“Graham Chapman, co-author of the ‘Parrot Sketch,’ is no more.”
Funeral Eulogies – Graham A. Chapman – Bio
Graham Arthur Chapman
Born January 8, 1941 – Died October 4, 1989
English Comedian/Writer/Actor/One Of The 6 Members Of Monty Python
Funeral Eulogies – Graham A. Chapman – Note
Although Chapman graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Medical College, he turned down a career as a doctor to be a comedian. Chapman established a writing partnership with John Cleese, which reached its critical peak with Monty Python during the 1970s.
Chapman was openly homosexual and a strong supporter of gay rights, and was in a relationship with David Sherlock for most of his adult life.
Later, during his college tour, Chapman mentioned that a television audience member had written to the Pythons to complain about having a gay group member, adding that the Bible said any man who lies with a man should be taken out and stoned. With other Pythons already aware of his sexual orientation, Eric Idle jokingly replied that they had found the perpetrator and killed him.
Chapman took up pipe smoking aged 15, which continued for the remainder of his life. He began drinking heavily during his time at Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s, favouring gin. By the time Monty Python went on tour in 1973, Chapman’s drinking had begun to affect his performance, missing cues to go on stage. Chapman stopped drinking in Christmas 1977, concerned at being able to act in Life of Brian successfully, and remained sober for the rest of his life.
Funeral Eulogies – Graham A. Chapman – Eulogy
Chapman died of tonsil and spinal cancer on 4 October 1989, on the eve of Monty Python’s 20th anniversary, and his life and legacy were commemorated at a private memorial service at St Bartholomew’s with the other Pythons.
John Cleese remembers a fellow Python
Well, I feel that I should say, “Nonsense. Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard! I hope he fries. ”
And the reason I think I should say this is, he would never forgive me if I didn’t, if I threw away this glorius opportunity to shock you all on his behalf.
Anything for him but mindless good taste.
Also published on Medium.