Eric Idle OnlineMy Life

The Tudors

By , October 20, 2014 4:06 pm

The Tudors had such a bad attitude,

They exude turpitude and ingratitude

They were proud they were loud, they were vain they were mean

One hysterical pregnancy, one virgin queen.

No one in history behaved quite like that,

They’d chop off your head at the drop of a hat

Their quarrels were frequent

Their morals were low

But of course no one decent would dare tell them so..


No one dared boo the Tudors

Or dared sue the Tudors

Or, except in the bedroom when bare, screw the Tudors.

No one lewd as the Tudors

Could feud as the Tudors

Or lacked quite so much gratitude as the Tudors.


No one chewed, as the Tudors,

So much food as the Tudors

Or brewed so much beer and then spewed as the Tudors

No one wooed like the Tudors

Or screwed like the Tudors

Or rudely chase girls in the nude like the Tudors


The Borgia’s were gorgeous but not on a par

They made killer cocktails which went far too far

And some of their daughters slept with Papa

But compared to the Tudors who do they think they are?


No one rude as the Tudors

Or as crude as the Tudors

No one came quite so quickly unglued as the Tudors.

Heads were hewed by the Tudors

Thumbs were screwed by the Tudors

Who was ever in such a bad mood as the Tudors?


The Caesars were geezers

Who killed just for fun

The Romans read omens

And killed by the ton

But compared to the Tudors

They were just having fun.


Folks were used by the Tudors

Then refused by the Tudors

Then totally and utterly confused by the Tudors

First amused by the Tudors

Then abused by the Tudors

Their intimate body parts bruised by the Tudors


To conclude with the Tudors

Not one dude since the Tudors

Has ever produced such a brood as the Tudors

Wives accrued by the Tudors

Lives rued by the Tudors

No one so psychologically screwed as the Tudors!


From the non-existent musical Rack of Ages by Irving Boleyn.


  1. c) Eric Idle

Monday, October 20, 2014


Merkel Tapes

By , October 29, 2013 5:12 pm

NSA Transcript   MOST Secret 54/6AT/900042/367bb 10/17/ 13

10.42 a.m. CET

VOICE:                       Chancellor.

SUBJECT:                  Ja.

VOICE:                       It’s Steffen.

SUBJECT:                  Steffen I’m busy.

VOICE:                       Angela, this is urgent.

SUBJECT:                  Surely it can wait till the Security Review this afternoon?

VOICE:                       I’m afraid not.

SUBJECT:                  But I’m on a call to Hollande.  He’s such a schmuck.   He thinks if you can’t cook

it or schtup it you should cut it.    That’s his economic policy.  He’s such a dork…

VOICE:                       Madame Chancellor I have to warn you….

SUBJECT:                  He’s so dumb he couldn’t find his ass in the dark on his own.  Luckily he’s French

so he doesn’t have to.  (Laughs loudly.)

VOICE:                       Madame Chancellor….

SUBJECT:                  I’d give him a dildo for his birthday but he’s already married to one…(laughs.)

VOICE:                       Stop talking!

SUBJECT:                  Vas?

VOICE:                       Shut up already. I’m very sorry Madame Chancellor, but this is not a secure line.

VOICE:                       This is my cell phone Steffen.  You gave it to me.  You’re telling me it’s not secure?

VOICE:                       That is what I’m saying.  You are being tapped.

SUBJECT:                  By whom?

VOICE:                       The Americans.

SUBJECT:                  Scheissdumbfer (incomprehensible.)You’re telling me nice Obama is tapping my cell phone?

VOICE:                       NSA.

SUBJECT:                  Americanskimittelschmerzscheiss….  (incomprehensible obscure German slang,

                                     involving dogs, pork and a football team.)  

VOICE:                       Be careful what you say Angela.  Look what they did to Strauss-Kahn.

SUBJECT:                  Scheiss.

VOICE:                       I’m bringing you a new phone.   Destroy that one.

Hang up.  

NSA Transcript   MOST Secret 54/6AT/900042/367bb 10/17/ 13 10.51a.m. CET

VOICE:                       Gentlemen Anonymous.

SUBJECT:                  Can I speak to Jean-Marc?

VOICE:                       Who is this?

SUBJECT:                  This is….uh..Fifi.

VOICE:                       Fifi baby!   What’s up?   I’ll get the KY.

SUBJECT:                  Nein.

VOICE:                       You sound tense.

SUBJECT:                  Tense?   I’m furious.

VOICE:                       Jean-Marc knows how to relax you liebchen..

SUBJECT:                  Not now.

VOICE:                       Surely Fi-fi has time for a quickie?

SUBJECT:                  Nein.   This has to stop.   It never happened.

VOICE:                       But what about last week when I was the Butler and you were taking a bath

and I brought in a new loofah and you asked me to scrub….

SUBJECT:                  Halt!   Stop!  That never took place.

VOICE:                       But you said it was the most relaxing phone sex you’d ever…

SUBJECT:                  Nein.   That was not me.  Someone stole my phone.

VOICE:                       You still owe me 2,000 Euros…

SUBJECT:                  Goodbye Jean-Marc.

Hang up.

NSA Transcript   MOST Secret 54/6AT/900042/367bb 10/17/ 13 10.55 a.m. CET

SUBJECT:                  Mr. Cameron?

VOICE:                       Madame Chancellor.    Have you heard the latest one about the Republicans?

Apparently Jesus visited their caucus and they asked him to stop being

so negative about the rich, and not to bang on about the sick and the poor.

SUBJECT:                  Stop.  I have to warn you..

VOICE:                       Then they asked him to turn the water into Tea!

SUBJECT:                  Listen.   David.  This is a heads up.  The Americans are tapping my phone.

