The Full Story Behind The Monty Python Drama, As John Cleese Backtracks On ‘We Always Loathed And Despised Each Other’ Comments

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Comedians like Monty Python legend and former Masked Singer contestant Eric Idle are always good for making a splash on the internet. Sometimes those efforts are harmless, like that time Idle didn’t recognize his EPCOT attraction co-star. However, the story we’re about to dig into is much more serious, and very much a heartbreaker. 

As Idle has made some serious accusations that have kicked up drama with the surviving members of Monty Python, John Cleese himself has made some remarks that later needed some clarification. Sadly, none of it is a laughing matter; as you’ll find in the full story behind the drama surrounding one of England’s best known comedic institutions.

Eric Idle on Monty Python's Flying Circus

(Image credit: BBC)

The Monty Python Drama Currently In The News

Recently, Monty Python member Eric Idle made some serious claims on X (formerly known as Twitter about how the comedy troupe’s finances are in seemingly dire straits. Or at least he seems to think so, as his social media posts on the matter stated that even something as successful as the recently-revived musical Spamalot isn’t something that’s bringing in a lot of money. 

Doubling down on his claims after a fan’s further inquiry into the matter, Idle then made the following accusation: 

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It would seem, at least from Eric Idle’s point of view, that Monty Python has suffered at the hands of poor management. His claims took aim at the group’s manager, Holly Gilliam, as well as her father and fellow Python alum Terry Gilliam. In the wake of such accusations, it appears that the rest of the surviving members of Monty Python do not feel the same way. 

The Monty Python gang walks the street dressed as Hell's Grannies in And Now For Something Completely Different.

(Image credit: Python (Monty) Pictures)

Eric Idle’s Viewpoint Apparently Differs From The Rest Of Monty Python

This supposed rift in the group’s outlook comes directly from John Cleese, who also used his social media platform to try and add further nuance to the matter. Here’s what the rest of Monty Python has to say about the situation, courtesy of a statement from Cleese:

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Allegedly, the rest of the surviving Pythons are in alignment with what John has said, which itself leads to another rather fascinating turn of events. This seemingly wasn’t the only fire that John Cleese’s recent tweet output was tending to, as what was supposedly meant to be a joke in a follow-up message was reported as a scandalous revelation.

John Cleese on Monty Python's Flying Circus

(Image credit: BBC)

Several outlets would go on to report comments made by John Cleese on X, in which he told a fan that Monty Python’s members “always loathed and despised each other.” When it came to how The Standard covered those remarks, the publication framed Cleese’s words as a joke rather than an actual confession of loathing. This in turn led the comedy star behind Fawlty Towers’ potential reboot to issue this clarification through social media: 

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It certainly isn’t the first time that the legacy of Monty Python’s wit has slipped by some news outlets and reported as serious news. Who can forget Fox News’ 2020 report where dialogue from Monty Python and the Holy Grail was mistaken for actual revolutionary text? But this misinterpretation, as you can see above, is tied into some more seriously debated matters.

Which brings us to the end of the story, at least for the moment. Who knows if Eric Idle will counter John Cleese’s statement, or if any of the other Monty Python members will chime in themselves in support of their supposed agreement? It’s unfortunate to see this legendary group of comedians in-fighting, and frankly all anyone can hope for is some sort of amicable conclusion to this heated debate. 

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