Eric Idle

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Eric Idle (2003)
Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life ( Monty Python feat. Eric Idle)
  DE 3 11/11/1991 (23 weeks)
  AT 2 11/17/1991 (14 weeks)
  CH 3 12/15/1991 (15 weeks)
One Foot in the Grave (feat.Richard Wilson)
  UK 50 12/17/1994 (3 weeks)

Eric Idle (born March 29, 1943 in South Shields , County Durham , Great Britain) is a British actor , film producer , director , composer and author . He became internationally known as a founding member of the Monty Python group .

Career with Monty Python

Unlike the other members of the Monty Python group, who preferred to write their skits in pairs ( Cleese / Chapman and Palin / Jones ), Idle wrote alone. His contributions often consisted of lengthy, complex monologues or catchy one-liners. One of the many Monty Python sketches from Idle's pen is the “Nudge Nudge Wink Wink” sketch (“Knick-Knack-Zwinker-Zwinker”).

His skills as a singer and composer helped him work for Monty Python as he wrote several of the songs that have appeared in the television series, films and sound recordings. Among these are "Eric the Half-a-Bee", "The Philosophers' Song" and, probably the most famous, "Always look on the Bright Side of Life", which he wrote for the final scene of The Life of Brian and the is sung in the film by a crowd of crucified Christians.

In the 1970s he was the author of the Monty Python "boks" (intentional misspelling of the English books ), and he wrote about his experiences with the comedian troupe in the fifth part of the 2003 book series "A Pocketful of Python" (a pocket full of Python), in which he also described some of his favorite sketches, written by both himself and the rest of the pythons.

On August 12, 2012, he performed in the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London .

Activity as an author

Idle has authored several books, including two novels, Hello Sailor! (German title: Hallo Seemann! ) and The Road to Mars (German title: Die Reise zum Mars ). In 1976 he wrote an offshoot to Rutland Weekend Television , a television series produced by him for BBC 2 entitled The Rutland Dirty Weekend Book . In 1982 he wrote a play for the West End Theater in London entitled Pass The Butler and starring Willie Rushton .

He also wrote the story and co-wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Monty Python's Spamalot , based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail , which premiered on January 9, 2005 in Chicago before it hit Broadway in New York moved. There it won the Tony Award for Best Musical in the 2004-2005 season. The reactions of the other Monty Python members to the musical varied; both Michael Palin and Terry Jones publicly voiced their displeasure with the show because, in their opinion, it did not live up to the legacy and tradition of Monty Python.

In 2005 he was chosen as Comedian's Comedian (German about Komiker der Komiker) in Great Britain by other comedians and connoisseurs among the 50 best comedians of all time.

In October 2018 he published an autobiography (title: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life ).

Private life

In 1969 Idle married the actress Lyn Ashley, with whom he has a son (* 1973). Ashley occasionally played minor roles as Mrs Idle in Monty Python's Flying Circus . In 1975 they got divorced. He married his current wife, Tania Kosevich, in 1981. They have a daughter (* 1990).

Idle lives in Los Angeles.

Filmography (selection)



  • Eric Idle: Hello, Sailor !. Littlehampton Book Services Ltd., 1975, ISBN 978-0-297-76929-3 .
  • Eric Idle: The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. Dove Books, Juvenile 1996, ISBN 978-0-787-11042-0 .
  • Eric Idle: The Journey to Mars. List-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-548-68005-4 .
  • Eric Idle: The greedy bastard diary: A Comic Tour of America. (Diary of a theater tour). 2005, ISBN 0-060-75864-3 .
  • Eric Idle: The Writer's Cut. A reality novel from Hollywood. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-462-04998-5
  • Jörg Thomann: Monty Python Star Eric Idle: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine , No. 45 D, from November 11, 2018, category: Life, p. 13
  • Eric Idle: Pocketful of Python Vol 5 (Pocketful of Python). Methuen Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-413-76010-3 .
  • Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam: Autobiography of the Monty Pythons. (OT: The Pythons autobiography by the Pythons ). Hannibal, Höfen 2004, ISBN 3-85445-244-6 .
  • Eric Idle: Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: A Kind of Autobiography . Hannibal Verlag, Innsbruck, 2018. ISBN 3-85445-657-3

Computer games

In the 1995 discworld computer game Discworld , he gave his voice to the protagonist Rincewind . Also in the follow-up Discworld II - He was probably missing as its synchronization, he also composed and sang the title song That's Death .


  1. Chart sources: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life / One Foot in the Grave
  2. ^ Donald Anderson: The Comedian's Comedian. In: App Spring, accessed on December 31, 2019 (21st place in English).

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