Q&A with Monty Python's Eric Idle

Eric Idle

Q&A with Monty Python's Eric Idle -- The writer of the musical ''Spamalot'' discusses the DVD release of ''The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch''

We adore the 1978 Beatles parody The Rutles. Now ex-Monty Python trouper Idle, with song spoofer Neil Innes, has master-minded a sequel: The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch

Isn't Rutles 2 a shameless retread?
Exactly. The only thing left to parody was the way the media rehashes that Beatles story.

You mock-Interview Tom Hanks, Conan O'Brien, Steve Martin, David Bowle, Bonnie Raitt — were they fans of the original?
They knew it backwards; it was amazing. Garry Shandling said it [helped make] him want to be a comedian. Graham Nash knew all the character names [Dirk McQuickly (Paul), Barry Wom (Ringo), Ron Nasty (John), Stig O'Hara (George)].

How did the Beaties like The Rutles?
George loved it, and Ringo clearly likes it I think Paul didn't find it funny at the beginning. But Linda thought it was hilarious. I heard John and Yoko loved it — which is great of her, 'cause she's portrayed as Hitler's daughter.

Originally posted Feb 28, 2005 Published in issue #809 Mar 04, 2005 Order article reprints