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Michael Palin: "The Pythons Will Rally Round Terry Jones"

Michael Palin Terry Jones Monty Python John Cleese Eric Idle

Michael Palin has said that Terry Jones can count on his fellow Pythons to rally around him following his diagnosis with dementia and speech-limiting aphasia.

Last month Jones revealed he had been diagnosed with the devastating disease and on Sunday he appeared at Bafta Cymru to accept a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to film and television.

Terry Jones and Michael PalinTerry Jones and Michael Palin

Continue reading: Michael Palin: "The Pythons Will Rally Round Terry Jones"

Michael Palin Writes Moving Post After Terry Jones Reveals Dementia Diagnosis

Michael Palin Terry Jones Monty Python

Monty Python star Michael Palin has penned a moving post about his friend and colleague Terry Jones’ dementia diagnosis. Jones’ diagnosis was revealed earlier this week, with a spokesperson for the actor and writer saying he was no longer able to give interviews.

Terry Jones and Michael PalinMichael Palin has written about his friend Terry Jones’ dementia diagnosis

In a Facebook post Palin shared a recent photo of the pair together and wrote: “Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over fifty years. The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch and the news announced yesterday that he has a type of aphasia which is gradually depriving him of the ability to speak is about the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life. Not that Terry is out of circulation."

Continue reading: Michael Palin Writes Moving Post After Terry Jones Reveals Dementia Diagnosis

Monty Python And The Holy Grail - 40th Anniversary Trailer

The comedians behind Monty Python have turned into household names and The Holy Grail is potentially their most loved piece. Having been commissioned by the BBC in 1969 Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman began shooting scenes for a sketch show under the name of Monty Python's Flying Circus. The 45 episodes were full of surreal comedy which each and every one soon became cult classics.

Continue: Monty Python And The Holy Grail - 40th Anniversary Trailer

Michael Palin: "A Lot Of Monty Python Was Crap, It Really Was"

Michael Palin Monty Python John Cleese

Michael Palin, 70, has claimed that much of his pioneering comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus was "crap". The comedian, writer and broadcaster conceded there had been some "gleaming moments" such as the Dead Parrot and Spanish Inquisition sketches but ultimately admitted that a lot of other material was "not really that good."

Michael PalinMichael Palin Has Called Much of Monty Python "Crap"

"People forgive you the things that don't work. A lot of Python was crap, it really was," he told The Daily Telegraph. "We put stuff in there that was not really that good, but fortunately there were a couple of gleaming things that everyone remembers while they've forgotten the dross."

Continue reading: Michael Palin: "A Lot Of Monty Python Was Crap, It Really Was"

Monty Python Reunion Sees Bookies Cutting Odds On New Feature Film

John Cleese Monty Python Eric Idle Michael Palin

News of the Monty Python reunion ripped through the entertainment world on Tuesday (August 19, 2013), with the surviving members of the Flying Circus, John Cleese, 74, Terry Gilliam, 72, Terry Jones, 71, Eric Idle, 70 and Michael Palin, 70, announcing that they are to re-form for stage show after a quarter of a century apart.

"Monty Python is set to be a flying circus all over again", John Cleese posted on Twitter. The news echoed David Bowie's return to music in that it was essentially a great big surprise. 

On Thursday, the original team will reunite on stage at the Playhouse Theatre in London where Spamalot - one of the Python's most successful movies - has delighted audiences for years.

Continue reading: Monty Python Reunion Sees Bookies Cutting Odds On New Feature Film

Monty Python Comedians Lose Lawsuit Against "Holy Grail" Producer Mark Forstater

Monty Python

Marc Forstater, the producer who collaborated with Monty Python on their 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, has won a court case against the comedy troupe. The reason behind the lawsuit was that Forstater claimed to have been cheated of royalty fees for the 2005 musical Spamalot, based on the movie.

Michael Palin, Hatchards Bookstore
Michael Palin reportedly made unflattering comments about Forstater.

According to Forstater’s suit, he was only given one fourteenth of the Spamalot royalties, when his contract with the Pythons in fact entitles him to an equal share of the profits of any derivative works as the comedians receive – meaning, one seventh. The high court judge ruled in his favor, entitling him to an as-of-yet unannounced amount of money, though according to Forstater, his cut should be somewhere in the vicinity of $200 000. During the proceedings, the producer firmly stood his ground, though after the case was settled, he did express his regret, speaking to the BBC.

