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Actor Ben Stein has compared his alleged 'sexting' scandal to "an episode of Monty Python" after a woman accused him of pestering her for saucy snaps.
The Ferris Bueller's Day Off star admits he met Tanya Ma, 24, at an airport in California earlier this year (14) and stayed in touch with her, but he has dismissed her claims that he took the relationship too far.
Ma, who is a performance artist, told the New York Post, "He said he'd read my blog, and I gave him my contact information. We texted for about four months, then he asked me to send him pictures... After a while, he started asking for more racy photos... (Then) he wanted to place me in a hotel near where he lives... It just started to get weird."
However, the married actor is adamant Ma's allegations are not true. He compares the story to an episode of comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus, and adds, "She is a person I have only met for less than five minutes at an airport. I have never touched her, I have never had any sexual contact with her."
"I should get a medal for helping this woman. This is a person who appealed to me for money. She said she would send me some examples of her performance art. Some of those examples were racy, and some were not. I just don't get what I have done wrong. She is mad at me because she wanted more money... I didn't expect anything from her."
The stars of Monty Python have launched a cell phone game to celebrate their reunion performances in London in July (14). The game is based on the Ministry of Silly Walks sketch from TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus and players guide an animated John Cleese through London streets, collecting coins and dodging obstacles.
The stars of Monty Python are raising money for charity by offering a cameo part in their live show to the highest bidder. The British comedy troupe is reuniting for a string of 10 performances at London's O2 Arena in July (14).
They are offering one lucky winner the chance to appear on stage on opening night (01Jul14) during their 'Bruces' sketch from TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus. The skit plays on Australian stereotypes and all characters are named Bruce, one of which will be the auction winner.
The sale on eBay.com closes on 26 June (14) and the money will go to The Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity set up by members of rock band Queen following the death of their frontman Freddie Mercury in 1991.
Auctions for a Bruce cameo during the other live shows are taking place on various ticketing and charity websites, with each winning bid going to a different cause.
Break out your SPAM, perfect your silly walks, and return your dead parrots: Monty Python is set for a reunion stage show, according to Terry Jones. The news is expected to be officially announced on Thursday when the surviving members of the legendary sketch troupe -- Jones, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam -- will hold a press conference to announce some big news. However, Jones revealed the surprise early, when he told the BBC: "We're getting together and putting on a show - it's real," adding that he was "quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!"
The show will mark the first time that Monty Python has performed together since 1998, when they appeared at the Aspen Comedy Festival (although they have made some appearances together, most notably at the 2005 opening of their musical, Monty Python's Spamalot). The troupe's sixth member, Graham Chapman, passed away in 1989.
Rumors about the reunion began swirling when members of the press received invitations to Thursday's press conference, followed by Idle tweeting about the event to his followers. Cleese was also quoted as stating that "Monty Python is set to be a flying circus all over again," which seemed to confirm fans suspicions that the troupe would be getting back together. No details about the stage show have been revealed, including whether or not it will be a one-time event or a tour. It is also not clear whether the group will perform any new material or simply stick to their classic sketches, like they did with their performances at the Hollywood Bowl.
It will be interesting to see if the group incorporates any of the musical numbers from Spamalot, which despite being based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail was only worked on by Idle. Due to its source material and Idle's involvement, it's just as likely to be part of the performance as any of the other Python projects, although it seems to be less popular and holds less significance for fans than the films and sketches do. Regardless, there is sure to be a performance of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," which Idle performed at the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony, as well as other classics like "The Lumberjack Song," "The Ministry of Silly Walks," "The Dead Parrot Sketch," and "The Spanish Inquisition." Fans have also speculated that the show could be a lead-up to a potential film or television show (which would probably make Jones enough money to pay off that mortgage), but seems to be an unlikely conclusion.
The press conference formally announcing the Monty Python reunion will take place on Thursday, November 21. According to Idle, it will be televised live from The Playhouse Theater in London, where Spamalot is currently running. Fans outside of the UK will also be able to watch the announcement live as Idle has promised to tweet out a link to a live stream for all of the Python fans in other countries. Until then, you can watch the most recent Monty Python reunion, the 30th anniversary of their final film, Monty Python and the Meaning of Life, below.
Funnyman John Cleese is selling signed photographs to bankroll alimony payments to his ex-wife.
Cleese split from his third wife, Alyce Faye Eichelberger, in 2008 after 16 years of marriage and her divorce settlement included an annual handout of more than £960,000 (£600,000) for seven years.
The writer famously devised a stand-up comedy show - dubbed The Alimony Tour - which is based on his divorce battle, to help raise money to pay his bills.
He also sold his prized Bentley car and props from his 1974 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail to boost his coffers, and now it has emerged Cleese is offering signed photographs of classic moments from his TV comedy shows.
