Monty Python is back and ready to revive their infamous comedy troupe for a reunion tour. Pictures emerged Monday of Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle and honorary member Carol Cleveland reading scripts during their first rehearsals for Monty Python Live (mostly). The reunion tour will begin on July 1 at the O2 Arena in London. Throngs of fans freaked out over the news so much that the July 1 debut sold out in 43.5 seconds. Demand was so high that extra dates needed to be added.
John Cleese, the group’s oldest member at 74, revealed last month that the reunion was the happy result of unfortunate news. The comedians lost a royalties case with Mark Forstater, the producer of their classic 1975 comedy Monty Python And The Holy Grail. With an £800,000 legal bill to pay, “We all got together and thought, ‘How are we going to pay [this]?’ and someone said, ‘Let’s do a show,’” Cleese said on British talk show Alan Carr’s Chatty Man. This is the first time since 1980 that the group has performed together live and the first time they’ve done so on a stage in the UK in 40 years.
Monty Python Live (mostly) will incorporate a mix of new sketches and old favorites, according to a Reddit AMA the troupe did several months ago. They even mentioned that deceased member Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, will not be ‘absent’ from the new show. What’s more, the final three-hour long performance on July 20 will be televised on the UK’s comedy station, the Gold channel. No announcement has been made as to which American networks will fight over the North American rights to the broadcast, but surely Monty Python’s yankee fans will be eager to mark their calendars and set their DVRs.