Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Published: 2018-10-02
From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candor We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python--from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on a remarkable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through…

The title says it all.

Eric Idle had a grim childhood in a horrid boarding school, and various other troubles – divorce, addiction, people grasping for money – but he doesn’t spend much time dwelling on any of those darker parts of life. He’s 75 and his milieu is 1960s-70s era rock and roll, so he’s lost a lot of friends, but he focuses mostly on the happy times he spent with them. At the same time, he’s philosophical about death – you can feel his deep sadness over his friends’ deaths, but as he says in the song, “life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word.”

This is a fun and cheerful autobiography. There are appearances by a vast array of musicians and actors, with photos throughout. There are glimpses of the jet-setter life, with luxurious travel on friends’ private planes and yachts. Even more, though, I came away impressed with the boundless energy Eric Idle brought to his work. Movies, plays, silly songs, live performances with and without the rest of the Pythons. He seems to be constantly in motion.

Sadly, I also learned from this book that my idea of having Always Look on the Bright Side of Life played at my funeral is not the least bit original – turns out, it’s the number one requested song for funerals, at least in England.

Written by Shan
I spent 25 years conducting performance audits of state agencies, looking for ways they could be more effective and efficient. I helped write countless government reports. I worked with the smartest, nicest people in state government, and was honored to be a part of that group. Now, though, I’m writing fiction (yay! adjectives! dialogue!), learning banjo, traveling, hanging out with my fabulous granddaughters, and – big surprise – I’m still not decluttering that back room that was on hold for the past 25 years.