Sitting at LaGuardia, waiting for my flight, seems like a nice opportunity to reflect on the Monty Python weekend at the TriBeCa Film Festival.
Friday night was the 40th anniversary of Holy Grail, and the TriBeCa folks certainly did it right. The huge Beacon Theatre was packed–in fact, an entire city block was annexed by the group, with a large red carpet area set up for the Pythons to meet the press. The guys spilled out of the bus and into the tent, accompanied by Mrs. Idle and Mrs. Palin, Ms. Gilliam, as well as my pal Jeff and I.
The boys began posing for the cameras as only they can.
The cameras continued to roll while the group members were interviewed by scores of reporters, most of whom managed to ask “Did you ever think Holy Grail would still be popular 40 years later?” (BTW, the answer is “No.”) After this was under way, I was enlisted to pass out coconut shells to the reporters who wanted them (which turned out to be all of them). It was amazing to be walking along the red carpet, dodging Pythons, while being besieged by grown men and women desperate for hollowed out coconuts.
Then it was into the bowels of the Beacon and the green room, where John Oliver awaited. He approached everyone and introduced himself (even us non-Pythons). A class act, in addition to being a wonderful host.
As the lights went off in the sold out Beacon Theatre, the Pythons slipped in to watch the movie, some for the first time in many years. I sat next to Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin, and was treated to their running conversation about the filming and the people involved. I am very lucky.
Just before the film ended, the guys had to slip backstage to be miked, and then it was time for the discussion, which seems like a good time to end here. To be continued…