The limited edition prints, showing scenes from sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus and sitcom Fawlty Towers, are available for around $48 (£30) from an online memorabilia website.
Cleese bounced back from the divorce by marrying his fourth wife, Jennifer Wade, last August (12).
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The 72-year-old actor has agreed a contract with publishing giants Random House to tell all about his time in the spotlight, from his part in Monty Python's Flying Circus to his Hollywood movies, including his stint as James Bond's gadget assistant.
Cleese, who has previously released two relationship advice books, will also reportedly touch on his four marriages in his autobiography.
He says in a statement, "It's the perfect moment to look back on my life in anticipation of the next 50 years."
Susan Sandon, of Random House imprint Cornerstone, says, "Comedy legends' autobiographies really don't come much bigger than John Cleese's. Enduringly popular, brilliantly witty and impressively erudite, he is a towering figure in every sense of the word. His memoir will be a major publishing event."
He passed away at his home in Blewbury, England on Monday (22Aug11) after a long battle with cancer.
Davies first appeared onscreen as orphan Oliver Twist in David Lean's 1948 adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel and he also starred in the Rocking Horse Winner, Tom Brown's Schooldays and The Magic Box.
He stepped behind the camera professionally in the late 1960s and became a director/producer of classic British TV shows like The Good Life, The Goodies, Only Fools and Horses, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Mr. Bean.
Davies was the Head of BBC Comedy from 1977 to 1982.
The Independent Film Channel is fast becoming the go-to sanctuary for cancelled shows in need of a second lease on life. IFC recently picked up Judd Apatow's cult comedies Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared from Paramount, where they will join Arrested Development as part of the network's growing collection of salvaged programming. Freaks and Geeks will premiere on IFC tomorrow, July 2 at 11PM, with encores on Mondays at 11PM and Sundays at 10PM. Undeclared will make its debut on the network this fall.
Apatow produced the high school comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks from 1999 to 2000 and its college spin-off Undeclared from 2000-2001, both of whose single-season runs garnered rave reviews but poor ratings, leading to cancellation. The series helped launch the careers of Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, and Jason Segel, as well as Linda Cardellini and Busy Philipps.
"These acquisitions help further solidify IFC as the destination for programming that shares an off-kilter sensibility with its audience, particularly within the comedy genre," said Jennifer Caserta, IFC's executive Vice President and general manager. "Judd Apatow is a comedic genius with a loyal fan base of young men. This same audience comes to IFC for new and rescued shows they can't find anywhere else. Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared will be right at home on IFC alongside other comedies, like Arrested Development, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Whitest Kids U' Know, and the upcoming The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret from David Cross, and Onion News Network."
Cleese created the comedy troupe with the Life of Brian star, who lost his battle with cancer in 1989, but he now admits he never really understood his friend and found him tough to work with, especially when his well-documented heavy drinking became a real problem.
In a new U.S. TV documentary series, marking the 40th anniversary of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Cleese reveals, "He just didn't work properly... The simple stuff - getting the lines right, hitting his mark, he just was not an efficient creature... He was always late."
Chapman's former partner David Sherlock insists Cleese was "most uncomfortable" around the funnyman after he discovered Chapman was gay.
In the documentary, Month Python, Almost The Truth (The Lawyer's Cut), Sherlock says, "He discovered he'd been working all this time with someone he thought he knew, but now discovered he didn't know."
Cleese admits, "We were all surprised... We didn't mind that he was gay, but we were very, very surprised and I think Graham, sometimes, took the surprise for disapproval."
And Cleese wasn't the only member of the comedy troupe who struggled with Chapman.
Terry Gilliam says, "Graham was just a frustrating person. I never could make out who Graham was."
And Terry Jones adds, "Graham was a mystery... The only times I had lunch with him, we really hadn't got much to say to each other, really."
Michael Palin admits Chapman's drinking problem was a real issue. He recalls, "Sometimes he'd be quite funny and other times... he'd just irritate people for the sake of it."
Idle came up with the skit about a wine expert mistaking chardonnays and champagne for "wee-wee", and Cleese sided with TV bosses, who feared the segment was too off-colour to broadcast.
Cleese says, "I sided with the BBC... I found (it) really rather distasteful."
But Python pal Terry Gilliam insists the sketch wasn't cut from the show because it suggested the expert was drinking urine - but because the TV bosses read a little too much into one part of the skit.
He explains, "Apparently, one of the glasses of wine had a slight rose tint to it, which, to the BBC's mind, this was menstrual urine. Everything they came up with was more and more absurd... They were really twisted."
Five British university graduates (Cleese, Chapman, Idle, Palin and Jones) and one American (Gilliam) formed this group to produce and perform for the BBC a comedy series consisting of sketches which combine satire and zaniness that both offend and amuse viewers. The format proved highly successful on American public television.