Movies, Theatre

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.”


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