Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 07/01/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/01/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>Eric Idle

OLDER AND WISEACRE

ASK ERIC IDLE why, after years of solo efforts by its members, Monty Python eagerly reconvened to launch multimedia projects, and he doesn't miss a beat. "We're trying to get the misinformation highway going," he intones, "so we can just mess around and be funny and stupid and daft."

If that strikes a chord for fans of the zany troupe's 70s TV shows and movies, that's because the Python alums haven't changed much, despite losing Graham Chapman to cancer in 1989. "We're still talking to each other, and that's nice. It's not like a rock group," the 53-year-old comedian says. "It's very refreshing to feel that nobody's stopped being funny just because they got older."

Idle, who appeared in last year's film Casper, now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tania, and their 5-year-old daughter, Lily. He was first lured to the Internet years ago by e-mail. "I hate post offices," he says. "I won't go into them because of the disgruntled former employees who are always there." So he was a natural to help create PythOnline (http://www. PythOnline.com), the group's official Web site, and the loopy CD-ROM Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail—both set to be introduced in July. As the person "responsible to make sure it's Pythonic," Idle says he especially enjoyed reworking Grail, one of his favorite movies, into a CD-ROM replete with goofy games like Spank the Virgin. "It's very cheeky, very fresh, silly and juvenile—in an endearing way."

And, he adds, Monty Python and multimedia have a lot in common: "We're making up the rules as we go along." Which may explain why the sequel to their 1994 disc, Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time, took so long to complete. After all, he notes, "ROM was not built in a day."

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