Continue reading: Monty Python Comedians Lose Lawsuit Against "Holy Grail" Producer Mark Forstater

Producer Of "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" Wins Royalty Lawsuit Against The Comedians

Monty Python Michael Palin Graham Chapman Eric Idle Terry Gilliam Terry Jones

The producer behind Monty Python and the Holy Grail has won the lawsuit against the comedy team, entitling him to one seventh of the profits from Spamalot – a musical, based on the film. Mark Forstater – one of the people behind Monty Python’s 1975 movie, claimed that he was entitled to an equal share of the Spamalot royalties, while the comedians had only paid him half of that – one fourteenth. While those fractions might not sound too profitable, the musical achieved great success on Broadway in 2005 and entitles Forstater to a hefty sum of money.

Monty Python, Spamalot Curtain Call, Broadway
Forstater was entitled to twice the amount he was paid for Spamalot.

The agreement, which was under dispute, was created in 1975 between the producer and Python Pictures. It stated that Forstater was entitled to one seventh of the 50% royalties off any merchandise and spinoff income that the team might receive. Since the musical falls under spinoffs… well that means that there’s a lot more cash in it for Forstater. Justice Norris at the high court ruled that this agreement was valid and that in this case, Forstater should be treated like a full member of the comedy team – or at least be entitled to the respective salary. According to Forstater’s own calculations, said salary amounts to £220,000 plus interest. However, despite the monetary reward, the 69-year-old producer regretted that the lawsuit had cost him his friendship with the comedians.

Continue reading: Producer Of "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" Wins Royalty Lawsuit Against The Comedians

Royalties Looking Unlikely For Monty Python Producer After Michael Palin Claims There Was Never 'A Seventh Python'

Michael Palin Monty Python Mark Forstater

'The seventh Python' looks like he’s on the way to getting his comeuppance after Monty Python man Michael Palin completely rejected the notion that the producer, Mark Forstater, of the famous 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail was ever in agreement with his co-stars to get any share of future profits relating to it.

Reuters reports that a decidedly terse affair (this is real life guys, they’re not going to burst out into a rendition of ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ in court … though they might should they wish to rub it in Forstater’s face if they win), the veteran actor, comic and TV presenter Palin took to the stand and said that no agreement had been in place with Forstater beyond the Python film. The trouble has arisen after Forstater said that he was owed royalties from the profits of the play Spamalot, a spin-off from The Holy Grail that hit Broadway in 2005 and has enjoyed subsequent success on both sides of the Atlantic.

Speaking at the stand - and with two of the other Pythons watching on – Palin commented "It might have been what he was seeking, but it was never going to be accepted by the Pythons. The idea of a seventh Python just doesn't happen ... I don't think there was ever any suggestion this man was going to be a 'seventh Python'." Though admitting he couldn’t remember all the negotiations that took place around the film over 35 years ago – which is fair enough really – he did insist: "He was not the creator of the film. The film had been created by the Python team entirely. Mark was not part of our team." Forstater think he’s owed $400,000 from the play. Good luck with that.

Monty Python Stars Sued For As Much As £1m In Royalties From The Musical Spamalot.

Monty Python John Cleese Terry Gilliam Eric Idle Terry Jones Michael Palin

An enigmatic, mysterious man dubbed the 'seventh Python' is suing the stars of Monty Python for the cash they made while performing in the musical, Spamalot, a spin off from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, Sky News reports. 

Mark Forstater - who is much less enigmatic now we know his name - is the man behind the case, which is to be heard over 5 days. He - the producer of the 1975 comedy hit - claims that he is due more money from the musical spin off. The court heard that "for financial purposes" Mr Forstater should be treated as "the seventh Python". Posters for the musical call it "a new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture," and due to its fantastic success, the brand has been subject to numerous merchandising opportunities, which has boosted the Python's finances considerable, with Michael Palin describing it as his "pension plan". Mr Forstater is suing all five Pythons but John Cleese and Terry Gilliam, who live abroad are not expected to give evidence. The sixth member of the team, Graham Chapman, died in 1989.

The suit will cite an agreement made back in 1974, which will entitle Forstater to a great deal more money from the recent success of the brand. This enlarged figure is thought to be able to swell to £1m. 

Spamalot Won’t Pay A Lot? Surviving Monty Pythons Sued By Holy Grail Producer

Monty Python Mark Forstater Eric Idle Terry Jones Michael Palin Terry Gilliam John Cleese Graham Chapman

The producer of Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Mark Forstater - is suing the remaining members of Monty Python over royalty rights to the stage show Spamalot. Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin are all due to give evidence at London’s High Court over the next few days. Terry Gilliam and John Cleese will most likely not attend the five-day court case, as they're based overseas. Graham Chapman passed away in 1989.

