Idle is releasing a new comedy special via download called lampooning both radio plays and costume dramas

By Clark Collis
Updated November 02, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

The last time we saw Eric Idle, he was performing his Life of Brian song ”Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” at the Olympic Games’ closing ceremony surrounded by roller-skating nuns. While the famed Monty Python comedy-troupe member and Spamalot coauthor says that experience was ”extraordinary,” his next project sounds every bit as surreal. On Nov. 13, Idle is releasing a new comedy special via download called What About Dick?, which lampoons both old-timey radio plays and Merchant Ivory-style costume dramas. Filmed this past April at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, the semi-improvised 80-minute piece — which will be available at for $6 — stars Russell Brand as the titular Richard, Tracey Ullman as an ”arsetrologist” (someone who can predict people’s futures by examining their derrieres), and Idle himself as, uh, a piano. ”It’s the first play ever narrated by a piano,” enthuses the comedian, whose latest venture also features the talents of Eddie Izzard and Billy Connolly, among others. We’re guessing it’s also the first production to feature a song called ”Blow Me (A Kiss in the Moonlight),” one of several new tunes Idle penned for the show with Spamalot collaborator John Du Prez. ”The interesting thing about double entendre is it pretends to be innocent,” the comedian says. ”You know, it’s your mind that’s filthy.” Idle says he was motivated to release What About Dick? as a download because he ”wanted to make something for this new market. It does look good, but this isn’t a wide-screen event. You can watch it on your iPhone and still giggle.” In other words, this is one Dick whose size really doesn’t matter.