On Friday, the comedy legend took to Twitter to call out a post from the official Monty Python Twitter account — with which he says he has no involvement — because it appeared to encourage fans to go out in public during the pandemic as bars and restaurants in the UK reopened over the weekend.
The US, meanwhile, has seen some states, including Texas, forced to re-close bars following a spike in cases.
The Monty Python account shared a retro photo of the classic comedy group in festive Elizabethan costumes alongside a tweet calling on fans to “dust off your finest attire now that pubs & restaurants are open from tomorrow.”
But the post felt reckless to Idle who used his personal account to denounce its message. Despite being famed for singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” the 77-year-old expressed a grim view of the pandemic’s progress and urged fans to exercise more caution.
“Do not listen,” the Life of Brian star tweeted. “This is s*** advice. I have nothing to do with this. In the wise words of my wife. ‘What has changed?’ Nothing. There is no cure, there is no vaccine. Go out at your peril. Mingle at your own risk.”
He then referenced a song from the 1975 cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
“Just remember ‘Bring out your dead,’” he told followers, referencing the plague-inspired tune. “Be safe.”
Idle went on to call those running the Monty Python account “good people,” but found the pub tweet “very mistaken.” As of Monday, it is still up.
Good people. But this is very mistaken. I will follow up, I promise you.— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) July 4, 2020
“Unless your pub is called The Grim Reaper, you should stay home,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
Unless your pub is called The Grim Reaper you should stay home.— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) July 3, 2020
Listening to medical advice from politicians is why America is currently a raging wildfire of epidemia. Please be safe. https://t.co/0rkE4Y1tXS
Whether his words of caution swayed Monty Python fans remains to be seen, though the comedy troupe’s followers do appear to have been taking lockdown in stride.
One Michigan family took inspiration from the group’s Ministry of Funny Walks sketch to liven up their stretch of self-isolation, asking neighbours and others passerby to do a silly walk on their way past.