Eric Idle (born 29 March 1943) is an English actor, author, comedian and musician. Idle is a former member of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python and the parody rock band The Rutles, and is the writer of the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Spamalot (based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail).Known for his elaborate wordplay and musical numbers, Idle performed many of Python's songs, including "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" (from Life of Brian), and the "Galaxy Song" (from The Meaning of Life). After Monty Python's Flying Circus, he hosted Saturday Night Live in the US four times in the first five seasons. Idle's initially successful solo career faltered in the 1990s with the failures of his 1993 film Splitting Heirs (which he wrote, produced, and starred in) and 1998's An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (in which he starred). He revived his career by returning to the source of his worldwide fame, adapting Monty Python material for other media. Following the success of the musical Spamalot (which won the Tony Award for Best Musical), he also wrote Not the Messiah, an oratorio derived from the Life of Brian. He featured in a one-hour symphony of British music when he performed to a global audience at the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony.
Idle has been married twice. His first marriage was in 1969 to actress Lyn Ashley, with whom he had one son, Carey (b. 1973), before their divorce in 1975. He met Tania Kosevich, a former model, in 1977 and they married in 1981. They have one daughter, Lily (b. 1990), and reside in Studio City, Los Angeles.He is a first cousin of Canadian conductor Peter Oundjian and Nigel Wray, former Chairman of Saracens Rugby Club.Idle holds atheist views, but does not like using the term.
Idle was born in Harton Hospital, in South Shields, County Durham, to which his mother had been evacuated from northwest England. His mother, Norah Barron Sanderson, was a health visitor and his father, Ernest Idle, served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, only to be killed in a road accident while hitchhiking home for Christmas in December 1945. Idle spent part of his childhood in Wallasey on the Wirral peninsula, and attended St George's Primary School. His mother had difficulty coping with a full-time job and bringing up a child, so when Idle was seven, she enrolled him in the Royal Wolverhampton School as a boarder. At this time, the school was a charitable foundation dedicated to the education and maintenance of children who had lost one or both parents. Idle is quoted as saying: "It was a physically abusive, bullying, harsh environment for a kid to grow up in. I got used to dealing with groups of boys and getting on with life in unpleasant circumstances and being smart and funny and subversive at the expense of authority. Perfect training for Python."Idle stated that the two things that made his life bearable were listening to Radio Luxembourg under the bedclothes and watching the local football team, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite this, he disliked other sports and would sneak out of school every Thursday afternoon to the local cinema. Idle was eventually caught watching the X-rated film Butterfield 8 (suitable for audiences aged 16 years and over under the contemporary film certificates) and stripped of his prefecture, though by that time he was head boy. Idle had already refused to be senior boy in the school cadet force, as he supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and had participated in the yearly Aldermaston March. Idle maintains that there was little to do at the school, and boredom drove him to study hard and consequently win a place at Cambridge University.
Movies & TV shows
Monty Python's Best Bits Celebrated
The Beatles' influence on music has been compared to Monty Python's influence on comedy, a pivotal moment in the evolution of television humor. To celebrate the cultural legacy and influence of the tr...
Python at 50: Silly Talks and Holy Grails
From ‘something completely different’ to icons of comedy and national treasures, this is a collection of rarely-seen Monty Python moments from the BBC archives, following the group’s encounters with ‘...
An Accidental Studio
Charts the early years of HandMade Films seen through the eyes of the filmmakers, key personnel, and the man who started it all: former Beatle George Harrison.
The Infinite Monkey Cage: 100th Episode TV Special
To celebrate the 100th episode of their hit science/comedy show, Brian Cox and Robin Ince invited some very well known monkey cage alumni to join them. Some of the show's stars take to the stage to co...
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind
A funny, intimate and heartbreaking portrait of one of the world's most beloved and inventive comedians, Robin Williams, told largely through his own words. He brought comedy to the culture from the w...
5 Movies · 2 TV shows
Monty Python: Live (Mostly)
The last night of the show will be shown on the big screen.
Billy Connolly's Big Send Off
Billy Connolly undertakes a personal journey to evaluate and explore the ways in which we deal with the end of our lives - across all religious, cultural and social boundaries. With his trademark char...
Off Camera with Sam Jones
Sam Jones sits down with the professionals of television and movies, and other celebrities, to discuss their development before fame, their passions beyond their careers, and gives them a space to ope...
