Live with John Cleese in Santa Barbara (a memory from May 2008)

My previous post reminded me of That Time I saw John Cleese live in person, which I wrote up on LiveJournal soon after the fact. Here it is again:

Went back down to Santa Barbara on Thursday night to catch a special event on the UCSB campus: Mr. John Cleese introducing a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, followed by a question and answer session with Cleese. It wasn’t quite what I expected it to be, though worth the trip, and it was delightful to experience such a hearty dose of British wit that I’ve been missing. Cleese himself was on fine form despite being in a wheelchair due to a recent muscle injury. In fact, his wit was so sharp and very funny that I decided to write down what he was saying. Here are some soundbites.

“This movie was filmed in Scotland, a tiny area north of England.”

(On his in-process divorce): “I gave her $155,000 – can she live on that?”

“It is extremely good for people in their 20’s to be very uncomfortable.”

(Before the film started) “I’m off to a banquet. We’re eating far better than you.”

Audience Member: “Uhhh….”
Cleese: “Do you speak English?”

(On SPAMALOT) “The play was directed by Mike Nichols. He’s been around for 400 years! The late 50’s was just after the Second World War.”

“I get $5000 a year for being God.”

“I will possibly get married again. I’ll find someone I don’t like and buy her a house”

(On his wife’s spending habits) “I have an idea for a new show. Lifestyles of the Seriously Demented.”

Audience Member, about to ask a question: “John?!”
Cleese: “Who said you could call me John? It’s fucking Professor Cleese. It makes me feel so smart.”
(Laughter, then:)
Audience Member: “Fucking Professor Cleese?”
(More laughter.)

(On a moment while making the film) “There was a silence, as though someone had said let’s all go fuck Queen Elizabeth.”

“That’s a very good question, and I don’t think I can tell you the answer.”

“I love those kind of flattering words.”

“Would a drugstore have any cheese? It would be medical cheese. You would need a prescription.”

“Most of the really interesting people are here in America, where you can make things better.”

“What a fucking marvelous man.”


About JP

Once upon a time, there was a boy from New England. He grew up with a sense of adventure, loving to travel around the Northeast region. He could always count on the presence of a Buddhist community in his family and friends. Later, those interests merged. His sense of adventure continued to grow, expanding across Europe and then back the other direction across the USA.

Posted on August 26, 2014, in Movies, Theatre and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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