You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Eric Idle’s Greedy Bastard Tour

Eric Idle proves the brilliance of the Brit troupe's 30-year-old skits and songs has stood the test of time. Assembling an entire two-act routine around the classics, some biographical anecdotes and new humor proves a mixed bag, though -- Idle is not much of a standup comic.

Eric Idle, even without his Monty Python mates, proves the brilliance of the Brit troupe’s 30-year-old skits and songs has stood the test of time. Assembling an entire two-act routine around the classics, some biographical anecdotes and new humor proves a mixed bag, though — fascinating as the personal details are, Idle is not much of a standup comic, and nothing comes close to matching the hilarity of “The Philosophers Song,” the four Yorkshiremen or a re-enactment of scenes from “The Holy Grail.”

“Greedy Bastard” is a greatest-hits tour at its core, and the audience comes ready to hear classic Python skits and Rutland-related tunes and wisecracks. Idle’s timing and engaging storytelling style make up for the slumps in the humor (a few too many of the jokes are telegraphed), though the more he gets into his own story, all in the second act, the less necessary are the rapid-fire yuks.

As a youth, the comic attended a boarding school that had some miserable military school/prison-like procedures. Idle proceeded to Cambridge, working with the campus cabaret club. From there grew the beginnings of the Python troupe, beginning with his introduction to John Cleese.

The other Pythons — Cleese, Terry Gilliam, the late Graham Chapman and Michael Palin — are all spoken of glowingly, and Idle attaches neither pride nor resignation to the fact that he is still working in a forum and a vernacular from which the others have stepped away.

The beauty of Idle’s show stems from how brilliantly the Pythons constructed the routines, which have neither time nor place burdening them and require no extra explanation or updates in the text.

L.A. show was the final stop on the nearly 50-show tour that started in October; Idle next turns his attention to legit tuner “Spamelot,” based on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Popular on Variety

Eric Idle's Greedy Bastard Tour

Henry Fonda Music Box Theater; 1,500 capacity; $55 top

Production: Presented by Rum & Humble. With John Du Prez, Peter Crabbe, Jennifer Julian. Reviewed Dec. 19, 2003.

More Scene

  • Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson waits

    Marianne Williamson Attends Project Angel Food Gala Honoring Jamie Lee Curtis

    Author, activist and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has a personal connection to Project Angel Food — and not just because she founded the charity 30 years ago. At Saturday night’s anniversary gala at the organization’s Hollywood headquarters, she explained the link between the nonprofit and her daughter, India Emma: “I always know how old [...]

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content