Neil Innes

Neil Innes

Highest Rated: 97% Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Lowest Rated: 91% All You Need Is Cash (1978)

Birthday: Dec 09, 1944

Birthplace: Not Available

With a career encompassing everything from The Beatles to Monty Python, Neil Innes continually infiltrated pop culture with a blend of surrealism and satire to become the leading figure in British musical comedy. Innes first showcased his talents in the comedic pop group The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who rubbed shoulders with the likes of Paul McCartney and The Who before parting company in 1970. Alongside stints in short-lived outfits The World and GRIMMS, Innes then focused his efforts on writing songs and sketches for the 70s' biggest comedy phenomenon, earning a nickname as the Seventh Python in the process. Innes then teamed up with Eric Idle again on sketch show "Rutland Weekend Television" (BBC2, 1975-76) and in The Rutles, an affectionate spoof of the Fab Four best-known for their TV movie, "All You Need Is Cash" (1978). Children's television beckoned in the '80s as Innes starred in and composed themes for the likes of "Puddle Lane" (ITV, 1985-88) and "The Raggy Dolls" (ITV, 1986-1994), but he also continued to explore the world of musical comedy with a string of solo albums and the formation of The Idiot Bastard Band. Born in Danbury, Essex in 1944, Innes spent much of his childhood in post-war Germany, where his father was assigned as a warrant officer, and first picked up his instrument of choice, the piano, aged seven. While studying drama at Goldsmiths' College in London, Innes and several of his fellow art school students, including true British eccentric Vivian Stanshall, began attracting attention with an intriguing mix of vaudeville, trad jazz, comedy and avant-garde pop under the guise of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. After releasing their debut album, Gorilla, a typically curious affair which parodied the likes of Disney, Elvis and The Beatles, in 1967, the group were asked to appear in the latter's "Magical Mystery Tour" (BBC1, 1967). A year later, Paul McCartney served as producer on their only hit single, "I'm The Urban Spaceman," which went onto win an Ivor Novello for Best Novelty Song, and the group became the resident band on "Do Not Adjust Your Set" (ITV, 1967-69), an afternoon children's comedy series which also featured several future members of the Monty Python team. After adding to their catalog with Tadpoles and Keynsham in 1969, the band performed at the Isle of Wight Festival, toured in the US with The Who, and briefly split up before their record label forced them to reunite for the 1972 farewell album, Let's Make Up And Be Friendly. Innes had first ventured outside The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band when he teamed up with bassist bandmate Dennis Cowan to form The World, a short-lived rock combo who had already disbanded by the time their 1970 debut, Lucky World, hit the shelves. But he found a little more stability when he joined the likes of poet Roger McGough, guitarist Ollie Halsall and Paul McCartney's younger brother, Mike McGear, in the comedy collective GRIMMS, who recorded three albums between 1973 and 1976, (GRIMMS, Rocking Duck, Sleepers) before going their separate ways. Innes had also begun to align himself with the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (BBC1, 1969-1974) team during this period, penning songs such as "George III" and "When Does a Dream Begin," co-writing "The Most Awful Family in Britain" sketch, and performing "The Liberty Bell March" during the credits of the final ever episode. After appearing on stage with the comedy troupe at the New York City Center and Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl, and writing songs for and playing several minor roles in their big-screen outing, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975), Innes became known as the Seventh Python, and also continued his affiliation in 1975 when he teamed up with Eric Idle on "Rutland Weekend Television" (BBC2, 1975-76), a similarly-themed sketch show set in a fictional low-budget regional television station, which spawned arguably the most successful project of his career. An affectionate parody of The Beatles, The Rutles saw Innes take on the role of the John Lennon-inspired Ron Nasty, and compose a number of soundalike songs, one of which ("I Must Be In Love") became a UK hit in its own right. The spoof outfit also appeared in an American-made TV movie, "All You Need Is Cash" (1978), and released a self-titled soundtrack, and also revived the gag in 1996 with Archaeology, a collection of 'archival material' which coincided with "The Beatles Anthology" (ITV, 1995) series. Having first embarked on a solo career with 1973's How Sweet To Be An Idiot, Innes added to his discography with 1979's The Innes Book of Records, a typically droll pop pastiche which accompanied the TV series of the same name, and 1982 follow-up, Off The Record. Innes then ventured into children's TV throughout the '80s, playing the role of The Magician in "Puddle Lane" (ITV, 1985-88), voicing the group of toy factory rejects in "The Raggy Dolls" (ITV, 1986-1994), and composing the theme tunes for "The Riddlers" (ITV, 1989-1998) and "Tumbledown Farm" (ITV, 1988-89), as well as helping to bring Terry Jones' fairy tale book East of the Moon to the small screen. Innes kept relatively quiet in the '90s, but returned to the fold in the 2000s to join The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's 40th anniversary tour in 2006, release a number of compilation albums and guest as a keyboardist on panel game "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" (Radio 4, 1972-) and at the London Comedy Store. In 2010, he formed comedy musical collective with the likes of Adrian Edmondson, Phill Jupitus and Rowland Rivron named The Idiot Bastard Band. Neil Innes died in his sleep on December 25, 2019 at the age of 75.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 77% Not the Messiah: He's a Very Naughty Boy Mexican/Mountie (Character) - 2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet Coals to Newcastle: The New Mastersounds, From Leeds to New Orleans Unknown (Character) - 2009
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Roots of Monty Python Unknown (Character) - 2005
No Score Yet 35% The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch Ron Nasty (Character) - 2002
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Secret Policeman's Private Parts Himself (Character) - 1984
No Score Yet 92% Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl Unknown (Character) - 1982
95% 93% Life of Brian A Weedy Samaritan (Character) $150.2K 1979
91% 82% All You Need Is Cash Ron Nasty (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Rutles Ron Nasty (Character) - 1978
97% 95% Monty Python and the Holy Grail The First Self-Destructive Monk/Robin's Least Favourite Minstrel/The Page Crushed by a Rabbit/The Owner of a Duck (Character),
Original Music
$1.8M 1975

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Saturday Night Live Music Performer 1977

QUOTES FROM Neil Innes CHARACTERS

King Arthur says: How does it... um... how does it work?

Sir Lancelot says: I know not, my liege.

King Arthur says: Consult the Book of Armaments!

Maynard says: Armaments, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one.

Minstrel + minor role says: And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu...

Minstrel + minor role says: And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu...

Maynard says: Skip a bit, brother...

Minstrel + minor role says: And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out! Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

Minstrel + minor role says: And the Lord spake, saying, First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out! Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

Maynard says: Amen.

King Arthur says: Right. One... two... five!

Sir Galahad says: Three, sir.

King Arthur says: Three!

Minstrel + minor role says: [singing] Bravely bold Sir Robin rode forth from Camelot He was not afraid to die, o' brave Sir Robin! He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways, Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin! He was not at not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp Or to have his eyes gouged out, Or his elbows broken; To have his kneecaps split And his body burned away, Or his limbs all hacked and mangled, Brave Sir Robin! His head smashed in, his heart cut out, His liver removed, and his bowels unplugged, His nostrils raped, and his bottom burned off, And his penis split--

Sir Robin says: Stop! That's enough singing for now.