Best known as a member of the comedy group Monty Python, Eric Idle's career in television, film, music, and stage has spanned over five decades. He was born in northern England before enrolling at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He studied English, and then joined the Cambridge University Footlights Club, a theatrical troop based at the college. During his time as president of the club, Idle was the first to allow women to join (unheard of since the club's founding in the 1880s).
In the late 1960s, Idle teamed up with several other comedians and writers (John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Graham Chapman) to form Monty Python and launch their BBC television series, Monty Python's Flying Circus. It was surrealist, irreverent, and bizarre--often playing with language, social norms, and gender roles. The group extended beyond the TV series and created several films, notably Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Meaning of Life, and Monty Python's Life of Brian.
While Idle has several writing and musical credits to his name, the two most famous are Seussical (which he helped conceive) and Spamalot. The latter is based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail (but also incorporates songs from various Python sketches). As the writer and co-lyricist, Idle won the Tony for Best Musical and the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. He continues to write and compose, and lives in Los Angeles.
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