Though Monty Python's Graham Chapman may have joined the choir invisible, and the other boys have been busy with movie projects, a magical spark happens when they all get together. The five surviving members of the '70s comedy troupe Monty Python's Flying Circus were reunited Mar. 7 at a comedy festival in Aspen, CO, for the first time since 1981.
In-between performing comedy bits and paying tribute to company member Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, the Pythons -- Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Michael Palin (who have all gone on to other careers in the entertainment industry) -- announced plans for a 10-week stage tour starting in London and continuing in the U.S.
According to Variety, John Cleese told assembled journalists, comedians and Python fans that an impromptu meeting "in an oxygen tent" has led to plans for a London-to-U.S. tour in late 1999.
No dates or venues were announced.
The troupe did four seasons of their anarchically comic "Monty Python's Flying Circus" for the BBC, beginning in 1969. After PBS stations in America began picking up the show in 1974, Python became a comedy cult, leading to movies (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), records (Matching Tie and Handkerchief, Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album) and legendary status among peers and fans. The group made their first New York stage appearance in 1976. The last time Cleese, Gilliam, Jones, Palin and Idle worked together was on the 1983 film, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
A live tour wouldn't be new for the group, which appeared at New York's City Center in the 1970s and often did UK benefits, such as "The Secret Policeman's Ball" and "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball."
Jones reportedly said "prospects look good, based primarily on [Terry] Gilliam's film schedule." He indicated that the talks of the tour, "were premature, but yes, we are talking about doing a show, rather than a movie project."
A guest on comedian Dennis Miller's weekly HBO program, Cleese noted that even at the City Center gig two decades ago, the Pythons were treated more like rock stars than a comedy team. Rather than laugh, audiences would cheer the first line, then mouth the words of the sketch, then cheer the finale. "It was flattering," Cleese said.