Michael Palin Claims John Cleese Was "Difficult," 'Monty Python' Unlikely to Re-form

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Michael Palin

"There were difficulties every now and then between those who had higher expectations of life, and those of us at the humbler end of the writing spectrum."

Speaking at a BAFTA event held in London on Tuesday, Michael Palin revealed that life wasn’t always spent giggling over dead parrots, fish-slapping dances and funny walks in the Monty Python camp.

During his "A Life in Television" Q&A, Palin said that as the popularity of the TV comedy show grew, there were sometimes tensions with John Cleese and the rest of the writing team.

"John and Eric [Idle] had lifestyles, how can I say it, they were slightly more complicated. ... They wanted to go on holidays in Barbados and all that, rather more than Terry [Jones] and myself, who were just happy going to have a pint at the pub," he said. "So they were stars and we weren’t, basically, and the trouble with stars is they can be a bit difficult. So there were difficulties every now and then between those who had higher expectations of life, and those of us at the humbler end of the writing spectrum."

Last year, the five living members of Monty Python got back together for a series of sold-out (mostly) live shows in London. Beyond an upcoming reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival, Palin claimed that they were unlikely to re-form again, pointing to the closing passage in Cleese's "very attractive, if slightly overpriced autobiography," which was released in October.

"At the very end, he says, 'There I found myself at the O2, it was the second night and I was looking out and there were 15,000 people waiting for us to do this thing. Why couldn’t I be more excited?' That’s how he ends the book. And so, I know, I could tell that John wasn’t really keen to do a lot more. He said he would be, but you know you’ve got enough money by then."

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