Eric Idle is an English actor, comedian, musician and writer. Idle is a former member of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python and the parody rock band The Rutles, and is the writer of the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Spamalot (based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail). Known for his elaborate wordplay and musical numbers, Idle performed many of Python's songs, including "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" (from Life of Brian), and the "Galaxy Song" (from The Meaning of Life). After Monty Python's Flying Circus, he hosted Saturday Night Live in the US four times in the first five seasons and guest-starred on The Simpsons. Idle's initially successful solo career faltered in the 1990s with the failures of his 1993 film Splitting Heirs (which he wrote, produced, and starred in) and 1998's An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (in which he starred). He revived his career by returning to the source of his worldwide fame, adapting Monty Python material for other media. Following the success of the musical Spamalot (which won the Tony Award for Best Musical), he also wrote Not the Messiah, an oratorio derived from the Life of Brian. He featured in a one-hour symphony of British music when he performed to a global audience at the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony.
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