Monty Python stars’ fitting final tribute at funeral of Terry Jones

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The stars of Monty Python today paid a fitting tribute to comedian Terry Jones following his death, saying he was ‘not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy’.

Jones uttered the famous line in the 1979 film Life of Brian​ while playing Mandy Cohen as she spoke to the followers of her son, who was mistaken for Jesus Christ.

The tweet was posted one day after John Cleese, Sir Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam have said farewell to their fellow Python at the comedy giant’s funeral in London.

The message, which has been liked or retweeted 6,000 times, said: ‘Yesterday we bid a final farewell to our dear Terry J… Not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy.’

It was accompanied with a photograph of the order of service, which featured a portrait of Jones as a young man along with the dates of his life and the funeral.

There was also a photograph of flowers, with a card saying: ‘Terry, not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy! Love from all your followers, John, Terry G, Eric & Michael.’

Actor and comedian Jones, who also directed some of the comedy troupe’s most-loved works including Life of Brian, died last month at the age of 77. 

A ceremony was held at Golders Green Crematorium West Chapel to pay tribute to a ‘bold, brilliant and beautiful man’, followed by a small wake in a Highgate pub.

The comedy star’s coffin entered the private, humanist service to How Sweet To Be An Idiot, by the late Monty Python songwriter Neil Innes.

Friends and family were told that ‘Terry’, whose much-quoted comedy lines included ‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!’, had ‘no airs and graces’.

‘The only prerequisite Terry had, was that you had to not be boring,’ the service was told. 

His ‘final breaths’, which came after suffering from a form of dementia which affects the ability to communicate, ‘were gentle and untroubled’.

Tributes were given by his wife Anna Soderstrom, older children Bill and Sally and the Monty Python star’s ex-wife Alison Telfer.

Sir Michael, whose relationship with the late star and Life Of Brian director was described by Jones’s family as ‘more like a marriage’, also paid tribute.

And an extract of The Diary Of Samuel Pepys was read by another of Jones’s friends, actor Richard Ridings.

Ms Soderstrom told how Jones approached his dementia ‘with his usual good humour’.

‘As his speech faded, the layers of social convention disappeared too. But what was left was the real Terry,’ she said.

‘And it was just as nice, just as naughty – maybe naughtier – and just as good-natured and generous as the Terry we have always known.’

The private funeral was also attended by Carol Cleveland, who also worked on Monty Python, as well as comedy TV producer John Lloyd and screen stars Sanjeev Bhaskar and Jon Culshaw.

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