Monty Python: And Now for Something Rather Similar
Alan Yentob meets the five surviving members of Monty Python - John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle - as they prepare to reunite on stage.
An orphan boy raised by underground creatures called Boxtrolls comes up from the sewer and out of his box to save his family and the town from Snatcher.
The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, this magnificent star studded tribute salutes the Fab Four. Joe Walsh, Gary Clark, Jr., Stevie Wonder, ...
Monty Python: The Meaning of Live
The comedy, chaos and passion that went into bringing the Flying Circus to the stage is revealed in this program.
4 Movies · 1 TV show
What About Dick?
What About Dick? begins with the birth of a sex toy invented in Shagistan in 1898 by Deepak Rushdie Obi Ben Kingsley (Eddie Izzard), and tells the story of the subsequent decline of the British Empire...
Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO
Documentary which gets to the heart of who Jeff Lynne is and how he has had such a tremendous musical influence on our world. The story is told by the British artist himself and such distinguished col...
Half hour comedy documentary series from veteran funny-man David Steinberg and Steve Carell reveals the inspirations, influences and idols of some of the greatest comics of our time.
London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony: A Symphony of British Music
The XXXth Olympiad had a closing ceremony.
The Secret Policeman's Ball
The 50th anniversary of the organization is celebrated.
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
George Harrison is profiled in a portrait that mixes interviews and archival footage with commentary from the likes of Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton.
Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy)
Not The Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) is a comic oratorio based on Monty Python's Life of Brian, which retells the tragic tale of Mandy, impregnated by a Roman soldier, giving birth to Brian, a re...
1 TV show
Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)
The story of Monty Python is told through brand new interviews with the Pythons, as well as archive material from the late Graham Chapman.
The Madness and Misadventures of Munchausen
This is an all new feature length documentary, with interviews from almost everyone involved with the production of the film. Gilliam never shies away from the truth, even when it comes to himself, an...
The Seventh Python
SeanConnors Films is a company. The life and career of musical satirist Neil Innes is the subject of a musical feature film. A man who flirts with destiny at the edge of fame with incredibly influenti...
In a divided land, it takes a rebel boy and his secret love for a Princess of an opposing race to stop a war that is being orchestrated by a power hungry villain.
We Are Most Amused
We Are Most Amused was held at the New Wimbledon Theatre in November 2008 to raise money for The Prince's Trust in honor of the 60th birthday of Charles, Prince of Wales. Prince Charles and his family...
Monty Python Conquers America
This documentary follows the evolution of the British sketch comedy troupe that redefined humor and shaped an entire generation of American comics, focusing especially on their conquest of the America...
3 Movies · 2 TV shows
The Graham Norton Show
GrahamNorton talks about what's happening. The guests are talking. Graham is playing an instrument.
The Secret Life of Brian
A documentary is about Brian.
Melbourne Australia 2007 House Cam Proshot A new musical “lovingly ripped off” from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail From the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Ter...
Documentary series looking at the stories behind the production of popular English films, showing how they tie in with the production of other movies through the actors or actresses.
Shrek the Third
The King of Far Far Away has died and the two characters are to become King and Queen. When he learns there is another heir to the throne, they set off to bring him back to rule the kingdom, since he ...
3 Movies · 2 TV shows
Monty Python's Flying Circus - Terry Jones' Personal Best
Comedy from the UK
Monty Python's Flying Circus - Graham Chapman's Personal Best
The LORDS of Laughter sold out again. Some people don't think you can take it with you. Others don't want to go. Graham Chapman is a doctor, tall actor, self-wrestler and dead guy. Chapman has appeare...
The One Show
A magazine-style daily television programme is broadcasted on the UK's most popular television channel. The programme is hosted by Alex Jones and Matt Baker from Monday to Thursday and Chris Evans on ...
Monty Python's Flying Circus - Eric Idle's Personal Best
The SAINTS of SATIRE, The LORDS of LAUGHTER, The HIGH PRIESTS of LOW COMEDY have sold out once again. Eric Idle--the outrageously successful actor, writer, composer, director, producer and Broadway im...
Monty Python's Personal Best
A series of six outrageous one-hour specials showcasing the groundbreaking comedians.
3 Movies · 1 TV show
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is hosted by Scottish American comedian Craig Ferguson, who is the third regular host of the Late Late Show franchise. Late Show with David Letterman airs on CBS...
One hundred superstars have told the joke that has been shared privately by comics.
Live from New York: The First 5 Years of Saturday Night Live
A retrospective of the first 5 years of Saturday Night Live.
