John Cleese brutally hits back at Eric Idle’s financial claims over Monty Python money

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

A war of words has erupted among the founding members of Monty Python as Eric Idle took to X, formerly Twitter, to vent his financial frustrations. Idle pointed fingers at Holly Gilliam, the daughter of Python co-founder Terry Gilliam, who manages the group’s finances. In a surprising turn, John Cleese, another Python luminary, came to Holly’s defence, countering Idle’s claims.

Idle’s Twitter tirade revealed his financial struggles, attributing them to Holly Gilliam’s management. He lamented, “I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously. 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.”

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

John Cleese has added fuel to a twitter spat between Idle and the other Pythons.

John Cleese eludes to hatred amongst the Python crew.

The feud turned unexpectedly as Cleese openly admitted the longstanding animosity between him and Idle. He revealed, “We always loathed and despised each other, but it’s only recently that the truth has begun to emerge.” This revelation adds a layer of complexity to the financial dispute, highlighting the strained relationships within the iconic comedy troupe.

Idle’s financial woes stem from the aftermath of the 2014 reunion concert, “The Meaning of Live.” Responding to concerned fans, he explained that the event was intended to cover legal expenses related to a seven-year court battle with Monty Python and the Holy Grail producer Mark Forstater. Idle referred to Forstater as an “entitled git” and blamed the financial strain on this prolonged legal ordeal.

Cleese staunchly defended Holly Gilliam despite his financial struggles, which led to the Alimony Tour in 2010 to cover divorce costs. The support from fellow Python members Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam solidifies Holly’s standing within the group. Cleese’s statement serves as a clear rebuttal to Idle’s accusations.

The Monty Python films are still as popular today as they were when they were made.

The feud underscores the challenges faced by the legendary comedy troupe, known for classics like Monty Python, the Holy Grail, and Life of Brian. Distancing himself from the group, Idle declared, “I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded. Python is a disaster.” Cleese also dispelled the misconception that the classic Python episodes bring substantial revenue, stating, “Not what most people assume, no. Remember, we did our TV shows for my favourite charity – the BBC.”

Share this Article
Leave a comment