Monthly Archives: November 2015

Del’s Rolling Stone debut…

If you read my Del Close biography The Funniest One in the Room, you probably know that this is the 50th anniversary of Lysergic a Go Go, which preceded the first Acid Test by one week.

Del Book cover

The former was a happening organized by Del and Hugh Romney (later Wavy Gravy), and it’s finally being recognized by the historians. Well, okay, Rolling Stone, but still, this was nice to see. sic/news/acid-tests-turn-50-wavy-gravy-merry-prankster-ken-babbs-look-back-20151130

This was very likely the first psychedelic light show; Del liked to say that he invented them, and there’s no reason to think that he didn’t. BTW, many years ago, he gave me the lantern that he used for the light shows, and somewhere or another, I still have it…



JC Book coverA few weeks ago, when he was promoting the release of the paperback version of #soanyway, @johncleese made a visit to Google in NYC to talk to them. If you’re wondering what he said, here’s your answer:

And here it is on Twitter:

Gilliamesque Regards

I don’t think I’ve written anything about Terry Gilliam’s new autobiography, Gilliamesque (which @johncleese was kind enough to buy for me a couple of weeks ago), but I can’t think of a better day to mention it. First of all, happy birthday Terry! Secondly, this is a pretty amazing book, down to the art directed scrawling on the borders of the pages. I always thought I knew a lot about Terry’s life, but I was amazed at the Zelig-like events of his youth even before he left for England. And did you know that Terry is the only one of the Pythons who ever had acting lessons? Gilliamesque

He’s managed to cram a lot into this volume, but it could have been twice as long and I would have come up begging for more. So on this @terrygilliam birthday, buy yourself a present. If you’re at all a Gilliam fan, or a @montypython fan, you’ll love Gilliamesque.

#montypython #johncleese #terrygilliam

@johncleese made an appearance this week on Conan O’Brien, which was actually taped a week ago.

My experience with shows like this is that there is usually a larger TV monitor turned on when the show is being recorded, but the staff seldom pays much attention to it, except, for example, to see how well a particular joke goes over.

That was not the case here.

When John stepped into the studio with Conan and Andy Richter, there was a respectful silence as everyone listened to him telling about cheering up his mother.

By the end of the story, the laughter in the green room was almost louder than it was in the studio–and it was plenty loud in the studio. You can see what I mean here:

And talking about his German lessons:

And how @montypython invaded America:

#johncleese #montypython

So, Anyway… Spam, Cake, and Cleese…

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imageI’ve accompanied @johncleese to lots of interviews over the years, but none quite as elaborate as early this morning for the WGN Morning show.

My old pal and producer Jeff Hoover prepped me, and when John stepped out of the green room, a full band was playing the Python theme. As he walked down the hallway, he was accompanied by the cast of Spamalot in full costume, along with a swarm of other Python characters. John was surprised and delighted as he walked into the studio for the interview.

The first interview segment concluded with a wonderful cake shaped like a TV set. The only person more surprised than John was the cake maker when he–well, maybe you’d better watch for yourself¬†here…

Somehow I managed to snap that last shot just before the flinging…

Of course, everyone wanted their pictures with John, including the band, the cast, and assorted others…

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Then it was off to WBEZ for another great NPR chat…


And what better way to finish a great morning of interviews than a visit with the wonderful Jonathan Brandmeier?


All to promote the brand new paperback edition of the #johncleese autobiography #soanyway

If you haven’t read it yet, it’s much funnier than this post–so what are you waiting for?

#montypython #soanyway