Eric Idle OnlineMy Life

The Diary of a Legend

By , January 6, 2015 10:38 am

I noticed that with Python we used to be icons but this year it appears we have become legends.  So I have decided to keep a diary which wrestles with the intimate problems of being a legend.


Monday.          Got up.  Was a legend.  Had breakfast.  Went back to bed.

Tuesday.         Got up.  Still a legend.  Fed dog.  Went back to bed.

Wednesday.    Exhausted from being a legend.   Stayed in bed.

Thursday.        Wife said you’re not a legend, you’re just a lazy old bastard.

Friday.             Decided to look for new wife.

Saturday.         Remembered John Cleese.   Changed mind about new wife.   Cheaper to stay with the old one.

Sunday:           Tired of being a legend.  It’s exhausting.  I looked in the bathroom mirror and it appears fame has gone to my ass.

Monday.          On the Drew Carey Show.  Thought it was going to be Ferguson.  Somebody said you’re not a legend, you’re not even funny now piss off back to England.

Tuesday          Have decided to stop being a legend as I’m becoming the sort of person I would avoid….


One hundred years of PythOnline.

By , January 2, 2015 4:34 pm

June 36th 1996/7

“PythOnline!” muttered Terry Gilliam derisively “Eric’s Fan Club more like.”

“Oo you bastard” I said “You’re all more than welcome to contribute.  In fact I just spent a whole year working on it for absolutely nothing.”

“I like the Message Boards” said Jonesy, rather unflatteringly.    In fact extremely unflatteringly since I don’t write those bits, you do.  After some prodding he conceded it was a jolly good site and we should definitely keep going.    I think the we means me.

“What I need” said Michael” is someone to say “Come up with six new pieces every month.”      “Michael” I say “Come up with six new pieces every month.”  Laughter.    To reconcile me to earning nothing they very kindly offer to increase my percentage!    Much Pythonic glee.  “What exactly is 50% of fuck all?” I ask.


Just to reassure all the correspondents on Ask PythOnline who keep asking, I have not left, in fact I am very much involved in PythOnline making sure we stay up and online.   No matter how hard I try and escape 7th Level employees keep me chained to that radiator.   “Where’s the new fake open?”,  “Where’s the New Stuff column for this week,” “What about next week?”   They are merciless.  I try telling them I have a life but they only laugh at me.  “ Had a life buster, they chortle.   This is the Internet.  There is no escape.”

Yes it seems incredible but the Python one year lease expires and at midnight we shall be handing this web site over to the Chinese.   (Ancient Hong Kong joke.)

It has been an amazing time, and I want to personally thank everybody who was involved.   I need to single out for special mention Bob Ezrin and LeAnn, and all the wonderful people at 7th Level, particularly Jeanna Crawford, Robin Hinnen (our excellent resident graphic artist) and the untiring Hollis Leach.     Some people came and went and have departed for other worlds and other webs,  I am thinking especially of the amazing Steve Martino, but there’s Matt Lee who is sadly missed and honorable mentions should go to the back room boffins and web monkeys who have kept us online through the rough storms and occasional gales that blow around these parts.

Last of all I should like to thank me.   Not many of you will have had the privilege of knowing me and working alongside me, but let me just tell you a finer and nicer and more upstanding human being you could never imagine.   Oh Mike has his fans, and his appalling niceness that surrounds him like latex round a warm phallus, but I am the real thing.  Even John Cleese has been known to admit that I have the finest feet.   Terry Jones for too long has bathed in the warm glow that comes from standing beside me.  Terry Gilliam can not get up in the morning without bowing in my general direction and thanking his own weird God that he was fortunate enough to meet me.    And these are just a few of the Pythons whose lives have been enriched by knowing me and working alongside me.   Modesty forbids I should say anything further about myself,  but it would be wrong of me to let this occasion pass without a small word of thank you to myself for simply being me.

The future?    Well who knows.   There are big plans in the works.   Some of these plans are almost five feet tall.    We will be keeping you informed of these big plans, and even some very big big plans as Year Two progresses.

Happy holidays wherever you are.





Song. It’s A Dog’s Life. (Aka The Dog’s Bollocks)

By , December 27, 2014 8:03 am

It’s a dog’s life

Being a dog

Quite frankly I would rather be a frog.

I’m bored to tears with barking

If there was some one I could sue

I’m just a bloody lap dog

And they call me a Shit Zu

The job is shit, the name is shit

And shit is all you do.

Its a dogs life

Being a dog.



To be a lap dog everyday

Sitting in her lap

Listening to her talking

All the damn day yap yap yap

The only time you get away

Is when you need a crap

It’s a dog’s life

Being a dog.



Labradors are noodles

And poodles are a bore

To breed them both together

Would make any poor bitch sore

To make a labradoodle

Oh my gawd whatever for?

It’s a dog’s life

Being a dog.



