John Cleese

He who laughs most, learns best.

John Marwood Cleese (born 27 October 1939) is an English comedian and actor best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for co-writing the TV series Fawlty Towers in which he played Basil Fawlty.

SourcedEdit

Basil Fawlty was an easy character for me. For some reason, portraying a mean uptight incompetent bully comes naturally to me.


  • I'm struck by how laughter connects you with people. It's almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you're just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.
  • If I like chocolate it won't surprise you that I have a few chocolates in my fridge, but if you find out I've got 16 warehouses full of chocolate, you'd think I was insane. All these rich guys are insane, obsessive compulsive twits obsessed with money — money is all they think about — they're all nuts.
  • Basil Fawlty was an easy character for me. For some reason, portraying a mean, uptight, incompetent bully comes naturally to me.
  • If I had not gone into Monty Python, I probably would have stuck to my original plan to graduate and become a chartered accountant, perhaps a barrister lawyer, and gotten a nice house in the suburbs, with a nice wife and kids, and gotten a country club membership, and then I would have killed myself.
  • He who laughs most, learns best.
    • As quoted in Creating Emotionally Safe Schools: A Guide for Educators and Parents‎ (2001) by Jane Bluestein, p. 215
  • If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.
    • As quoted in Best New Games (2002) by Dale N. LeFevre, p. 9
  • Technology frightens me to death. It's designed by engineers to impress other engineers, and they always come with instruction booklets that are written by engineers for other engineers — which is why almost no technology ever works.
  • If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
    • As quoted in W.T.F.? : (What Is Wrong With Tom Faerie?)‎ (2006) by H. M. Leathem
  • You see, you could never do a sketch like that these days. The audience is too uninformed. I blame the Americans. Nation of obese, violent, pig-ignorant, bible-thumping morons contaminating world culture. That’s why I spend most of my time here in France. ... Beautiful, isn’t it? Just look at those olive trees. [Interviewer: This is Santa Barbara.]
    • From PBS series Monty Python's Personal Best: John Cleese's Personal Best (2006), playing role of senile old man.
  • My biggest regret? Not being knighted by the Queen. I should have been a knight, and I would have been knighted, if I hadn't written one horrible horrible Python sketch which I deeply deeply regret — [cue Python sketch: "Upper Class Twit of the Year"]
    • From PBS series Monty Python's Personal Best: John Cleese's Personal Best (2006), playing role of senile old man.
  • When you get to my age, and I'm 66 now, you realize that the world is a madhouse and that most people are operating in fantasy anyway. So once you realise that, it doesn't bother you much.
    • From Channel 4 documentary The Secret Life of Brian (2007)
  • Because these people are operating at a very very low level of mental health, they are incapable of understanding the teaching.
    • From Channel 4 documentary The Secret Life of Brian (2007)

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 14 April 2014, at 15:12