Neil Innes: And now for something completely different

Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:09pm EDT
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By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Neil Innes, sporting a black beret with a bathtub rubber ducky on the top, is standing on the stage of a 42nd St. blues club thumbing his nose.

The whole audience is making the same gesture and blowing raspberries back at him.

Pythonesque? You bet.

Innes, often called the seventh member of Monty Python's Flying Circus because he wrote songs for the manic comedy group, is on a one-man tour, singing and playing his wry ditties and looking to recruit "Ego Warriors."

He wears a mischievous grin as he leads the audience in a pledge, getting them to repeat in unison: "I swear to defend self-esteem wherever it may be, without ever appearing pompous or idiotic.

"And never to repeat, parrot-fashion, anything I am told by anyone posing as a figure of authority. So help me, Rhonda. Help, help me, Rhonda."

The audience cheers.

Innes, whose tour is called "A People's Guide to World Domination," was a member of Britain's iconic Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in the 1960s before working with the Pythons.   Continued...