The celebration surrounding a classic Monty Python movie has taken on a somber tone as news comes out that troupe member Terry Jones is in bad shape, the AP reports. The news comes amid celebrations of the 40th anniversary of “Life of Brian.”
“Jones is ‘very robust’ although ‘on the downhill slope’ due to dementia, according to his friend and colleague Michael Palin. Jones was diagnosed in 2015 with a form of dementia that impairs the ability to speak,” the AP reports.
Palin is quoted saying of Jones: “I go and see him and the great satisfaction is just to get a reaction; sadly, he doesn’t speak much. But I read him some stuff that we’d written together a long, long time ago and Terry actually started to laugh at it, and he laughed only at the bits that he’d written.”
The report notes that “Life of Brian,” which Jones directed, is being celebrated with a worldwide rerelease on Thursday.
“When ‘Life of Brian’ came out four decades ago, it was a huge hit, but also stirred controversy because of its plotline: It was about a man named Brian Cohen who was born in the stables next to Jesus and mistaken for the Messiah. Palin played Pontius Pilate with a speech impediment,” the AP notes.
Said Palin: “We didn’t get death threats, we just got people who were deeply, deeply offended by what we’d done.”
Here’s a brief interview clip featuring Monty Python stalwarts Palin and Terry Gilliam, posted by the AP …