The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-Ton Megaset
This unassuming case is packed with 16 tons of funny: 14 discs of MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS, packed with every episode from the programme’s four year run, plus 2 MONTY PYTHON LIVE! discs featuring–...
5 Movies · 1 TV show
The Tony Danza Show
The Tony Danza Show was a daytime variety talk show that aired on September 13, 2004.
The Nutcracker and The Mouseking
The story revolves around a young prince who is turned into a nutcracker by his own selfishness and is waiting for a kindly soul who will release him from the spell. The mouse-king wants the magic tha...
Each child, at the moment of their birth, is given a gift from a fairy godmother. The so-called gift is obedience. OnceElla finds herself in the hands of several unscrupulous characters who she cannot...
The Best of Monty Python's Flying Circus Volume 3
All the best sketches from the third and fourth series of the ground-breaking comedy. Memorable moments include: 'The Finals of the All-England Summarise Proust Competition'; 'Stand and Deliver! It's ...
The Best of Monty Python's Flying Circus Volume 1
Compilation of the best Sketches of the first series of Monty Python's Flying Circus, which ran from 5 October 1969 to 11 January 1970. Memorable moments include: 'The 127th Upperclass Twit of the Ye...
The Best of Monty Python's Flying Circus Volume 2
The funniest sketches from the second series. Memorable moments include: 'It's in the Mind' and 'The New Cooker Sketch'. It aired from September to December 1970.
3 Movies · 2 TV shows
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
TheEllenDeGeneres Show is an American television talk show hosted by Ellen Degeneres.
Real Time with Bill Maher
A panel of guests, including politicians, actors, comedians, musicians and the like, discuss what's going on in the world each week on Bill Maher's show.
Harrison Ford's partner Joe Gavilan has a new partner. C. Calden are detectives on the beat. Neither one of them wants to be a cop, Gavilan is a real estate broker, and Calden is an aspiring actor. Th...
Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure
Eddie was fired at Christmastime, but his boss sent him and his family on a South Pacific vacation in hopes that Eddie wouldn't file a lawsuit after being bitten by a lab monkey. Eddie provides for ev...
David Bowie - Sound and Vision
A documentary takes you on a journey of Bowie's life and career. Interviews with Iman and his friends. 30 years of his career can be seen in exclusive footage of live performances of the showman's bes...
The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch
Twenty-three years after the release of the Beatles film 'The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash', famous artists, actors and musicians speak out about how the film influenced them.
The Scream Team
In small-town Steeple Falls, Frank Carlyle ran a horror shop that took pride in and profit from its Halloween traditions. Richard returns from Boston with his kids to settle the inheritance. Ian belie...
Peter Cook At a Slight Angle to the Universe
TV documentary tracing the life of the comedian and satirist from his school days, through the Cambridge Footlights, to Beyond the Fringe and his partnership with Dudley Moore. With contributions from...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
Two small time crooks, Wes and Nick, are facing the end of their lives. They will get a second chance from Mr. Bix, time, space and reality seem to change as they try and make up.
Disney's House of Mouse
A very-recognizable audience of Disney animated characters gather into the House of Mouse nightclub to enjoy musical guests, cartoon shorts and the Master of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse's comical introduc...
Monty Python and the Holy Grail in LEGO
An animated short was created for Python Pictures. Doubtless Spite Your Face Production's most viewed film is located at The Holy Grail DVD. She was featured on a number of magazine discs and in the d...
Before the Flying Circus
Monty Python turned dead parrots and the Inquisition into enduring punch lines. Interviews with members of the troupe, as well as home movies, photos and rare recordings from Monty Python's early year...
Get ready for a howling good time as an all new assortment of irresistible animal heroes are unleashed in this great family tail! A parrot thinks he's a dog. They are teams up with Oddball. An un-mark...
The Life of Python
Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Monty Python presents exclusive new material and so-called classic bits.
A 60's-era cartoon inspired the name. Royal Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-right is busy keeping the peace in his small mountain town when his old rival, Snidely Whiplash, comes up with a plan to buy all ...
30 Years of Monty Python, a Revelation
Monty Python's members were interviewed by Jonathan Ross. There are deleted scenes from Life of Brian.
Python Night: 30 Years of Monty Python
Monty Python is celebrating their 30th anniversary with a series of new sketches.
Pirates: 3D Show
Davie, a cabin boy who was betrayed and marooned by Captain Lucky on Pirate Island, sets up booby traps with the help of a monkey named Chester to catch Lucky and his new crew when he returns to the i...
