After Part One – over here – follows the miraculously-titled Part Two that begins with the group taking questions from an audience of journalists, many of whom have flown in from around the world. Everyone is keen to take this unique opportunity to ask something incisive…well, I was but I didn’t get the chance. A selection of what actually happened is recounted below…
Angela Bishop from Channel Ten, Australia…
Eric Idle: G’day! And yes, we will be doing ‘The Bruces’…
I understand there might be special guests joining you onstage during the Bruce sketches, is that right? And secondly is there any chance you’ll bring this wonderful show to Australia?
Michael Palin: We do have a guest in the Bruce sketch, but that’s actually…(Looks to Eric)
Eric Idle: For charity. Some poor guy gets to come up and dress…
Michael Palin: And they’re molested by a kangaroo.
Eric Idle: Yes…And that’s for their charity…And we might have a certain…There’s a sketch we’ve written which has potential (for having) celebrities in.
Michael Palin: Will we go to Australia? I don’t think so, this is our last ten shows I’m afraid.
John Cleese: I think the one on the 20th really is the last show and I think we’ll feel very content with that. We weren’t sure at one stage. I certainly thought it might be fun to go and do America, but the more I thought about it I thought ‘I don’t really want to’. I think it’s much better to try and do it once really well, in England where it started and just leave it at that.
Michael Palin: I think we’ve all got lots of other things we want to do. I mean, I know we have really.
Eric Idle: I don’t have anything. I’ll go to Australia.
And John, you’ve practically been living in Australia for most of this year…
John Cleese: I have to go somewhere in the winter. I mean there are people who are prepared to live in Britain in the winter and I admire them…
Michael Palin: Sixty million people yeah. (Rolls eyes)
John Cleese: I went and sat in the Four Seasons Sydney for four months…
Eric Idle: (Adopting Yorkshire accent) Aww, you were lucky…
Michael Palin: I think you had the air con on. It must have been just as cold as it was in London.
Hi, good to see you guys, I’m from Brazil…
John Cleese: Lucky bastard.
I have two friends here who are comedians. They are very popular in Brazil from the internet, YouTube…And they have a question for you about comedy and new technology…
Do you guys follow any new comics…on the internet…?
The Pythons: No.
Outside of internet, what have you been laughing at lately, like in the last thirty years?
Michael Palin: Oh, the last thirty years…
Terry Jones: Eddie Izzard. And Louis… CK…?
John Cleese: The Rebekah Brooks trial was pretty funny.
What do you think about making comedy on this new platform?
Eric Idle: It’s great. It’s accessible. Terry (Gilliam) had to come to England to make comedy, because in America in those days there were no funny things on television, not for young people to be involved in. It was all network and it was only when Saturday Night Live started that young people actually got onto American television and changed the face of…comedy in America. And now cable’s opened it up widely and the internet also. Really all that happens when you’re young is you find people who make you laugh, you copy them and then you learn your own form…That’s the same in every art.
Michael Palin: It’s interesting with the internet though, ‘cos when Python started it was very popular with a few people in America. 1969 we started…It was four years before we were eventually shown in America, just because people wouldn’t take a risk on it. The big television companies wouldn’t dare show it. Now I suppose…We could have been round the world four years earlier.
John Cleese: I think it’s very good that people have the chance to put their work out there because it used to be controlled by a small number of people, but as you’re asking us I would say that the thing about getting older is when you’re in your seventies you’re not as interested in what’s going on as you were in your thirties.
Channel Five News…Question for all the Pythons; now I know you said this is it, there’ll be no other shows. So if you are planning retirement what are your retirement plans, and will they involve any outreach work with parrots?
Terry Gilliam: Retiring from Python is not retirement from life is it?
Terry Jones: Not at all. I’d like to do a musical film, I’m planning a musical which I have written with Jim Steinman (Bat Out Of Hell) based on The Nutcracker Suite…And he’s written lyrics to the Tchaikovsky tune. I don’t know why anyone hasn’t done that before.
Eric Idle: Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut did.
Terry Jones: I’m directing it in Toronto in 2015.
John Cleese: The general question is I think we’ve all diverged enormously since we’ve done the television series, god knows how many decades ago that was. We’ve gone in very different directions; I mean Michael does the travel…(Mock yawns)
Michael Palin: Oh dear.
John Cleese: The travel programmes…
Michael Palin: I’m used to this now.
John Cleese: (Indicating Terry Jones) He loves doing weird things. What was the thing you did in Lisbon, the opera about vacuum cleaners…?
Terry Jones: Evil machines. I wrote it and directed it in Lisbon.
Michael Palin: We’ll just carry on working ’till we drop.
John Cleese: The big question is are you working for money, and I’m still paying off the alimony so I do certain things for money that I wouldn’t be doing if I didn’t have to earn the alimony. Others are freer to do exactly what they want to do but in a year’s time we’ll all be doing exactly what we want to do and I think there’ll be some surprises.
Terry Gilliam: What is this surprise?
John Cleese: Well for example one thing I suggested to…Peter Fincham (Head of ITV)…I wanted to do a series about religion. I said I wanted to do a series about what religion would be if the churches hadn’t fucked it up. I think that would be very very interesting, but of course he just glazed over. I’ll have to take that one elsewhere.
Michael Palin: How The Churches Fucked It Up…I can see the title now.
Monty Python Live (Mostly) is currently running at the O2 until the 20th.