Slideshow: Eric Idle & Bob Odenkirk for Idle’s New Book, ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’

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Eric Idle of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’

CHICAGO – When the “Say No More Squire” Guy meets “Better Call Saul,” you know a memorable night is ahead. Monty Python’s Flying Circus member Eric Idle has written a new memoir, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” and Bob Odenkirk (who portrays the title character in “Better Call Saul”) was the moderator for an event at North Central College in Naperville (Ill.), sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Eric Idle titled his book after one of his most famous songs, featured at the end of the Monty Python film, “Life of Brian.” He later added it into the musical stage version of the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,’ the Mike Nichols’ directed “Spamalot.” Idle was born in Northeast England, where his mother escaped to during the bombings of World War II. He attended Cambridge University, and became president of the drama society Footlights Club, and year after future Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman had attended. After graduating, he worked on the BBC series “Do Not Adjust Your Set,” which featured future Pythoners Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam.

Idle and his five fellow travelers got together to form Monty Python in 1969, and created 45 episodes of their “Flying Circus” through 1974. Their comedic influence has been compared to The Beatles in music, and it morphed to screen and stage. Idle was instrumental in getting “Spamalot” to stage, and carries the Python banner proudly, while creating other great work on his own (“The Rutles”).

Bob Odenkirk is the pride of Naperville, Illinois, having been raised there. He graduated from Southern Illinois University, and did work within The Second City and Improv Olympic realms in Chicago. He worked as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” from 1987 through 1991, and after he left the show to pursue performance ended up co-creating, with David Cross, “Mr. Show” (1995-98) for HBO. He kept performing after that series through 2009, when he joined the cast of “Breaking Bad” as corrupt lawyer Saul Goodman. The prequel to that show began in 2015, “Better Call Saul,” which shows the transition of his character Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman.

Photographer Joe Arce of shot these Exclusive Portraits of Eric Idle and Bob Odenkirk at the Anderson’s Bookshop event at Naperville College on October 6th, 2018. Click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through the slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All photos © Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

  1. ERICBOB1: Eric Idle of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’
  2. ERICBOB2: Better Call Bob Odenkirk when hosting Eric Idle.
  3. ERICBOB3: The Dynamic Duo of Comedy Legend, Bob and Eric.
  4. ERICBOB4: Say no more, squire.

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” by Eric Idle, is available at Anderson’s Bookshop or wherever books are sold. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2018 Patrick McDonald,

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