Hercules: Zero to Hero
The film briefly gives Hercules' history after defeating Hades, in which he married Meg and revisits his teenage years. It shows the beginning of Hercules's adventures at the Prometheus Academy, a sch...
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
When the four boys see an R-rated movie featuring Canadians, they are pronounced corrupt, and their parents want the United States to wage war against Canada.
The Monty Python Story
Four very funny films that are still funny are the result of the story behind how Monty Python formed.
Monty Python: Spam to Sperm
There is a documentary about the music of Monty Python.
Monty Python: 30th Anniversary Sketches
The sketches were made for the 30th anniversary of the first showing of Monty Python.
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn
Filmmaker Alan Smithee finds himself the unwilling puppet of a potentially bad, big budget action film which he proceeds to steal the reels and leave the cast and crew in a frenzy.
Monty Python: Live at Aspen
In March 1998 in Aspen, Colorado, the surviving members of the Monty Paython team - John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - shared a stage together for the first time in...
Quest for Camelot
During the time of King Arthur, Kayley was a brave girl who wanted to follow in her father's footsteps as a Knight of the Round Table. The evil Ruber wants to take the throne of King Arthur and Kayley...
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie
An accident when he was a child caused his nose to turn red. His parents worry about him being teased. When he is beaten in the reindeer games by his rival for a doe, Rudolph runs away and moves into ...
The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue
Timmy and the girl mouse set off to find the Great Owl.
1 Movie · 3 TV shows
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
The biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture are tackled by The World's Fakest News Team.
Suddenly Susan is a sitcom. Susan is a magazine writer in San Francisco who learns to be independent-minded after being taken care of all her life.
The Wind in the Willows
Mr was jailed for reckless driving. When the wily weasels plan to build a dog food factory on the meadow sold to them by Toad himself, he has to escape from prison. The roller-coaster ride was written...
1 Movie · 1 TV show
Mad magazine inspired the creation of MADtv, an American sketch comedy television series. The show was on Saturdays on Fox.
Furious that her late father only willed her his gloomy-looking mansion rather than his millions, Carrigan Crittenden is ready to burn the place to the ground when she discovers a map to a treasure hi...
1 Movie · 1 TV show
A member of the English upper class dies, leaving his estate and business to an American who he thinks is his son who was lost as a baby and then found again. He thinks he is the heir to the throne. H...
Frasier moved back to Seattle to work as a radio psychiatrist after his policeman father was shot while on duty.
As heir to a relative's estate, Wendel was surprised to learn that there was only one thing left. However, he and his musician friend, Lou, are thrust into a comic chase, as an assortment of unsavoury...
Mom and Dad Save the World
Marge Nelson and her husband Dick are kidnapped by Emperor Spengo, who wants to make Marge his bride before blowing up the Earth. Dick begins reliving episodes of Gordon and Buck Rogers in order to re...
1 TV show
Pebble Mill was a re-launched version of the 1970s daily chat show Pebble Mill (also known as Pebble Mill At One for a while) which aired on BBC1 in the United Kingdom. The series premiered on October...
Life of Python
Do Not adjust your sets, interviews with the group's members and other associated artists are some of the works that can be seen in the documentary.
Nuns on the Run
They work for a criminal. When the boss learns they want to leave he sets them up to be killed, after they help rob the local Triads of their drug dealing profits. B&C have to seek refuge in a Nuns' t...
Too Much Sun
A clause in a multimillionaire's will requires his children to have a grandchild within a year of his death.
2 Movies · 3 TV shows
Parrot Sketch Not Included: Twenty Years of Monty Python
Monty Python's Flying Circus was presented by Steve Martin. The sketch of a parrot is not included. A big fan of the Pythons is Steve Martin.
Set in Springfield, the average American town, the show focuses on the antics and everyday adventures of the Simpson family, as well as a virtual cast of thousands. Hundreds of celebrities have guest ...
How to Get Ahead in Advertising
Pressure from his boss and a skin-cream client causes a talking boil on a British adman's neck.
The show was on NBC from April 10, 1989 to May 1, 1989.
Around the World in 80 Days
Around the World in 80 Days is a 1989 three-part television Eastmancolor miniseries originally broadcast on NBC. The production garnered three nominations for Emmy awards that year. The teleplay by Jo...
