PYTHONS TO REUNITE FOR 30TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL ON BBC
by Hans ten Cate
thanks to Phil Stubbs, Editor, Dreams: The Terry Gilliam Fanzine
Tuesday, 6 April 1999

The remaining original cast of Monty Python will reunite October 16 for a four-hour long BBC 2 special celebrating their 30th anniversary. This, from the Minister of Silly Walks himself, John Cleese. He reported this to a "media only briefing" on March 26 in Toronto, Canada. This is the first major newsbreak on the Python reunion tour in some time. Only, it is now clear that a tour is not going to happen since the Python members could not coordinate their schedules.

"You know those things you used to have when you were kids? You have those little balls and you have to get all of them in the holes at the same time. That's like trying to get the Python together," said John Cleese.

"In the middle of October, the BBC 2 have given us four hours just to be as silly and as naughty and as ill-mannered as we used to be," said Cleese. "So it's going to be quite fun setting up those four hours and I hope it will show that we haven't grown up at all."

So what happened? The Pythons went balls-out last year at the Aspen Comedy Festival in April. The announced a reunion which was originally going to involve a multi-city tour and stage show.

Other than special occasions, like the comedy festival in Aspen and the upcoming BBC special, Cleese says it's impossible to get his Python pals in a room together at the same time, so a tour is likely out of the question.

"I'll tell you the story because it gives you some idea of what it's like to be in a Monty Python group," Cleese recounts. "We all got together in Aspen. We all got on very well, so we all had this great weekend, and we all said, 'Isn't it fun? Let's do (a reunion tour).' And I went off, and thought, 'That's terrific.'

"At lunch time the next day, I heard that Terry Gilliam had breakfast with Michael Palin and Terry Jones, and said that he wasn't very keen on doing it which he hadn't said at the meeting. Then Terry Jones felt that we shouldn't do it without Terry Gilliam, and then we hired some people to put the tour together and they didn't do a good job.

"Then Michael said he wasn't really in favor of doing a long tour in any case, so we started thinking of doing the show in Vegas, and then Michael decided he didn't really want to do Vegas, so we thought, how about New York? Terry Jones and I thought it was a terrific idea and then Eric didn't want to do that. So that's how it works with us."