VOICE:                       You’re kidding.

SUBJECT:                  Perhaps they’re tapping yours.

VOICE:                       Whatever for?

SUBJECT:                  Trust me.  You may only be British Prime Minister but even you are of interest to the NSA.

VOICE:                       Wow.  This is just like the Murdoch days.

Hang up.

NSA Transcript   MOST Secret 54/6AT/900042/367bb 10/17/ 13 10.58a.m. CET

VOICE:                       This is the White House.

SUBJECT:                  This is the Head of the German Democratic Republic….

VOICE:                       The Government is currently shut down.   All calls are being diverted.

Please leave a message.

SUBJECT:                  This is Angela Merkel and you had better bring a ton of Obamacare pronto

because this lady is going to make the Iron Lady look like the tooth fairy.

Thatcher could be a bitch but you have no idea what I can do you

verfuchtenscheisse… (incomprehensible German slang.)   This is what I think of you.

Toilet flush.

Transcript ends.




America The Half Beautiful

By , October 14, 2013 9:07 am

Carl Reiner on Twitter last week, worried about the current Government shutdown, said this was cause for great concern in the world’s leading democracy.  And I thought, leading?  Who’s following?    The answer would appear to be no one.

After one of the recent school shootings a young mother said to me, “What must you think of us?   You must think we’re all mad.”     Mad certainly, but not all of you.

Half of America seems to be entirely enviable, movies, books, TV, arts, liberal democratic institutions, great centers of learning and research, gay marriage, social freedoms, etc. etc.

The other half does seem to be, well, nuts.

Currently you appear to be almost in a state of civil war.    If one party can shut down the government then the social compact to rule is broken.  In most other democracies this simply could not happen.   In the UK for example, the Government would dissolve and the Prime Minister would call for an immediate general election, which would be held within three weeks. (Yes that quickly.)  With your fixed terms you do not have this benefit.  You must limp on to the next overlong election cycle and then waste a whole year of execrable television and billions of dollars on it.  This is a very expensive and not very flexible system of democracy that no one else wants to follow.

The Mad Haters Tea Party throws everything overboard, not just the tea.  The Captain, the crew, the ships dog… Pirates could hardly do worse.

It seems especially perverse that people purporting to be Christian, a religion that vows to help the poor and heal the sick, should be so violently against helping the poor and healing the sick.  Followers of a religion that preaches forgiveness and turning the other cheek, demand the right for the outright insane to own more and more weapons.   Nuts, I’m afraid.

Now some people get very angry when a non-American like me dares to talk about America.   “Well piss off then, go somewhere else” they say.  Forgetting that we who live amongst you are the ones who like you the most, and if you don’t listen to what we think then the Ostrichization of America will continue.  Bend over, head in sand, hand on heart, salute flag.

The great thing about America has always been your ability to rally round in difficult times, especially under attack and create new solutions to modern problems.  Of your current state The Founding Fathers would be horrified and terrified.  Nobody asked the Mothers.  You may need to re-evaluate.  The Constitution may need updating.  It’s not the Bible.   Then, neither is the Bible.

We need you to prosper.  You can rule the world, or you can ruin it.  Time to wake up.   We really need you.

Pretty please.

All You Need is Cash

By , September 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Alan Smithee is the fictitious name the Director’s Guild put on movies when the Director has been fired, or has been so badly recut he wants his name taken off.  It becomes an Alan Smithee film.   It says “Directed by Alan Smithee.”  The Guild is a powerful union and does not want films going out with no Director.   Producers might get ideas….

I was playing the eponymous Alan Smithee in An Alan Smithee Film (written by Joe Eszterhas) when the Director Arthur Hiller came up to me.

“I’ve just had a terrible thought” he said.  “If they fire me this will become an Alan Smithee film.”

They did.

Joe Eszterhas removed Arthur Hiller, recut the movie and it became a genuine Alan Smithee film.

He changed the name to Burn, Hollywood, Burn!

The critics agreed it was one of the worst films ever and in 1998 it won a Razzie  (The Oscars for Incompetence) for Worst Film of the Year.

I felt sympathetic to all concerned.

It is terribly difficult to cut documentary into successful narrative form.   The consummate master is Scorsese, who has done it not once but three times:  once with George Harrison, once with Bob Dylan, and once with The Band in The Last Waltz.    He has an uncanny sense of form.  To reveal the bones of narrative structure beneath the endlessly changing skin of random commentary, this is tough.  And it is by no means inevitable.   Sometimes, like Oakland, there is no there there.  Certainly Joe Esterhaz was unable to find it, amidst the jumble of material he inherited, because he was trying to be funny as well.  I know how hard this is because I think we managed it (just) in The Rutles, thanks to the co-directing skills of Gary Weis,  the editing skills of Aviva Slesin, and a bit of me.   To be funny, and to tell a story and be a documentary.  Tough.

So perhaps it’s time for a little tip of the hat to The Rutles,  the documentary that is still going strong since 1978.  The little train that could, that came 76th in that week’s ratings, after an unnecessarily cruel mauling by a TV critic,  Frank Rich, who as a favour to a friend panned it in The New York Times the day before it was shown.  A guaranteed audience winner!    And yet here we still are.  And where is that week’s episode of Charlie’s Angels?

Now magnificently after 35 years it is coming to Blue Ray in a glorious package that includes tons of new interviews, and my follow up documentary Can’t Buy Me Lunch, which contains some of my favourite Gary Shandling gags ever.

Some brave Canadians have stumped up their last Looney’s to put this out and so you may find me shamelessly promoting it on Twitter.

It makes an excellent present.   Nudge nudge.

Eric Idle

(aka Alan Smithee.)

The Rutles Anthology is released in the US and Canada on November 19th.