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
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
James Dawes: Evil is the strongest word we have to prepare ourselves to kill others.
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 0159 GMT (0959 HKT)
As protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teen calmed down, the question remains: Where's the police officer who pulled the trigger?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
CNN's Tim Lister: Getting rid of ISIS will be tougher than taking on al Qaeda.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0042 GMT (0842 HKT)
American patients infected with Ebola are being released from the hospital. What now?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1048 GMT (1848 HKT)
One of the first observers at the MH17 crash site in Ukraine describes the harrowing scene.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid gestures during the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 Cardiff, Wales.
"We are like one grain of sand against a whole beach," says Eibar fan Unai Eraso.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1022 GMT (1822 HKT)
From fierce protests in Ferguson, to an Ebola survivor discharged from a hospital in Atlanta, browse through the photos of the week.
ADVERTISEMENT