Adventures of Baron von Munchhausen” was superlative. What was that like to work on? Can you share any anecdotes from the shooting and production of that?

MrEricIdle788 karma

It was hell.

PanglosAndRabbit534 karma

Do you have a favorite George Harrison story?

MrEricIdle1629 karma


brittersbear532 karma

Thanks for doing this!

What has been your favorite Monty Python sketch to create and work in?

MrEricIdle871 karma

The Bruces. And then I wrote the song...

Sam_Valenti531 karma

What was it like performing at the 2012 Olympics?

MrEricIdle1120 karma

Well I didn't actually run, or skip or lift anything. But it was the most wonderful experience performing live in London at the arena.

Two_Spaghetti_Meals521 karma

In your new book you talked a bit about Keith Moon hanging out with the Pythons while you were writing "Brian", is there any particular memory of him that stands out as a favorite?

MrEricIdle770 karma

Yes, him waiting for us on the beach to finish writing, in Barbados.

HercDriver01507 karma

How is your new guitar case working for you?

Edit: Adam Savage made Mr Idle a pretty damn cool guitar case: https://youtu.be/6iIZ9rnS6HU

MrEricIdle564 karma

It worked well.

bozobozo492 karma

What is your favorite dinosaur?

MrEricIdle1556 karma

Marc Bolan.

pawnto8thsquare380 karma

hi! i am a big fan and think you are the prettiest python (well at least when you are wearing a dress). i am also a big fan of george harrison. could you share any memories you have of directing the crackerbox palace video or of friar park in general? thank you!

MrEricIdle478 karma

A lovely day in a fabulous world with great friends.

Letter0372 karma

Hello Eric, Do you have a favorite sketch?

Huge fan btw.

MrEricIdle995 karma

Yellow. No, blue.

MAntheaume350 karma

Ever been tempted to be a guest in the Muppets Show? if so which musical number would you have liked doing? with which Muppets? [Sorry huge Monty Python and Muppets fan - And adore John's Cleese appearance on the Muppets]

MrEricIdle746 karma

I was asked. My wife is still annoyed I turned it down..

TooDayshipping332 karma

I was Graham Chapman for my schools wax museum.While doing research I bought his autobiography Your bit at the end of his book made me cry. If he was still around do you think he would be a grouch like John Cleese or possibly something else?

MrEricIdle668 karma

His autobiog is very funny. Mind you four people wrote it. He was never a grouch. And never could be.

Mercuryharrison272305 karma

What’s your favorite Monty Python skit?

MrEricIdle813 karma

The Argument Clinic. I think it's as good as Tom Stoppard. (written by John and Graham.)

rec12yrs278 karma

Huge, super long time fan! Which of the Python movies was your favorite to make, and which is your favorite in terms of content when you view it all these years later?

Also - just wanted to add that I got to see Graham Chapman live in Boston when he toured clubs around 1985-86. Seemed like such nice man.

MrEricIdle472 karma

He was a very nice man. Finally.

Bilbo_Bagpiper273 karma

How much fun did you have making Nuns on the Run?

It’s one of my favourite movies, with great chemistry between you and Robbie Coltrane and I still laugh with my mum over many of the great moments in the film!

MrEricIdle355 karma

It was great fun. I loved working with Robbie. And Johnnie Lynn was a great comedy director.

NYDon257 karma

May I call you 'Eric' or do you prefer 'Mr. Idle'?

MrEricIdle789 karma

Doctor will do.

Thatguy755231 karma

At what point did you realize Monty Python was something that wold be beloved and influential for many generations?

MrEricIdle617 karma

It snuck up on us. Rather like a python...

KingEuronIIIGreyjoy221 karma

Hi, Mr. Idle, thank you for doing this AMA! What is your best David Bowie story?

MrEricIdle412 karma

He turned me on to Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs.

chunkmcnugget194 karma

Can we be best friends?

MrEricIdle436 karma

I already have a friend. No wait...

loganh125184 karma

If you had to choose- Holy Grail, Life of Brian, or Meaning of Life?

(Also, my dad wants to know when can we expect the Spamalot movie! )

MrEricIdle545 karma

We're currently working on the Spamalot Movie.

WorlynnLotD182 karma

What’s your favorite thing to do when you have free time.?

MrEricIdle313 karma

Read. Play guitar.

HandfulofPsyche165 karma

when was the last time you embarrassed yourself in public?

MrEricIdle363 karma

The last time I was drunk, and let's hope that was the last time...

DockenDoof163 karma

Did you expect the Spanish Inquisition?

MrEricIdle389 karma

Oh yes. The last Pope was Head of it.

TheGarp138 karma

Is that you saying "Time to GO" in Pink Floyd's "Bring The Boys Back Home" ?

MrEricIdle179 karma


stephen250133 karma

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

MrEricIdle275 karma

I would go to Alaska.

goldsteingoldfish129 karma

What would you choose as your final meal?

MrEricIdle310 karma

Shredded wheat with sliced banana and almond milk.

garyomario104 karma

What is your favourite book?

What was your favourite book as a child?

MrEricIdle182 karma

Gatsby. Bleak House. er..

usernamenotvalid4565101 karma

Hi. A vast amount of us find your work to be fantastic. Is there a recent comedy film or TV series that makes you piss yourself laughing?

MrEricIdle224 karma

Get Shorty with Chris O'Dowd

Ngata_da_Vida91 karma

African or European?

MrEricIdle352 karma

The swallows are leaving Europe in sympathy..

godofpie88 karma

"instant best seller"? Nudge nudge? wink wink? A nods as good as wink to blind man.

MrEricIdle133 karma

The Publishers put that in because it entered the top ten of the New York Times Best Seller List the week after it was published....! Thank you Crown Books.

nickyeyez84 karma

If MP formed today do you think it would be much different? How would you have changed things for a 2018 audience?

MrEricIdle216 karma

I still perform today. They still seem to laugh...

cey2483 karma

Eric Idle!!! Oh my god! Huge fan all my life! I'd be over the moon if you replied to me! Would you mind sharing your most favourite memory of your career? Be it recording with the lads or just general banter? What was your favourite moments of Monty python?

MrEricIdle231 karma

My favourite moment was singing Bright Side to Mike Nichols at the AFI dressed as Emma Thompson from Angels in America...

rororourboat78 karma

Outside of Monty Python what has been one of your favorite projects, movies, shows, thing you've been a part of? What is a project you wish you had done or approached differently?

MrEricIdle158 karma

Spamalot. The Rutles. Not The Messiah. What about Dick? The Entire Universe as a Musical.

Spanky5972 karma

Why do you think Monty Python didn't get as big in America as it did in the UK?

P.S. Long time fan. You're my favorite member of the troupe.

MrEricIdle305 karma

Wait, it is far bigger in America. The UK hasn't played it in years. It's unbelievable but they love it in the States.

MrEricIdle116 karma

Because we all firmly believed it wouldn't....

brb100671 karma

I remember first discovering you back when you did a voice role in "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer: The Movie" by Golden Films/Goodtimes Entertainment from 1998. Which was Golden Film's animated movie starring Rudolph. If I remember correctly, you voice an Arctic Fox in the movie. How much do you remember working on that movie? I remember John Goodman, and Whoopi Goldberg was also in the movie.

John Goodman voiced Santa Claus while Whoopi voiced the main antagonist who causes blizzard and fog.

MrEricIdle154 karma

Those movies are only done in recording studios and you never meet anyone else.

brb100646 karma

I still really enjoy your music performance in that film.

MrEricIdle72 karma

Thanks. Was it by David Foster?

deadpool90249 karma

Have you thought about doing any more Rutles-related content?

MrEricIdle122 karma

I made a sequel called Can't Buy Me Lunch.

3quarksformustermark45 karma

As someone who has clearly had experience with some of the most talented musicians of your time, what would you say is your favorite musical group?

MrEricIdle88 karma

The Fabs.

LBJsPNS40 karma

Why does the porridge bird lay its egg in the air?

MrEricIdle61 karma

Is this a Seuss question. I wrote the Treatment for Suessical but don't remember it...

olliebulmers37 karma

How much weed did yas all smoke when writting scripts etc...?

