John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, voice actor, screenwriter, producer, and comedian. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report.
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Hallo Reddit, John Cleese here. I am best known for writing and starring in Monty Python. I am currently in America and will be spending some of the fall this year zooming around doing live appearances on my Monty Python and the Holy Grail Tour.
My first show is September 19th at the State Theatre in Easton, PA.
Check out all the dates and locations: http://www.montypython.com/news_jchg2017/422 #CleeseLiveOnStage
Thank you for the wonderful, meaningless conversation. If you like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, come and see me on my tour. If you don't, get in a pedal bin and jump off a cliff.
Greetings, John the Entertainer!
For his eulogy, Graham Chapman requested that you become the first person at a British memorial service to say “Fuck”. What request would you like to have honored at your own eulogy, and by whom?
I would like to do my own eulogy, and then shoot myself and then get in the coffin.
That won't stop illiterate necrophiliacs.
I never thought of that! Can you suggest another way to keep rubberneckers away?
Hello Mr Cleese!
As the hotel owner of Fawlty Towers for a number of years, which had many mishaps and disgruntled customers, can you recall your own worst hotel experience?
Yes, thank you for asking.
How'd you find the internet you silly old git?
You get a fucking computer you idiot.
What would you like your headstone to read?
Will there ever be a Python movie again?
Only when the others are dead. Then I will make the definitive one.
Would you like to come back to my place, bouncy-bouncy?
Please send photographs.
Hi John. I saw your recent talk in Dublin. I completely agree with what you say about confirmation bias, so I thoroughly enjoyed it.
On that subject, are you aware of tools like 'DuckDuckGo' - an alternative to Google that explicitly does not tailor its results to what it thinks you personally are most likely to click? How do you educate yourself about view outside your 'bubble'?
That is a very good joke, but the bozos reading all this won't get it.
Secondly, I don't think you should educate yourself outside your bubble, because it would confuse marketing people.
Can you tell us something about yourself that we may find surprising?
Yes. I believe there is an afterlife. But don’t ask me for details.
If there were a bio-pic made about your life, who would you cast as John Cleese?
I would cast myself, provided I was not too expensive. Otherwise, I would cast Steven Seagal.
What do you think is the most IMPORTANT joke you’ve ever written?
This is the most important joke I’ve ever heard. Nils Bohr, the founder of Quantum Physics, had a friend to dinner. As the friend left, he noticed a horseshoe nailed above Bohr’s front door. He said to Bohr, accusingly "Nils, you’re a great scientist. You can’t believe in superstitions." Bohr answered “I don’t, but apparently it works anyway.”
Be honest, who wrote the fish slapping dance bit? Was that you or Palin? A six pack of beer is riding on your answer.
To be honest, I really don't remember. I think it may have been Noam Chomsky.
Hello mr. Cleese. I'd like to start with the usual 'thank you's' and say I've been an admirer of your work since I was about 9 years old and of all the comics around, you probably made me laugh the most and Fawlty Towers never failed to cheer me up even during the most difficult times. That's the first big thank you. But what's so interesting about you is that besides the fact that you are a very skilled performer, both verbal and physical, you've always been a writer who performs his own material. And it's very clear you always took great care to the writing before it got on the screen.
I've seen some of your lectures on creativity. You've not only found a very captivating way of explaining your theories on creativity but it's also completely accurate. I had been writing for some years before I discovered your method of the tortoise enclosure and discovered that it truly made a huge difference. So thank you for all that and much much more!
I've always wondered about the writing within Monty Python. I know you did your usual Python writing with Graham Chapman, but you also wrote some material with (at least) Michael Palin and Eric Idle. I don't know if you wrote things with Terry Jones. You've talked alot about what it was like to write with Graham, but what was it like for you to write with the others and was your role in those combinations a very different one from the one you had with Graham?
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this and I hope you're having a lovely day.
Very interesting question. At the start I tried to get the other Pythons to mix up the writing partnerships a bit. I thought it worked quite well. Eric and I wrote Sir George Head climbing the twin peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, and Michael and I wrote Mr. Hilter standing in the Minehead bye-election.
Nevertheless we drifted back into our original pairings, and I don’t know why. Maybe Chapman was the only one who liked writing with me.