It’s a dog’s life

Being a dog

You might think  it’s easier

Than falling off a log

But frankly I would rather be

Stuck head first in a bog!

It’s a dogs life being a dog


Listening to them moan all day

On the telephone

Makes you want to run away

And live a life alone

At the end of all that bitching

All you get’s a fucking bone!

It’s a dogs life

Being a dog.



It’s a dog’s life

Being a dog

Quite frankly I would rather be a frog.

They molly you and collie you

And treat you like a putz

They take you out on play dates

With a lot of stupid mutts

They tell you that you’re man’s best friend

And then cut off your nuts!

It’s a dog’s life being a dog.







  1. c) EI/JDP

May 19, 2009


By , November 27, 2014 11:40 am

A few years back Glen Wexler asked me to write a foreword for his very funny book of Cows.    What I wrote is below.  But a year later this picture appeared at my house unexpectedly….  He had taken my joke and trumped it.    Read on and you’ll see how….

On Location In Greenland by Glen  Glen Wexler On location in Greenland.

Ciao Cow.

As everybody knows I probably know more about cows than anyone on this planet.  Actually that’s not true.   It’s a bald faced lie.  (Why bald faced incidentally, don’t bearded people lie just as well?   Surely they lie better because you can’t see their faces?)   Sorry I digress.

The thing is I’m a bit stumped.  This Glen Wexler person called me up and asked me to write a foreword for his book and frankly I don’t know a single thing about him, about photography, or for that matter about cows.  So I’m kind of stuck out on a limb here, busking as we call it, faking it, as my wife calls it, or telling the truth to the America people as your politicians put it.

So what do I do?  Do I come clean and leave the rest of the page empty?  Do I bullshit for a bit?   (Incidentally there’s a cow reference right there.)  Or do I try and pretend that my esoteric knowledge of cows in comedy somehow qualifies me to waste your time like this?  Because I do know a bit about cows in comedy.  Here’s what I know:

Cows are always funny.

 There is a cow in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.   It is thrown over the battlements and squashes a page.

“Fetchez La Vache” says the French Taunter, and the French knights appear with a cow which they load on to a  Trebuchet (which is French for a machine that chucks cows.)Preflight by Glen Fetchez la Vache!

We do the same scene in Spamalot.  We throw a cow over the battlements which lands on Patsy, Arthur’s page, every night.   And most matinees.  (Occasionally they miss.)  We even had a Cow song.  We thought it would be funny if we gave the Cow a sad and touching farewell song as she went off to war.  It wasn’t.

COW                           I’m just a lonely cow who has a dream

That each and every one of us is part of nature’s scheme

That somehow every single cow

Can make a difference to just how

This world is now today – it’s true

So here’s my final moo!


It was just too sad.   You can’t have an elegant Christian Dior cow singing a heartbreaking farewell and then being thrown over the battlements and expect to get a laugh.   We now care about the damn cow.   So here’s what I learned:

Cows aren’t always funny.

So it got cut in Chicago.  Not the first cow that got cut in Chicago, which is practically the center of the cow cutting world.  They even have a Hamburger U. there, which shows just how weird and strange they are.

So, let me see, cows… ah yes.   In Bavaria once with Monty Python we filmed the Bad Toltz Cattle Herd giving a performance of The Merchant of Venice. We shot lots of cows in Shakespearian costume wandering around the field with Shakespearian sub-titles and lots of mooing.

“What news on the Rialto Antonio?”

I played a very sincere German Theater critic: “The Merchant of Venice is a very difficult play for cows…”

Here’s what I learned:

Sometimes cows aren’t even funny in German.

So now what have I got?  Well frankly, nothing.   I have some chicken stories.  An odd tale about a duck.  What?   Say something about Glen?   Well, ok.  Glen is a seven foot Scotsman with a wooden leg whom I met Frog Rolling on an Eskimo trip in Northern Greenland.  We were sheltering in a sauna at a local bordello with an Icelandic babe called Splut… no I agree it’s a hopeless and pathetic lie.    You see I haven’t even met him.  It’s useless.   I’m dismal as a Foreword writer.  I’ve got nothing to say.  I didn’t want this job, I didn’t ask for this job.  I just wanted to be….a lumberjack!

So why did I do it?  Why did I take it on?   Well, honestly, I did it for the money.  The Publishers came to me and said “Eric we will give you thirty thousand pounds if you will write a foreword….” what?   They offered how much?  Nothing?   Jeeze.   Well that’s it then.   I’m out of here.   Let’s face it, if you don’t find these pictures funny on first sight no amount of forewords will persuade you otherwise.   So frankly enjoy.



The Cow through the Ages

The Seven Ages of Spam

Why the Cow almost became the symbol of America?

The Cow in Literature with regard to Jane Austen and Dickens

Fetchez La Vache.   A French Dairy Dictionary


For more of Glen’s work see: