jakub | February 14, 2024

“We always loathed and despised each other”

John Cleese has responded to comments made by fellow former Monty Python member, Eric Idle, which have prompted an online dispute between the two.

Last week, Idle made comments on social media which criticised manager Holly Gilliam – also the daughter of Python co-founder Terry Gilliam – for the decreasing finances of the comedy troupe, formed in 1969.

Idle wrote on X/Twitter on Saturday: “We own everything we ever made in Python and I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously.”

“But I guess if you put a Gilliam child in as your manager you should not be so surprised,” he continued. “One Gilliam is bad enough. Two can take out any company.”

He added: “I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded. Python is a disaster. Spamalot made money 20 years ago. I have to work for my living. Not easy at this age.”

Cleese has made it clear where he stands, posting on X: “I have worked with Holly for the last ten years, and I find her very efficient, clear-minded, hard-working, and pleasant to have dealings with”.

He continued: “Michael Palin has asked me to make it clear that he shares this opinion. Terry Gilliam is also in agreement with this.”

The online disagreement continued, with Idle and Cleese commenting about one another. When asked by an X user if the two remain close, Idle replied: “I haven’t seen Cleese for seven years.” A reply from a user expressing sadness over this prompted the actor to reply: “Why. It makes me happy.”

Now, Cleese has responded to the questions about their closeness saying: “We always loathed and despised each other, but it’s only recently that the truth has begun to emerge”.

Idle continued to make clear his opinions on X when one user suggested a Netflix documentary about “the rise and fall of Monty Python.” Idle responded to the tweet: “Fuck Netflix and fuck documentaries.”

Elsewhere, it was announced earlier this month that a Fawlty Towers stage adaptation, written by Cleese, is in the works.

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