MrEricIdle193 karma

None at all. You can't write comedy stoned. Although some people try.

ReginaldJohnston37 karma

Eric, what is your stance on the standards of British education and the influence Cambridge University, considering the university in 2010 voted to support tripling the fees?

MrEricIdle82 karma

Well I would pay anything to go back to Cambridge.... but I am now an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College.

mrorange6732 karma

Do you think that an all-time/the best Christmas song does exist?

MrEricIdle105 karma

Yes. F. Christmas. By me and John Du Prez.

Crott11723 karma

Long time listener,first time caller - love your work by the way. What are your thoughts on this modern era of hypersensitivity particularly as it relates to comedy? The idea that topics that were once acceptable are now taboo and that comics are held to a standard - sometimes a standard that seems higher than our political figures are held to?

MrEricIdle100 karma

The first responsibility of comedy is to the truth.

CarolinGallego22 karma

First off, I can't thank you enough for the enjoyment and laughter you have brought to my life.

For my question, what is your favorite non-Python movie you have been in (and I really hope it's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen)?

MrEricIdle42 karma

Nuns on the Run.

Culecks20 karma

Jerry Seinfeld rarely curse or use sexual humor. Which subgenres of comedy or topics do you consider ”too easy” and therefore avoid?

MrEricIdle61 karma

I think rudeness can be too easy, but often you need something to use that is easy...

elkzilla11 karma

Eric! I was just watching the restaurant sketch last night, featuring your barrage of of random complaints while in drag and as fast as you can say them. Hilarious and delightful every time. Interestingly: strong similarity to the travel agent sketch! Also great. Did you deliberately write compact monologues so you could have more lines than those other hacks you performed with?

MrEricIdle13 karma

I haven't seen it for forty seven years...

elkzilla13 karma

"Ooh I don't like this, Ooh I don't like that. Oh I don't think much to all this. Oh fancy using that wallpaper. Fancy using mustard. Oo is that a proper one? Oo it's not real. Oh I don't think it's a proper restaurant unless they give you finger bowls. Oo I don't like him. I'm going to have a baby in a few years."


MrEricIdle26 karma

Ah yes. I wrote that. It was based on a friend's fiancee who never stopped grumbling or complaining... very North country.

EmeraldJonah9 karma

Hi Mr. idle, I’m a big fan! Thank you for everything you’ve contributed to the world. If you had to choose one line from any python film or sketch that you never had to say or hear someone else say to you again, what line would you choose?

MrEricIdle28 karma

No time to lose...

m3guitarist9 karma

The story of the lawless days of the post-Impressionists?!

MrEricIdle10 karma

But it's also a good philosophy for life..

Pithius9 karma

How sick of John Cleese are you?

MrEricIdle29 karma

Not at all.

orangejulius6 karma

What's your favorite memory with Robbin Williams?

MrEricIdle31 karma

Robin. All the times with him were entirely memorable. Perhaps swimming ashore from a boat in Greece, just a bit too far for comfort!

TooDayshipping5 karma

How was it like to write your bits and sketches alone while the other writers had partners (obviously besides gilliam)?

MrEricIdle12 karma

I prefer the company...

iPadCaryVR5 karma

What is the school lunch like at Cambridge?

MrEricIdle18 karma

Cambridge is not a school it is a University. You eat where you like.

FuckBobShitPantz3 karma

Hello Bone. Are there any radio or TV comedies you enjoy today or are you happy to just be secreted away with a good book?

MrEricIdle6 karma

I don't watch a lot of comedy. I do prefer reading, I am omniverous, and I do like some dramas on TV or movies. I think Comedy to be good should be Executive Free. Very little squeezes through executives...

GneissCleavage883 karma

First off I love Python thanks for all the great work you did to help bring those sketches to life. My question is what do you think of the current rise of "political correctness" that has started to take over society? How do you think Python fans who love saying and doing stupid things just for the jokes with no real malice or harm intended in the jokes should respectfully respond to people who think our sense of humor may be vulgar, rude or innappropriate in this day and age?

MrEricIdle12 karma

Remember it was Hitler who first started to lock up comedians....