Monty Python's Terry Gilliam Shares What He's Been Doing With All His Money

Terry Gilliam

Photo: Youtube

It’s hard to discuss the greatest film comedies of all time without mentioning “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”The film, made on a very low budget with money invested from the rock community — including members of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd — is one of the most frequently quoted comedies of all time. It includes such lines as, “I shall taunt you a second time,” “It’s just a flesh wound,” “Run away!” and one or two that are not printable here.

With the film’s recent, first-ever release on Blu-ray, Bankrate spoke to Monty Python member Terry Gilliam — who co-directed the film with fellow Python Terry Jones — about his pre-Python days.

Bankrate: Before you made a living with Monty Python, how did you make your living?

Gilliam: I was editing a magazine (Help), and I was doing cartooning and illustration for a living. I also worked in advertising for a year in Los Angeles, and then I came to England and was doing cartooning and illustrating for various magazines. I was getting frustrated in the printed form, and I had known John (Cleese) from New York because we used to do satirical photo stories in Help. 10 years later in England he was on TV with David Frost, and I got in touch with him and said, “Introduce me to someone in TV.” I eventually tracked down the producer of “Do Not Adjust Your Set,” which was a children’s show that Mike Palin, Terry Jones and Eric Idle were writing and performing in, and that was the beginning.

Bankrate: Once you got to be what you considered successful, did you splurge on anything major?

Gilliam: No, not really. I was so overwhelmed by the success of that first Python series — we were being interviewed on television, and blah, blah, blah — that I got my backpack and went to Morocco and stayed in youth hostels. I didn’t want to get carried away with success. I never really celebrated success by spending money. I store up that money for allowing me time to wait to get the money to do the things I really want to do.

Bankrate: So now you’re a pretty frugal guy.

Gilliam: I’m frugal because I know it’ll be another seven years before I get the money for the next film. I mean, I live in a big house and have a place in Italy. But I don’t have a yacht or a private jet. We live comfortably, but certainly not rich in that way. We just live well.

Read more: Terry Gilliam | 

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This story was originally published by Bankrate.

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