I think it was a shame, I think we would’ve been even more inventive if we mixed the writing teams up a bit.
Chomsky?? That guy stole my ferret!
It is amazing how he gets away with that. He has the largest collection of stolen ferrets anywhere in Pennsylvania. Which, of course is the center of world ferret illegal marketing. (After Bucharest)
What is your take on Bitcoin and decentralization of financial power?
We could put all the Darryls into pedal bins and throw them off a cliff.
You stole my idea.
What are your top five favourite films of all time?
This morning they are Princess Bride, The Sting, Doctor Strangelove, The Conversation, and The Great Dictator.
Mr. Cleese, you narrated the audiobook Screwtape Letters fantastically. Potentially the best audiobook I've ever heard.
Had you ever been approached or sought to narrate The Great Divorce (another CS Lewis classic)?
I'm glad you know it. The first half is the best thing I've ever done. I recently was asked to narrate the works of Marcel Marceau, but I didn't have the time.
Hi Mr. Cleese! I'll be seeing you in a couple months when you come to Louisville for the Monty Python and the Holy Grail screening and Q&A, and I couldn't be more excited.
I've heard that, during the filming of Grail, Terry Gilliam and Eric Palin would sneak into the editing room at night and change things about the movie without the other knowing. Is this true, and did it cause any production issues?
Yes I believe it's perfectly true. Neither of them trusted the other, which was a very good call.
Hello mr Cleese :) Would you please consider being so kind as to take in to account the possibility of somehow notifying this question?
May I ask...Are you English? Your phraseology is English, but you didn't actually apologize.
What is your favorite color?
My favourite colour is British Racing Pink.
I took a course from John Hopkins at Downing College. I was told you took some inspiration from him. Any stories you care to share about your time at Downing College and learning from John Hopkins?
What I remember is that John was very, very kind to me when I was very sad and confused.
Yes but who the fuck is Eric Palin?
Eric Palin is the same as Terry Jones, but Terry uses this pen name to get two votes when we're deciding on material.
HI!! My fiance has a question for you, she's been looking forward to this AMA since you tweeted about it!
From my Fiance: I’m a big fan thanks 100% to my Dad. I am getting married next year and am looking for a Father/Daughter dance song. My Dad is 63 and likes classic rock. We would love your suggestion for a song. A silly song would be acceptable too. We’re a colourful family! What do you suggest?
Anything by John Philip Sousa. Or J.S. Bach.
Was Nils Bohr a close friend of yours? BTW, I think your joke went over most people's head, probably including mine.
Not really, but he was a big fan of mine.
If you could change 20,000 things about this world, what would they be?
The very first thing I would do would be to make pedal bins illegal. Second, I would execute anyone called Darryl.
That would be enough for the first morning.
First, I think you're the greatest comedy writer of our time. Just had to get that out of the way.
Question: I read somewhere that you were working on a screenplay about tax dodgers. Will we be seeing that anytime soon?
So, you think I'm the greatest comedy writer of our time?
What the fuck do you mean by "of our time"?
I am working on a light comedy about cannibalism called "Yummy."
Is there a project you passed on that you wish you had taken, or vice versa?
Thanks for all the years of entertainment!
There are three roles I was asked to do that I really regret not taking. The Robin Williams role in Birdcage, the butler called Stevens in The Remains of the Day and the clergyman in charge of the marriage service at the end of The Princess Bride.
Mr. Cleese. A true honor.
As an avid fan of yours and cheese, I must ask: what is your favorite type of cheese?
Also, I have never kissed the editor of the Radio Times.
My favourite cheese is melted Gruyere. Second comes Bolivian Hyena Milk cheese, but it's very hard to get except in La Paz.
Hi Mr. Cleese,
A lot of us redditors suffer from some form of depression & Anxiety. Have you ever experienced this? And if so, what did you do to see the brighter side of life?
Never. And I wish you wusses would stop whining about your unhappiness. I'm really fed up with it. Pour yourself a scotch and pull yourself together. Go out and shoot something!
even Darryl Hannah?
No. Darryl Hannah should be Queen of England. I will only execute men called Darryl.
This answer just leads me to a new question... What are pedal bins? I was hoping you would start with the 3rd thing you would change first, not 1 and 2.
Actually I did. I just put it first, to put people off the scent.