Monday, March 29, 2010
Birthday wishes go out today to Eric Idle, founding member of Monty Python, singer-songwriter and all around douchebag - er, good egg. That's what I meant to say, obviously.
Having been firmly grounded in comedy by his experience at public school, Idle earned himself a seat in Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge, a rich font of comedic talent that is also known for occasionally producing academics as well; invited to join the Footlights Club, there he met such comedy lights (and future collaborators) as Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie, Graham Chapman, and John Cleese. Before his time there was up, Idle had been made President of the Footlights Club, an honour so prestigious it has been sought by literally no one, and was subsequently held by such no ones as Clive Anderson, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery, and David Mitchell (all of whom you'd know about if you regularly perused the Pop Culture Institute).
Released from the grind of an English degree, Idle made his way to London where in no time he was appearing in a subversive children's programme Do Not Adjust Your Set, alongside future Python costars Terry Jones and Michael Palin, who were also funny, despite having gone to Oxford. There he also met Terry Gilliam - who was, of all things, an American - who'd provided bizarre animations for both the previous and future shows.
Following the success of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Idle threw himself into the creation of Rutland Weekend Television, film projects such as All You Need Is Cash (a sentimental look at a fictional band called The Rutles) as well as various Python movies - only the latter of which has anything to do with the matter at hand, namely Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, a spritely ditty from the utterly blasphemous (although equally spritely) film Life of Brian.
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