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John Cleese Defends Monty Python Manager After Eric Idle Called Group’s Income Disastrous: ‘We Always Loathed and Despised Each Other’


John Cleese took to X (formerly Twitter) to respond to Eric Idle after the latter went viral for some heated comments related to Monty Python, the legendary British comedy troupe that Idle and Cleese co-founded in 1969 alongside Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Idle made headlines for saying he still has to “work for my living” and heavily suggesting that Monty Python funds are being mismanaged.

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

“We own everything we ever made in ‘Python’ and I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously,” he added. “But I guess if you put a Gilliam child in as your manager you should not be so surprised. One Gilliam is bad enough. Two can take out any company.”

Holly Gilliam is Terry’s daughter and runs HDG Projects, which manages Python. She became the comedy troupe’s manager back in 2014 and co-produced a highly-anticipated reunion show with its members the same year. Cleese took to X to defend Holly against Idle’s insinuation that her management is hurting Python’s funds.

“I have worked with Holly for the last 10 years, and I find her very efficient, clear-minded, hard working, and pleasant to have dealings with,” Cleese wrote. “Michael Palin has asked me to to make it clear that he shares this opinion. Terry Gilliam is also in agreement with this.”

When one Python fan asked if Cleese had a falling out with Idle, Cleese responded: “We always loathed and despised each other, but it’s only recently that the truth has begun to emerge.”

Idle, meanwhile, got a sign of support from his daughter, Lily, who posted amid her father’s statements that “I’m so proud of my dad for finally, finally, finally starting to share the truth. He has always stood up to bullies and narcissists and absolutely deserves reassurance and validation for doing so.”

In another nod to Idle’s claims, Cleese posted a rundown of the many gigs he has lined up for 2024 as to assure Python fans that he has finances coming in this year.

See Cleese and Idle’s full statements in the X posts below.