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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candor
We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python—from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on a remarkable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theater, and film. Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie, and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, and many more, as well as John Cleese and the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart. In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian and which has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humor that has delighted audiences for five decades. The year 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.
About the Author
Eric Idle is a comedian, actor, author, and singer-songwriter who found immediate fame on television with the sketch-comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Following its success, they began making films that include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983). Eric wrote, directed, and created The Rutles, the world's first-ever mockumentary, as well as the Tony Award-winning musical, Spamalot (2005). He lives in Los Angeles.
"A hilarious, charming, book by this incredible, i̶n̶s̶u̶f̶f̶e̶r̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ genius.” —Steve Martin
"A gentle, sane man has lived a turbulent, crazy life and he's written a gorgeous book about it. Eric Idle joyously recounts his existence in these pages. Did I say 'joyously'? I meant 'ruefully.'" —Patton Oswalt
“On the last day, when the last human beings look out at the blackened cinders of their world, I can only hope that one of them will sing, ‘Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad,’ and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life will ring out as humanity's final words. I loved this biography of a song and the man who made it, and the picture he paints of his life, his friends, his passions, five Pythons, and a Beatle.” —Neil Gaiman
“Charming. . . . A treasure trove of comedy insights.” —Rolling Stone
“Powerful. . . .There is plenty here that all fans, causal and otherwise, will appreciate.” —New York Times Book Review
“When you have a tour guide as engaging as Eric Idle, you’ll gladly go wherever he takes you. The writer and comedian best known as a member of the British sketch troupe Monty Python has curated an intimate journey of what it was like to be a writer who suddenly found himself a massively famous actor. . . . It’s also the kind of book you’ll want to read twice—once when the genius of Python sketches are fresh in your memory, and once when those scenes have faded so you can be reminded how these comedy rebels shook up an art form that was due for a dose of surreal silliness.” —Washington Post
“In this very funny account (as if that should come as a surprise). . . . The multitalented Englishman takes a colorful, broad brush to his very eventful life.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“If I could go back in time and observe any comedian’s journey, I think it would be a terrible waste of time travel. That said, I’d want to see just how Eric Idle and a few friends changed comedy forever. This is the book I have been waiting for most of my life.” —Conan O'Brien
“This tell-all from my comedy hero Eric Idle is brilliant, hilarious, touching, enlightening, filled with swashbuckling adventure, edge-of-your-seat suspense, heart-pounding romance, and contained several typos and one inaccurate fact about the Spanish-American war. I expected more out of Mr. Idle’s proofreading skills, quite frankly.” —Paul Feig
“I read Always Look On the Bright Side of Life from cover to cover. My next mission is to read what’s between the covers. It’s a joy to read his fully transparent personal stories of what got him to the present from birth. Any Monty Python lover or lover of honesty and the crafting of a hilarious comedian and musical genius will love this book. And love Eric as I do. Not to spoil alert, but his stating that ‘Laughter is still the best revenge’ sums it up. Read every word of this book or I will hunt you down and read it to you. And you don’t want me in your house.” —Bob Saget
“As funny, wicked, naughty, eye-popping and compulsively, joyously brilliant as the genius who wrote it.” —Stephen Fry
“An affable, leisurely and occasionally enlightening tour of a full and, generally, happy life.” —USA Today
“It’s a fascinating, warmly told, often zany memoir of a life fully lived so far—with more fun sure to come.” —BookPage