Legendary comedy troupe Monty Python sealed their live comeback in front of 16,000 fans in London on Tuesday night (01Jul14). John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin kicked off their Monty Python Live (mostly) residency at the O2 Arena in front of a sellout crowd, marking their first public performance together since 1980.
They tackled classic sketches including the famous Dead Parrot gag, their I'm A Lumberjack song, and a rousing rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
The show also featured a live cameo from Stephen Fry, while TV star Professor Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking appeared in a taped segment, which included the revered physicist being pushed into a river.
However, the first gig sparked lacklustre reviews from critics, with many suggesting the act relied too much on old jokes and video sequences.
Peter Bradshaw of Britain's The Guardian writes, "Monty Python Live (mostly) isn't bad: it gives the crowd exactly what they want but relies pretty heavily on the fan love and makes a hefty withdrawal from the reputation bank... This live show won't make any converts. But it sends the faithful away happy."
The Independent's John Walsh writes, "I was a fan of the Monty Ps from the start, and it pains me to criticise them. But this is desperately lazy production, resting on its laurels, uninterested in showcasing new material, relying on TV footage and the whooping adulation of an audience who know all the words," but adds, "Elderly, much-loved and much-seen sketches are revivified in their mid-70s glory."
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts writes, "Once they were the sharpest thing in satire. Last night, quite often, they looked and sounded like a dodgy tribute band."
Hugh Grant, Christoph Waltz, David Walliams, and Emma Thompson were among the celebrity guests who caught the show, which runs through until 20 July (14).
Rolling Stones stars Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts have filmed a skit to promote the Monty Python comedy troupe's live comeback. In the sketch, posted on YouTube.com on Monday (30Jun14), Jagger jokes that the comedians planning for a string of London reunion dates may be past their prime.
He asks bandmate Watts, "Monty Python? Are they still going? Who wants to see that again? They're a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money."
The joke is a reference to criticism aimed at the Stones, who are still touring in their 70s.
Meanwhile, the five surviving members of the British comedy troupe - John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - have revealed that astrophysicists Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox will feature in filmed skits and comedian David Walliams will conduct red carpet interviews at their final show on 20 July (14).
The reformed The Babys are hoping reports of a The Faces reunion tour are for real this time - because they want to land a support slot if the rockers hit the road again. The group, featuring Rod Stewart's longtime backing bandmates Wally Stocker and Tony Brock, have reunited without John Waite and Jonathan Cain to record its first album in three decades.
Launching the well-received I'll Have Some of That in Burbank, California on Wednesday night (25Jun14), drummer Brock told WENN he'd love to hook up with his former boss for a The Babys/The Faces tour.
He said, "I love so many of those Faces songs and we have a lot of links to them - I'm friends with (Faces drummer) Kenney Jones, and Wally and I learned a lot from Rod.
"He (Stewart) has been putting off a Faces reunion for several years, but he says he's gonna do it this time and we'd love to hit the road with them. It would be perfect. We're like two peas in a pod."
Bandmate Stocker adds, "They're a great example of a very untidy rock 'n' roll band - that was their appeal. We'd love to tour with them."
The two rock veterans certainly have some history with Faces frontman Stewart - Brock was the singer's drummer for 12 years after The Babys split in 1981. Stocker also toured with Stewart in between projects with Air Supply and Humble Pie.
Actress Piper Perabo has become a voice for refugees around the world thanks to her latest role with the International Rescue Committee. The Coyote Ugly star has been named an IRC Voice for the World's Most Vulnerable, and joins celebrities like Rashida Jones, John Legend and Morena Baccarin among the organisation's celebrity supporters.
As part of her new role, Perabo will raise awareness of "the needs of refugees and people who have been displaced by conflict, religious persecution or political oppression around the world".
She says, "I have tremendous admiration for the work the IRC does both in the United States and around the world. Whether it's assisting refugees who have been forced to flee the Syrian conflict or guiding refugee youth through the New York public school system, their work is important, impactful and transforms lives. I am excited and honoured to join the IRC's team."
Perabo first learned about the IRC from a relative who serves as a caseworker for the organisation's refugee resettlement program in Boise, Idaho.
The IRC was founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein. Since then, the organisation has enjoyed the support of many high profile artists, including Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Paul McCartney and Paul Newman.
Harrison Ford has been spotted using a wheelchair after breaking his leg on set of the new Star Wars movie. The veteran actor's leg was crushed by the door of a spacecraft prop during filming of Star Wars: Episode VII at Pinewood Studios in England earlier this month (May14).
He was admitted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and underwent an operation to fix the damage. Now the first pictures of the Indiana Jones star since the accident have emerged.
In the snaps, Ford is being pushed in a wheelchair by an aide and is seen sporting a lower leg cast on his left ankle. The pictures were reportedly taken as the actor was preparing to leave the U.K. and travel back to the U.S. for rehabilitation treatment.
