Eric Idle calls out 's*** advice' from Monty Python Twitter account encouraging fans to go out during pandemic

Erin Donnelly
·3 min read
Eric Idle (center, pictured in 2015 with fellow Monty Python stars Michael Palin, John Cleese, the late Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam) hit out at a Twitter post from the comedy group's official account which encouraged fans to go out to bars and restaurants during the pandemic. (Photo: Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)
Eric Idle (center, pictured in 2015 with fellow Monty Python stars Michael Palin, John Cleese, the late Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam) hit out at a Twitter post from the comedy group's official account which encouraged fans to go out to bars and restaurants during the pandemic. (Photo: Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Monty Python star Eric Idle is taking the coronavirus pandemic very seriously.

On Friday, the comedy legend took to Twitter to call out a post from the official Monty Python Twitter account — with which he says he has no involvement — because it appeared to encourage fans to go out in public during the pandemic as bars and restaurants in the UK reopened over the weekend.

The US, meanwhile, has seen some states, including Texas, forced to re-close bars following a spike in cases.

Read more: John Cleese ‘baffled’ by debate over JK Rowling tweet

The Monty Python account shared a retro photo of the classic comedy group in festive Elizabethan costumes alongside a tweet calling on fans to “dust off your finest attire now that pubs & restaurants are open from tomorrow.”

But the post felt reckless to Idle who used his personal account to denounce its message. Despite being famed for singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” the 77-year-old expressed a grim view of the pandemic’s progress and urged fans to exercise more caution.

“Do not listen,” the Life of Brian star tweeted. “This is s*** advice. I have nothing to do with this. In the wise words of my wife. ‘What has changed?’ Nothing. There is no cure, there is no vaccine. Go out at your peril. Mingle at your own risk.”

He then referenced a song from the 1975 cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

“Just remember ‘Bring out your dead,’” he told followers, referencing the plague-inspired tune. “Be safe.”

Idle urged fans to "be safe." (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
Idle urged fans to "be safe." (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)

Idle went on to call those running the Monty Python account “good people,” but found the pub tweet “very mistaken.” As of Monday, it is still up.

“Unless your pub is called The Grim Reaper, you should stay home,” he added in a follow-up tweet.

Whether his words of caution swayed Monty Python fans remains to be seen, though the comedy troupe’s followers do appear to have been taking lockdown in stride.

One Michigan family took inspiration from the group’s Ministry of Funny Walks sketch to liven up their stretch of self-isolation, asking neighbours and others passerby to do a silly walk on their way past.