Eric Idle: "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" | Talks at Google
The Last Word: Eric Idle on Wearing Dresses, What George Harrison Taught Him, and More
What is the best survival tip you know?
At school, I learned to shoot a .303 rifle and strip a handgun and reassemble it blindfolded. They would set us off in Wales with a pack and a map and a compass and a bit of cheese and say, “See you.” These were called Junior Leadership courses, and what I discovered was that I never wanted to do anything like that ever again in my life. Not being in the army is a good survival tip.
What is the secret to a happy relationship?
You have to learn how to live alone if you’re going to live with someone else. Being alone is very good for you.
How should a man handle getting older?
With care, I think. And preferably with a woman, or a partner, to help.
What should every man understand about women?
I think it’s important to be sympathetic. A great advantage for me is that I got to dress up, like, fancy. I know what it’s like to wear high heels, long lashes, fingernails, and try to walk.
What role should vanity play in a man’s life?
None whatsoever. Narcissism and vanity are two of the most potently disastrous things for human beings.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be patient. Things will work out.
What’s the best cure for heartache?
I think not falling in love, probably.
Who has been the main influence in your life?
I got a lot of life coaching from George Harrison. I met him in about 1975 at a screening ofThe Holy Grail. He said, “Want to come and have a reefer in the projection booth?” That started a kind of wild ride. We just talked and talked, and it was very interesting and rather fabulous.
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