UPDATE Wednesday night, 10PM EST: When the members of Monty Python hold a press conference Thursday in London, they will likely just say they’re re-grouping. No definite plans will be announced. But I am told they are seriously considering a 100 date world tour. They are talking to a major producer of such shows right now. Can six men over 70 years old pull it off? These guys can, and they will. After all, we never expected the Spanish Inquisition.
EARLIER: Thursday noon, London time, and 7am New York time, there will be a big announcement from the members of the Monty Python comedy troupe. As leaked on Monday, the group will be getting back together and performing on stage for the first time since 1998.
As I reported exclusively on Monday, the Pythons are now managed by Queen mastermind Jim Beach. He put Queen in the West End as a musical. Monty Python will likely hit the West End and Broadway and then TV.
So why are they returning after years of separate projects, enmity, and unhappiness? Money, money, money.
The Pythons lost a huge lawsuit last July brought by the producer of their movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” His claim was that he was the ‘seventh Python’ and should get an equal cut of royalties from the musical “Spamlot” which was based on that movie.
Not only did Mark Forstater win his cut– $500,000 or more– but the Pythons spent a bundle defending the case. Their legal fees were said to be astronomical.
Sources say that Pythons Eric Idle and Michael Palin are well fixed. But John Cleese has suffered financial setbacks from many divorce settlements. And Terry Gilliam, a brilliant filmmaker, has lacked a hit in recent years.
Whatever the Pythons announce tomorrow morning, expect it to have an expensive ticket. Like the Rolling Stones, the Pythons are “of an age.” They’re not going to a lot of shows with lots of skits and costumes. At their age, we’ll be happy for whatever they do.