Terry Jones threw typewriter at John Cleese during Monty Python row, says Sir Michael Palin

Sir Michael Palin has revealed that his fellow Monty Python star Terry Jones once threw a typewriter at John Cleese during a row.

In a new interview with the Radio Times, Palin opened up about the “huge” arguments that occurred within the comedy group, which consisted of himself, Cleese, Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman.

“Since Python split up, and even in our time together, we have all had huge arguments,” said Palin.

“The great thing is that we don’t all agree. I remember Terry Jones once threw a typewriter across the room at John.”

The troupe split up in 1999 before briefly reuniting in 2014 for the variety show Monty Python Live (Mostly).  However, a row between Idle and Cleese and Gilliam over the way the group’s finances have been handled emerged earlier this year.

Palin, who has become known for his various travel programmes, said he wasn’t surprised to see the remaining group members fight over finances.

“What’s happening with Python now doesn’t surprise me greatly. It’s just a pity it’s not to do with comedy any more. It’s to do with people’s lifestyles,” he said.

Sir Michael Palin. Credit: Getty Images

In February, Idle claimed on X (formerly Twitter) that the finances of the troupe, founded in 1969, were still a “disaster”.

He blamed their financial issues on Holly Gilliam, daughter of fellow Python Terry and manager of the troupe, saying: “We own everything we ever made in Python and I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously.

“But I guess if you put a Gilliam child in as your manager you should not be so surprised. One Gilliam is bad enough. Two can take out any company.”

In a series of subsequent posts, the actor and comedian said he had to keep working into his 80s to make up for his losses, and that his fellow Pythons have had to do the same. Cleese is currently working on a reboot of Fawlty Towers, Palin continues to make travel shows, and Gilliam is directing films.

The group made their debut on television with the BBC sketch series Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which ran from 1969 to 1974. They later turned their attention to the big screen, making Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975, Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979, and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life in 1983.

Elsewhere in the Radio Times interview, Palin dismissed the idea of another Python reunion, saying that the one they did in 2014 allowed them to “bow out gracefully”.

Jones passed away in January 2020, with Palin leading the tributes. Chapman died in 1989 at the age of 48.

Palin is currently appearing in a new travel show, a three-part series on Channel 5 about Nigeria. Episodes air every Tuesday and Saturday.


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