There's a Q&A interview with Eric Idle of Monty Python fame in the Playbook section of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis today. Spamalot, a stage musical inspired by one of the films of the Monty Python comedy troupe and created by Idle, has a Memphis engagement.
The last Q&A item is reprinted below. In all the years that Elvis's having been a Monty Python fan has been talked about, it's a wonder those guys hadn't heard about it. Idle's comments about his reaction to having only recently learned that Elvis was a fan - what beautiful thing to say.
Q: If you had realized that Python would become the legend it is, is there anything you might have done differently during your heyday?
A: Well, I would have tried to meet Elvis because he loved Python. I met Linda Thompson (Elvis' former girlfriend) the other day and she said that Elvis knew all the Python sketches. He would watch all-night Python. He would learn and recite them. Took the tapes on his plane. He would call people Squire from the "Nudge Nudge" sketch.
I said to Linda, "What? You're kidding!" She said, "No, we'd be up all night. He'd make me learn these things and we'd laugh and laugh and laugh." And I just felt so happy. I mean, I knew we had the Beatles but Elvis as well! You know, Elvis saved my life when I was 13 or 14. He saved all our lives."
Monty Pythons Eric Idle Discovers That Elvis Was A FanFebruary 10, 2007 | People Source:EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises
Martin DJ wrote on February 10, 2007
A nice but strange 'news' item, especially Eric Idle mentioning hearing about Elvis liking Monty Python 'the other day'. From the Autobiography by the Pythons (2003) comes this quote from Eric: 'Elvis used to call people 'squire' after my 'Nudge Nudge' sketch. After I heard that, I was bowled over.' Fellow Python Michael Palin says in the same book: 'But the fact that The Beatles noticed us was quite something. Almost as epic as when I read mucht later on that (...) Elvis watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail. That just blew my mind, because Elvis more than anybody changed my whole perception of pop music with 'Heartbreak Hotel', as many of my age will say.'