Michael Palin made history as a member of arguably the greatest comedy group assembled, Britain’s Monty Python. Some of that history would have never been made if it had not been for one of The Beatles, George Harrison.
Before Monty Python began filming for Life of Brian in 1978, EMI Films withdrew funding after reading the script. With crew already in Tunisia to build the sets, the group found themselves in a serious financial bind. That is when the Quiet Beatle stepped in.
“George Harrison, he was a great Python fan… he put up £5 million ($6 million US) to make the movie,” remembers Palin of Harrison’s generosity, who formed his company HandMade Films in order to finance the film. “When asked why, George just said, ‘Well, ya know, I wanted to see the film.’ Which is great. Only a Beatle could pay a £5 million admission ticket.”
In addition to financing the film and receiving an executive producer credit, Harrison also made a cameo in the film.
Palin also has a new book called available called The Truth.
“It’s about a guy who, a journalist down on his luck, suddenly gets the chance to write a book about his hero,” Palin says of his second novel. “It’s all about how suddenly the truth is not quite what you think it is. His hero isn’t quite such a hero after all.”
Listen to the interview below, which features Palin singing the “Lumberjack Song” in German!
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