Yesterday, I mentioned Neil Innes, onetime leader of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. I should have added that, in addition to that project, he went on to write sketches and songs for Monty Python's TV show and the movie "Holy Grail." He is best known around my house for playing Ron Nasty, the John Lennon-like character in Eric Idle's 1978 Beatles satire, "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash."
"The Rutles" preceded "This Is Spinal Tap" by several years and is, for my money, the best mockumentary ever made. Though Idle and Innes had done some Rutles bits on their British series, "Rutland Weekend Television," the group wasn't seen on American television until "All You Need Is Cash" popped up one weekend on NBC when "Saturday Night Live" was on hiatus. I saw it then, loved it, and have long been a proud owner of both the DVD and the soundtrack album, which I'm proud to say my Beatles fan daughter also loves (and can sing all the songs from!).
"All You Need Is Cash" got the network TV exposure because Lorne Michaels was among its producers, and the cast included John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Ron Wood, Michael Palin, Al Franken, Tom Davis, and George Harrison. Gary Weis, who did several short films for SNL, co-directed The Pre-Fab Four's movie with Eric Idle.