Jonathan Miller set his well-known production of The Mikado, staged for the English National Opera, in a British seaside resort of the 1920s. The result, complete with a chorus of gentlemen of Japan a...
The English National Opera Rehearse The Mikado
A chance to see director Jonathan Miller at work on his acclaimed staging of Gilbert and Sullivan's famous comic opera.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The town of Hamelin pays the ultimate price for changing their mind about the pied piper. The poem was written by Robert Browning.
National Lampoon's European Vacation
The Griswalds won a vacation to Europe on a game show, so they packed their bags. They want to be good tourists, but they don't know how. They can't take holidays in countries where they don't speak t...
The Meaning of Life
Life's questions are answered in a series of outrageous vignettes, beginning with a London insurance company which transforms before our eyes into a pirate ship. National Health doctors try to get a h...
A documentary about the making of Yellowbeard.
The Crimson Permanent Assurance
A group of down-and-out accountants mutiny against their bosses and sail their office building onto the high seas in search of a pirate's life.
Men were made to eat their lips and swallow their hearts by Yellowbeard. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for tax evasion. There is a victim's prison. In a scheme to take his treasure, the Royal...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
The Tale of the Frog Prince
A princess's fate is entwined with a frog with a secret past.
Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Monty Python perform many of their greatest sketches at the Hollywood Bowl.
Faerie Tale Theatre
A children's television anthology series retells popular fairy tales.
Life of Brian
Brian Cohen is an average young Jewish man, but through a series of ridiculous events, he gains a reputation as the Messiah. Brian has to contend with Pontius Pilate and the acronym-obsessed members o...
The Pythons: Somewhere in Tunisia, Circa A.D. 1979
The first episode of Owl Stretching Time was written by six young men. The series was called Monty Python's Flying Circus. The Gay Boys' Dragon Show is the best known British comedy group in the world...
1 TV show
Laverne & Shirley
Laverne & Shirley is an American television sitcom that ran on ABC from January 27, 1976 to May 10, 1983. It starred Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, single roo...
1 Movie · 2 TV shows
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Knights of the Round Table include Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot, and Sir Galahad the Pure. The Black Knight insists that he can still fight despite havin...
Saturday Night Live
A late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels. The show's comedy sketches, which parody contemporary culture and politics, are performed by a large and varying ...
Rutland Weekend Television
The sketch show was written by Eric Idle and Neil Innes. The first six episodes were broadcast in 1975, the second seven in 1976. The first television project after Monty Python's Flying Circus was a ...
1 TV show
Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus
Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus consisted of two 45-minute Monty Python German television comedy specials produced by WDR for West German television. The two episodes were first broadcast in January ...
4 Movies · 1 TV show
Euroshow '71: May Day Special
German made-for-TV musical extravaganza starring Monty Python.
And Now for Something Completely Different
Monty Python's Flying Circus skits from the first two seasons of their British TV series.
The Great Birds Eye Peas Relaunch 1971
The Great Birds Eye Peas Relaunch of 1971 is a short film that was made for the Birds Eye company.
The Two Ronnies
The TwoRonnies was a British sketch show. The double act ofRonnie Barker andRonnie Corbett were featured in the title.
Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus
Fliegender Zirkus consisted of two 45-minute Monty Python television comedy specials produced by WDR for West German television. The two episodes were first broadcast in January and December 1972 resp...
1 TV show
Monty Python's Flying Circus
A British sketch comedy series with the shows being composed of risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines.
2 TV shows
Do Not Adjust Your Set
Do not adjust your set! is a television series produced originally by Rediffusion, London, then, by the fledgling Thames Television for British commercial television channel ITV from 26 December 1967 ...
At Last the 1948 Show
In association with Rediffusion London, David Frost's company, Paradine Production, made a TV show called At Last the 1948 Show. In 1967, the show was aired on Britain's ITV network. They were also th...
2 Movies · 3 TV shows
The musical is being made into a movie.
The Comedy Vaults: BBC2's Hidden Treasure
The programme pulls from the shelf some rare and previously unseen comedy moments from some of the greatest names in comedy.
No – That's Me Over Here!
No – That's Me Over Here! was a British sitcom that aired for three series from 1967 to 1970. It was created by Barry Cryer, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle, and it featured Ronnie Corbett's first actin...
Monty Python: Live at Aspen
The five surviving members of Monty Python performed. The ashes of Graham Chapman were placed in an urn. The American Film Industry gave the award. Eric Idle said that when Gilliam kicked over the urn...