According to reports, the star will be out of action for up to six months.
Proving that there’s nothing Hollywood won’t reboot if given then chance, a new Scooby Doo movie is reportedly in the works at Warner Bros. According to Variety, the studio is looking to send Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang on another spooky adventure, which will be written by Randall Green. The news comes just a year after Warner Bros. also announced plans for an animated Scooby Doo movie, which is reportedly still on track. Though the last live-action Mystery Gang outings, 2002’s Scooby Doo and its sequel Monsters Unleashed, did well commercially, they weren’t received well by critics and fans of the series, which is why it’s surprising that Warner Bros. would be so intent at taking a third shot at big-screen adventure. After all, the live-action Scooby Doo’s were only slightly better than Yogi Bear. There are plenty of other great classic Hanna-Barbera properties that would make for great films, so why does Scooby get a third shot at big screen success? Think about all of the possibilities that are open…
Wacky Races Concept: Think The Lego Movie meets Speed Racer, with a touch of Mega Mind thrown in. Plot: Set at the Wacky Races Grand Prix, a sprawling, dangerous race that spans three days and covers a variety of terrains, the film charts the highs and lows of all your favorite racers, from Penelope Pitstop to the Ant Hill Mob to the Gruesome Twosome, and sees Dick Dastardly’s desperate attempts to finally experience the glory for himself. Starring: Charlie Day as Dick Dastardly, Isla Fisher as Penelope Pitstop, Bill Hader as Clyde the leader of the Ant Hill Mob, Amy Poheler as the Red Max, and Tom Hanks as the Narrator. Directed By: Edgar Wright.
Inch High, Private Eye Concept: The Maltese Falcon meets Osmosis Jones.Plot: The city is being terrorized by a robber who keeps stealing priceless works of art and jewels from museums and homes. The police are understaffed, and the detectives are at their wits’ ends, and the case has reached a dead end. Then, Mrs. Gotrocks hires Inch High, Private Eye, the most brilliant and tortured detective around to look into the case. But she might not like what he finds… Casting: Casey Affleck as Inch High, Kate Mara as Lori, Josh Brolin as Gator, Tommy Lee Jones as Mr. Finkerton and June Squibb as Mrs. Gotrocks. Directed By: The Coen Brothers.
Hong Kong Phooey Concept: Think 22 Jump Street, but sillier. Plot: Penry Pooch has always wanted to be a cop, but his enthusiasm for the job doesn’t quite balance out his complete incompetence. After failing out of the police academy, he takes a job working as a janitor under the watchful eye of the constantly frustrated Sergeant. One night, when he’s the only one at the precinct, he stops and apprehends a robber, which inspires him to take up crime fighting as Hong Kong Phooey. Luckily, he’s got Spot to help him out of whatever jams he finds himself in. Casting: Will Arnett as Penry, Keith David as Sarge, Anna Kendrick as Rosemary, the telephone operator, and Nick Frost as Spot. Directed By: Shane Black.
The Jetsons Concept: August: Osage County in space. Plot: George Jetson is an ordinary man, living an ordinary life. He loves his family, endures his job and spends his time relaxing with his dog, Astro. But when he catches his wife having an affair with his boss, his world comes crashing down around him, and he’s forced to re-evaluate everything he knew about his life, and decide whether to move forward or move on. Starring: Joaquin Phoenix as George, Sandra Bullock as Jane, Hailee Steinfeld as Judy, and Steve Buscemi as Mr. Spacely, with Art Parksinson as Elroy and Scarlett Johansson as Rosie. Directed By: Spike Jonze.
JabberJaw Concept: Almost Famous meets Jaws, with a dash of Star Trek .Plot: The Neptunes were on their way to becoming the hottest rock band under the seas, until their drummer abruptly left. Then, they discovered Jabberjaw, a 15-foot-tall shark with the skills of Keith Moon, and it seemed like they had it made. But the path to rock stardom is paved with dangers and it’s time for the Neptunes to face them. Starring: Chris Pratt as Jabberjaw, Adam Levine as Clamhead, Malin Ackerman as Bubbles, Zoe Kravitz as Shelly, and Oscar Isaac as Biff. Directed By: John Carney.
Quick Draw McGraw Concept: A better homage to Blazing Saddles than A Million Ways to Die in the West .Plot: The Wild West is a dangerous place, thanks to outlaws, frequent dueling and a lack of modern medicine, but one man is there to keep order in place, and uphold justice where ever he goes… Sherrif Quick Draw McGraw. Unfortunately, he might have finally met his match when the deadliest outlaw in the west rides into his town. Starring: Damon Wayans Jr. as Quick Draw McGraw and Fred Armisen as Baba Looey.Directed By: Mel Brooks, in an ideal world.
