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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Cover of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
A Sortabiography
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From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candorWe know him best for his...
From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candorWe know him best for his...
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  • From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candor
    We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python—from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on an unforgettable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theater, and film. Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie, and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, and many more, as well as the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart. In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian (the film which he originally gave the irreverent title Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory) and that has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humor that has delighted audiences for five decades. The year 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover Crucifixion?

    It’s October 1978 and I’m being crucified. I’m thirty feet up on a cross in Tunisia singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Beneath me in a troglodyte courtyard, dug out another forty feet below ground level, an Arab woman sweeps her front yard. She never looks up. We’ve been here for three days. It’s the final scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the song I wrote echoes across the desert to the distant hills. John Cleese has the u. e rest of the Pythons seem fairly cheery. ere are twenty-three of us on crosses and only three ladders, so between takes if you need a pee there is a desperate wait. I suppose if that’s the only moan you have about being crucified, you are on the whole lucky . . .

    There’s something a little chilling about turning up for work and finding a cross with your name on it. Oh sure, they weren’t using nails, and we had bicycle seats to perch on, but it makes you think, hanging up there for three days in your underpants, gazing out at the desert. Perhaps everyone should be crucified for a few days, because it does give you a good perspective on life. Especially if you are singing a song that references your own passing:

    Just remember that the last laugh is on you . . .

    And don’t think the irony escaped me. I have always known this last little giggle at my expense lies somewhere in the future. I only hope there’s a good turnout.

    The song was supposed to be ironic, but it ended up being iconic. I mean, you can’t have much less of a future to be bright about than while being crucified. But people began to sing it in real wars and in real danger. It struck a chord somehow and now people sing it everywhere. Including football matches, and funerals. Especially funerals. As of this writing, it’s the number one song requested at British funerals.

    So here I am, up on a cross in Tunisia singing it for the first time to Graham Chapman. How the hell did I get here?


    A Scar Is Born

    By an odd coincidence, I was born on my birthday. In the same place as my mother, Harton Hospital, South Shields, County Durham, though luckily not at the same time. I was born plain Eric Idle. We couldn’t a afford a second name. There was a war on. At the time of my birth, Hitler was trying to kill me, but fortunately he missed. The closest he got is one of my earliest memories: a shot-up U.S. Wellington bomber, limping home from Germany, crashing in flames in the field beside my nursery school.

    “Nothing to worry about,” said the nurses, as they hustled us inside.

    Surely the scariest words you can ever hear. en I learned the truth from my mum: “ e American pilot was looking for an emergency landing in the eld. He saw the kids playing and deliberately turned away, taking the plane down.”

    I’ve always liked Americans. They’re brave buggers.

    So, close, Adolf, but no cigar.

    If one of the best ways to appreciate life is to have an unhappy childhood, I was very fortunate. Things began badly and got worse. Try this for irony: my father was killed hitchhiking home from World War II. He’d been in the RAF since 1941 in the most dangerous seat of a Wellington bomber, that of the rear gunner/wireless operator, from which he emerged unscathed, and yet seven months after the war in Europe was over, he was killed in a road accident hitching home for Christmas. All over England, servicemen were waiting to be demobbed, and as the trains were full for the holidays they were told to thumb for rides, since everyone stopped for the boys in uniform. My dad got...

About the Author-

  • Eric Idle was one of the six original members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He has appeared in many films. In addition to editing the Monty Python books, he has also written novels, including The Road to Mars; a play, Pass the Butler; and a children’s novel, The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. He lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Eric Idle telling his own life story? Can it get any better than this? I think not. In one of the funniest audiobooks of the year, Idle uses funny voices, Monty-Pythonesque routines, and his own god-given distinctive British accent to talk about his life--the good times and the hardships (but mostly good times) before, during, and after his time with Monty Python. Idle's audiobook is like a phone call with a friend who has a very long answer to the question, "So how have you been?" He talks about hobnobbing with superstars like George Harrison, Paul Simon, and Mick Jagger and recounts the ups and downs of the entertainment business. The comedy bits are hilarious, and the backstage gossip about Monty Python and movies is priceless. This funny, charming audiobook will make listeners jealous of Idle's life. M.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
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A Sortabiography
Eric Idle
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