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John Cleese webchat 17 October

(65 Posts)
LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 02-Oct-14 11:40:20

We're beyond excited to have another Monty Python legend join us at GNHQ to answer your questions. John Cleese, former teacher, hamster-owner and general comedy genius will be coming into the office from 1-2pm on 17 October to answer questions on (among other things) his memoir So, Anyway... published by Random House and available from Amazon from 9 October.

John Marwood Cleese was born in Weston-super-Mare in 1939 and educated at Clifton College and at Cambridge. He achieved his first big success in the West End and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. He went on to co-found the legendary Monty Python comedy troupe, writing and performing in the TV series and in films that include Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian.

In the mid-1970s, John Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote and starred in the now-classic sitcom Fawlty Towers. Later, he wrote and co-starred in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. He has appeared in many other films, from James Bond to Harry Potter to Shrek, and has guest-starred in TV shows that have included Cheers, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Will & Grace and Entourage. He lives in London.

Leave your question for John on the thread below and join us from 1-2pm on 17 October!

saraband Fri 03-Oct-14 09:06:58

You didn't mention the radio show 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' (or ISIRTA) - that was my introduction to John Cleese. My first husband recorded every single show on reel-to-reel tape that he connected to a timer. We literally woke up to ISIRTA every morning. And trust me, there is no better way to start the day smile

nancy22 Fri 03-Oct-14 09:34:25

John ,what has been the one thing in your life that you are most proud of work wise? and how do you keep your audience still laughing after all these years. I think you are totally brilliant

henetha Fri 03-Oct-14 10:23:23

Hi John,
I'm a big fan, especially because of Faulty Towers as I lived in Torquay for 50 years....... but escaped eventually!
We don't see enough of you on t.v. these days. Any chance of writing and starring in a new sitcom, please? grin

saraband Sat 04-Oct-14 08:49:24

John, how much input did you have in your part as Sir Cadwell the Undaunted (Elder Scrolls Online)? There is a lot of gentle humour in the game, but Cadwell definitely has your stamp firmly upon him.

papaoscar Mon 06-Oct-14 14:07:35

John, many thanks for all the the pleasure you have given us over the years. My favourite? Basil F! Did you like his character? If you could have your time in comedy all over again what would you choose NOT to do?

grannyactivist Wed 08-Oct-14 23:58:55

Not having a TV for most of my adult life means that my introduction to John Cleese has primarily been through his Training Videos (Video Arts).

My question is: Both as a trainer and the recipient of training courses I thought some of these videos were worth their weight in gold and yet it seems this aspect of your professional life is little known; why do you think this is - and do you care?

baubles Thu 09-Oct-14 06:32:10

GA I'm glad you mentioned those training videos, I remember them fondly from my civil service days.

I don't have a question for John but I'd just like to say thanks for the laughter. smile

ladybird9 Sun 12-Oct-14 18:04:32

would love to have you for a dinner party, no, no not to eat you but, for the hilarious conversation that I am sure you would generate !!!! my little "shoobox" of a flat would, I am sure come alive, if you decide to take up my invite, maybe you could invite Colin Firth to make up a 3some, dinner and conversation ..... only X

many thanks for you wonderful sense of humour over the years, let us have some more.......please Mr Cleese

meemee Wed 15-Oct-14 15:49:37

Hello John I would also like to thank you for many years of wonderful entertainment.

I was lucky enough to see one of the live Monty Python shows at the O2 recently. Was this something you were keen to do or did you take some persuading? And did it feel like you'd never been away once you all got together to perform the classic material?

pat66 Wed 15-Oct-14 15:50:45

I loved Fawlty Towers (actually I love it still)

It's so funny - I wondered how did you keep a straight face when you were filming? Or did there have to be a lot of takes because you all kept laughing?

Fawltyfilly Wed 15-Oct-14 15:54:31

Hello John,

I'm a huge fan (as is my mother aged 96!)
I once read you were a teacher for a while and I wondered if at any point in your career you had regretted leaving teaching. Or if you expected to return to it some day?

nannynette Wed 15-Oct-14 15:55:40

Thank you for so many hours of pleasure over very many years. I believe you are a grandfather and wondered how that role compares to many of your more well known ones?

Elderflower1 Wed 15-Oct-14 15:57:49

You have done so much in your career it was really tricky to think of just one question but I do wonder what one moment would you say you were most proud of in your career or is there one line or joke you wrote which to this day you're most proud of?
Thank you for answering (in advance smile)

chocaddict Wed 15-Oct-14 16:07:27

Do you still have a hamster?

joytotheworld Wed 15-Oct-14 16:11:15

have you ever thought of running for parliament? Looking at what's going on these days we could do a lot worse than being governed by the ministry of silly walks

ninkynonk Wed 15-Oct-14 16:15:04

I just saw this on twitter and am so excited to have the chance to ask you a question.

Do you think your comedy career has benefitted from your being tall?

rose314 Wed 15-Oct-14 16:29:51

Is it true that your father's name was originally Cheese not Cleese. Cleese is obvioulsy a very nice name but I would have though Cheese would have had more comedic potential. Do you like cheese?

Doreen2 Wed 15-Oct-14 16:33:20

Is it true that the actor that played Manuel was regularly injured during filming of Fawlty Towers? If it is - did he mind?

granamia Wed 15-Oct-14 16:33:33

Hi John,

I did a bit of digging and discovered that you're also a grandpa - do your grandchildren watch Fawlty Towers? My granddaughter is 11 and it's one of the programmes we love to watch together when she comes round (she's showing me how to watch it online). It's such a funny, good natured show and I think it's lovely having something to enjoy with my granddaughter.

msmaple Wed 15-Oct-14 16:38:08

How on earth do you manage to come up with such good jokes? I'm not particularly gifted with conversation and I just can't imagine deliberately saying something funny!

notagrandma Wed 15-Oct-14 16:53:55

Another Fawlty Towers fan here. Would love to know more about the inspiration. If only you had made more of them.

Thank you!

guardianreader Wed 15-Oct-14 16:58:44

Hello John you have said that you had a difficult relationship with your mother. Do you think this impacted on your relationships with women later in your life? I am thinking of your three marriages that failed.

GrannyCaz1 Wed 15-Oct-14 18:00:07

Loved the Episode of Fawlty Towers with the dead body in the room was absolutely hilarious

specki4eyes Thu 16-Oct-14 07:36:05

John .. I never fail to watch every single repeat of Fawlty Towers - almost know every script off by heart! AND I still laugh at every scene and nuance. Would you know if the hotelier who inspired you to write it moved to a hotel in Lyme Regis? I stayed there once and when I complained on the room phone that there was no hot water - he spat back that what did I expect - it WAS Saturday evening after all? When I insisted that I actually did expect hot water - he came bounding up the stairs and burst, without knocking, into my room to turn the taps on himself!! So Basil! Then in the dining room, he insisted that some American guests refer to the English breakfast they were ordering as "The Full House" and wouldn't accept their order until they spoke those exact words...they were so bewildered! More Basil!

Please do write something similar to FT ...soon!