Skip to main content

Mick Jagger: Monty Python 'are wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth'

By Peter Wilkinson, CNN
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0906 GMT (1706 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mick Jagger pokes fun at Monty Python stars before this week's reunion tour begins
  • Surviving members are performing together live for the first time since 1980
  • Python members say they will perform all of the best-known sketches at the O2

London (CNN) -- Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger poked fun at the Monty Python stars on Monday ahead of the comedy troupe's reunion concerts this week as "a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money."

Appearing in a video shown at the Monty Python Live (mostly) news conference at a central London theater, Jagger is asked by his assistant if he wants tickets for the shows. The singer, who is watching the World Cup football on TV with bandmate Charlie Watts, replies: "Who wants to see that again? It was funny in the 60s."

He adds: "The best one died years ago. Maybe back in the 70s it was fantastic -- it was the funniest thing. We've seen it all before. I mean they've put it all up on YouTube."

Jagger's assistant then runs through the playlist for the next Stones concert: "Start with something everyone knows like 'Let's Spend The Night Together,' then 'Get Off My Cloud,' then hit 'Satisfaction.'" His assistant then suggests: "Dead Parrot Sketch." To which, Jagger replies, straight-faced: "Yeah, 'Dead Parrot Sketch.'"

The five surviving members of Monty Python -- Graham Chapman died in 1989 -- will perform together live for the first time since 1980 this week, putting on 10 shows at the O2 arena in southeast London. The first shows sold out in a matter of minutes when they were announced last November, and tickets for extra performances will go on sale on Tuesday morning.

The comedians say the extravagantly choreographed performances will be their last. The very last show, on July 20, will be broadcast live in more than 2,000 cinemas around the world, and on TV. At Monday's news conference, however, the stars -- all now in their 70s -- joked that they would reform every 33 years.

In honor of fans worldwide who were able to enjoy a historic reunion of the surviving Monty Python members, we take a look at what the troupe achieved outside of Python: In honor of fans worldwide who were able to enjoy a historic reunion of the surviving Monty Python members, we take a look at what the troupe achieved outside of Python:
'Monty Python': Where are they now?
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
\'Monty Python\'s Flying Circus\': Where are they now? 'Monty Python's Flying Circus': Where are they now?
All smiles: From left, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese will be performing at the O2 Arena in London on July 1. All smiles: From left, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese will be performing at the O2 Arena in London on July 1.
Monty Python stars announce comeback concert
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Monty Python stars announce comeback concert Monty Python stars announce comeback concert
Monty Python announces reunion

Python member Eric Idle, who is directing the shows, said they would perform many of of their best-known sketches such as the "Lumberjack Song," "Dead Parrot" and "The "Spanish Inquisition," as well as new material. "Our motto has been 'leave them wanting less,'" he joked.

Echoing Jagger's comments in the preceding film clip, Idle agreed there were similarities between pop bands reforming and themselves. "(The fans) want to hear 'Let's Spend The Night Together,'" Idle said. "So it would be folly to try to write better things than our best old work."

Michael Palin said the final live shows were taking place in England, "where it started," and is part of "saying goodbye publicly" to fans. Idle added that, the day before the run opens, there was a "weight of expectation" on their shoulders. The Pythons admitted they had reunited mainly for the money, but said they were enjoying working together again. And with "nothing more to be done" to prepare for the shows, the mood now was one of excitement, he added.

Idle, Chapman, Palin, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese and Terry Jones became comedic legends with the creation of Monty Python's Flying Circus in October 1969. They produced 45 TV episodes for the BBC and five films together before going their separate ways in 1983.

The shows mostly consisted of a string of often incoherent sketches, only occasionally with conventional punchlines and loosely tied together by Gilliam's stream-of-consciousness animations.

Although the TV show ran for only four seasons, it proved a massive cult hit when it was shown in the United States beginning in 1974 -- just as the show was winding up on the other side of the Atlantic.

READ: Monty Python returns, promising 'comedy, music, ancient sex'

READ: The greatness that is 'Monty Python'

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT