The comedy world has suffered an unexpected loss today, as musician and songwriter Neil Innes, has passed away at age 75. Best known for his work with the landmark comedy troupe Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Innes was reported to have passed unexpectedly yesterday, due to natural causes.
Innes had started out in the world of music, with bands like The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, but eventually made a reputation that saw him named as “The Seventh Python,” as he was only one of two people outside of the six core members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus to ever be credited with writing on the show. Innes even performed in some of the group’s live shows, and wrote both songs and sketches for their hit BBC show.
Some of those watershed works are mentioned in the write-up provided by Deadline, as Innes also wrote original music for films such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with “Knights of the Round Table” and “Brave Sir Robin” being his outstanding contributions. Post-Python, Neil Innes would remain a collaborator of core member Eric Idle, and the two would create a parody of the life and works of The Beatles, hilariously named “The Rutles.”
Many comedy creators have taken to Twitter to honor the late Neil Innes with their own condolences and memories of his work in the field of entertainment. Baby Driver director Edgar Wright shared the following thoughts as his tribute to Innes:
Meanwhile, Mark Gatiss, co-creator of Sherlock and the upcoming Netflix series Dracula, provided a collection of rather touching memories from his youthful fandom of Neil Innes:
Neil Innes’ work has undoubtedly inspired generations of comedians that have followed him, whether it be the works that he provided through Monty Python’s Flying Circus, or his own equally iconic work with other bands and projects.
To close things out, it feels only fitting to share a video of what could be one of Neil Innes’ defining works, at least when his time with Monty Python is concerned. In honor of the man’s impressive breadth of work, please enjoy “Knights of the Round Table” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
We’d like to offer Neil Innes’ family our deepest condolences, and our utmost thanks for his impact on the world of musical comedy and dry witted entertainment. The man, and his indelible work, will truly be missed.