Looneys drawn by Alyce

Dedicated Idiocy, A personal history of the Penn State Monty Python Society by Alyce Wilson

School Year 1991-1992

Terry Jones Interview

As part of my research for my undergraduate honors thesis, I had sent out letters to comedians on both sides of the Atlantic, who were members of the two comedy schools I was contrasting, the Oxbridge Mafia (U.K.) and the Second City Players (U.S.).

Much to my surprise, I received a letter in February from Terry Jones, agreeing to an interview. This makes sense when you consider that he's a scholar himself, having written a book on Chaucer's Knight.

I secured an engineer, Don Klees, a MPS member and WPSU compatriate. I called Terry Jones' office to set up a time, and then all was go.

The interview took place in the old WPSU production studio, in Sparks Building.

WPSU production room (Click to enlarge)


Tuesday, February 18, 1992

I was up early and arrived at the station before Don Klees, but I didn't set up anything until he got there. Once we'd set it all up and checked levels, I went over my questions and fought off the pre-interview jitters. At the appointed time, I made the call. A woman answered, and I told her who I was. She got Terry on the phone. But before we could go any further, I found out from Don that I was on the wrong phone line! I told Terry what had happened, and I hung up and called back on the right line. Then I put it on hold while I went into the other room.

Originally, I'd planned on letting him know a little about what I was doing, but he told me he had to leave in 20 minutes and encouraged me to "fire away" with the questions. Once I got rolling with the questions, it went very well. I think my big problem was worrying about how much time we had left and whether I could cover all of the important questions. As such, I'm afraid I didn't listen as well to his responses at the time as I should have.

Well, at about 20 after, with the meat of the questions covered, he excused himself. But remembering my promise to Don, I asked him to say hello to my engineer first. He did so, much to his credit. I suppose he could have been really rude and said he had to rush off. I felt like a cretin asking him to stay on, when he had an appointment and had to be going. But Don only spoke to him for about a minute, so I guess he wouldn't have been too upset with me.

All in all, the interview went very well. In fact, Terry said that if I need anything else, I can just "ring him up."

Like I said, it was a relatively good interview, even including the minor things that I always kick myself about later. I feel very privileged to have spoken to him, as well as elated and proud and relieved that it's over.

Interview of Contents ...  The third answerer to the ALT tag's ad was a beautiful, unattached .jpg file of Christie Brinkley  ...Terry Jones welcome What questions would you ask a wombat? The Ides-of-When? Dance Marathon e-mail: alycewilson@lycos.com