Monty Python's sell-out reunion shows were borne out of anger and financial difficulties following a legal defeat over spin-off stage production Spamalot.
Film producer Mark Forstater was awarded an increased portion of the profits from Spamalot in July (13) after he successfully argued that his involvement in the movie on which the musical was based, 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail, entitled him to a larger share of the proceeds.
The ruling came as a disappointment to the comedy troupe, but Eric Idle insists the legal defeat was the catalyst for the group coming together again and reconsidering the reunion project which John Cleese had previously described as "absolutely impossible".
Idle tells Britain's The Sun, "We were all shocked, angered and stunned at the result of the lawsuit that cost us millions of f**king dollars. It was jaw dropping... I think that comedians are motivated by anger. John (Cleese) wrote some of the funniest emails I've ever read over that period - it was killingly funny."
However, the British comedy legend admits they were also motivated by a need to recoup the money lost in the court case, adding, "We thought, 'Where are we going to get the money to pay these b**gers off?' We made a break from our management and tried someone new. We needed help as we were in a mess. Our new legal adviser told us we were f**ked."
The group began to entertain the idea of a live reunion once they started discussing comedy instead of money, and Idle insists the group could have been greedier about the project if they wanted a bigger pay out.
He adds, "If we were greedy b**tards we'd have a big company such as Aeg in there and we'd be doing a world tour. But we're not greedy b**tards, we're actually quite nice people who have lives."
Monty Python will perform five live shows at London's O2 Arena between 1 July and 5 July (14).