Space Ghost Concept: It’s basically Guardians of the Galaxy, but with a monkey instead of a raccoon. Plot: After Zorak, Space Ghosts’ nemesis, escapes from prison, he recruits Black Widow (no, not that Black Widow) and Brak and Sisto in order to form a league of villains that will take over the galaxy and allow chaos to reign, but in order to do so, they need a gauntlet of power, one that only Space Ghost’s sidekick Jace possesses. Can Space Ghost and Jan rescue him and save the universe before it’s too late? Starring: Channing Tatum as Space Ghost, Emma Stone as Jan, Miles Teller as Jace, Idris Elba as Zorak, Dwayne Johnson as Brak, Jason Statham as Sisto, and Nicole Beharie as Black Widow (see, told you she was different!).Directed By: Joss Whedon, of course.
Top Cat Concept: Dancing on the Edge meets GoodFellas.Plot: Set in the 1940s, a group of rag-tag musicians are groomed to become a proper jazz sensation. But in order to do so, they’ll have to overcome prejudice, corrupt managers, in-fighting, and substance abuse and stick by each other through everything. Starring: Anthony Mackie as TC, Lamorne Morris as Brain, Albert Tsai as Choo-Choo, Michael B. Jordan as Fancy-Fancy, Josh Gad as Benny the Ball, Ruth Negga as Trixie, and Sean Penn as Officer Dibble.Directed By: Martin Scorsese.
You're welcome, Hollywood.
Drummer Kenney Jones rejoined The Who for a charity gig in Surrey, England on Saturday night (14Jun14). Jones performed I Can't Explain, Substitute, 5:15, Pinball Wizard and The Kids Are Alright with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey at the Rock 'n' Horsepower concert to benefit Prostate Cancer U.K.
The drummer, who replaced Keith Moon in The Who in the late 1970s, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year (13).
Jeff Beck, Mike Rutherford, John Parr, former Foreigner bassist Rick Wills and ex-Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall also made appearances at the all-star gig.
Fans who missed out on tickets to Monty Python's sold-out reunion shows will be able to catch a live broadcast of the comedy group's final performance on U.K. TV. The beloved comedy troupe will hit the stage at London's O2 Arena in July (14) for a run of shows, which sold out seconds after becoming available last November (13).
However, fans will be able to catch their last show on 20 July (14) from the comfort of their own homes as it will be broadcast live on Britain's comedy channel Gold.
Eric Idle says, "What could be finer at the end of a long life in comedy, than a chance to reunite with old pals and say goodbye to all our fans in one final mad musical show. We are very excited that not only do we get the chance to screw up on stage, we get a chance to screw up live on TV too."
The run will mark the first time the group - Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - have performed together in public since 1983.
Rocker Jimmy Page has further fuelled his war of words with former bandmate Robert Plant by insisting he won't take the stage as Led Zeppelin without the singer. The group staged a reunion show at London's O2 Arena back in 2007, prompting many fans to believe a full tour was a possibility - but Plant has adamantly refused to take the stage with Page and John Paul Jones again in the years since.
Page has revealed he considered a tour with a stand-in for Plant, but abandoned plans in 2008.
Recalling the reunion, Page tells Telerama.fr, "It was a very emotional concert for the people there. We took it very, very seriously, put lots of work into it - well, John Paul Jones and myself did with (drummer) Jason (Bonham).
"We all had reputations, and we had a collective reputation for Led Zeppelin... It was a wonderful show... and I'm really pleased that, finally, it managed to come out as a DVD, Celebration Day, 'cause then people could sort of witness how good it was."
Asked about the reunion rumour that refuses to go away, Page adds, "You can't really do it without Robert. So you can't really do it.... If he wanted to do it... then he could do it. But he doesn't choose to, so I can't speak for him."
Plant recently mocked the guitarist's ongoing reunion chatter, stating Page needs to "go to sleep and have a good rest, and think again," adding, "We have a great history together and like all brothers, we have these moments where we don't speak on the same page, but that's life."
British actor Toby Jones is "terrified" of playing the iconic character made famous by Arthur Lowe in an upcoming revival of beloved British TV show Dad's Army. Jones has signed up to portray Captain George Mainwaring in a new incarnation of the World War II comedy, alongside Love Actually star Bill Nighy as John Le Mesurier's character of Sergeant Arthur Wilson.
The actor has played difficult characters including Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl and Truman Capote in Infamous, but he fears his role as Mainwaring will be one of his most challenging.
He tells Britain's The Times, "(It is) terrifying. Because Arthur Lowe gave such an amazing performance. And I loved that programme so much. And because you have to introduce it to an entire generation who've never seen Dad's Army."
However, Jones is confident the new Dad's Army will be a success, adding, "It's a brilliant script, and the comedic dynamic within the group of characters is so good. They're a timeless bunch, so we should be able to make them work again."