The popular stage musical Spamalot is described as being “lovingly ripped off” from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and currently Forstater receives one fourteenth of a share of 50% of merchandising revenues. His lawyer, Tom Weisselberg, is arguing that his client should be considered as the ‘seventh Python’ and should therefore receive one seventh of the income. The Pythons are accused of “failing to pay Mr Forstater monies he says are owed to him under an agreement reached with PMP back in 1974.”

Mr Forstater was declared bankrupt in June, though last month, his bankruptcy was annulled and according to the BBC, “he entered an independent voluntary arrangement (IVA) to deal with his debts.” Spamalot was written by Eric Idle and premiered on Broadway in 2005. The show has won three Tony awards and took $1 million in its opening week on Broadway.

Adele- Bittersweet Success In Funeral Charts

Adele Frank Sinatra Monty Python Robbie Williams Eva Cassidy

Adele's instant modern classic 'Someone Like You' immediately struck a chord for those mourning a relationship, so it's no real surprise that this solemn ballad has made it to number 22 in the Co-Operative Funeralcare's chart for funeral songs- a list of the most requested songs at funerals over the past 12 months.

Adele's appearance in the list continues a growing tradition of pop music overtaking the place of hymns at funerals, so found the survey of 250 of the 900 funeral homes run by the Co-Operative. In fact, Gigwise reports that “They found that pop music has replaced hymns in two-thirds of British funerals as hymns have fallen to 30% of funeral music requests.” For the past seven years Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' has topped the list, and is requested at 15% of all funerals. Plus more ironic songs such as Monty Python's 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' often makes an appearance.

The Top 10 pop songs requested at funerals in 2012 include Eva Cassidy's 'Over the Rainbow', Nat King Cole 'Unforgettable' and Robbie Williams' 'Angels' among others.

Continue reading: Adele- Bittersweet Success In Funeral Charts

Palin To Act Alongside Depp?

Monty Python Michael Palin Johnny Depp

Monty Python star Michael Palin looks set to be tempted out of retirement with a role starring alongside Hollywood actor Johnny Depp.
The British comedian is reportedly in talks with director Terry Gilliam to star in his much-delayed movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Production was originally halted on the film in 2000 after lead actor Jean Rochefort fell ill and part of the set was lost in a flood.
However, Gilliam is due to restart production next year (09), with Depp reprising his role.
And the moviemaker has now reportedly turned to Palin to take on Rochefort's character.
A source tells British newspaper the Daily Express, "Terry passionately believes that Michael should get back into films and feels he would make an excellent Don Quixote."
Palin announced earlier this year (Feb08) that he was retiring from the movie business as he has had "his fill of acting".

Carry On Joke Tops One-liner Poll

Monty Python Cameron Diaz Jim Carrey Pink Priscilla Presley Woody Allen

Kenneth Williams' famous quip "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got in for me!" has been named as the funniest line in movie history.

He uttered the words as Julius Caesar in the 1964 film Carry On Cleo.

Coming second in the poll for Sky Movies Comedy, which quizzed 1,000 film fans and critics, is the line "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy" from the Monty Python film The Life of Brian.

And apparently the third funniest words uttered in a film are the exchange between Robert Hays (Ted Striker) and Leslie Nielsen (Dr Rumack) in the 1980 hit Airplane! After Hays said "Surely you can't be serious" Nielsen quipped back "I am seriousand don't call me Shirley".

Other films with one-liners making it into the poll's top ten are lines from the slapstick comedy films Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary and The Naked Gun.

Top ten comedy lines

1) "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!" Kenneth Williams as Julius Caesar  Carry on Cleo (1964)

2) "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy." Terry Jones as Brian's mother - Life Of Brian (1979)

3) "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley." Leslie Nielsen as Dr Rumack - Airplane! (1980)

4) "Remember you're fighting for this woman's honour, which is probably more than she ever did." Groucho Marx as Rufus T Firefly - Duck Soup (1933)

5) "Don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love." Woody Allen as Alvy Singer - Annie Hall (1977)

6) "Do you have a licence for your minkey?" Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau - The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)

7) "Is that, is that hair gel?" Cameron Diaz as Mary Jensen - There's Something About Mary (1998)

8) "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room." Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley - Dr Strangelove (1963)

9) "Nice beaver! Thank you. I just had it stuffed." Leslie Nielsen as Lt Frank Drebin and Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer - The Naked Gun (1988)

10) "When I met Mary I got that old-fashioned romantic feeling where I'd do anything to bone her." Jim Carrey as Lloyd Christmas - Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Continue reading: Carry On Joke Tops One-liner Poll

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