John Cleese

From Quotes
Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show you a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass. The only men who are past the danger of making mistakes are the men who sleep at Greenwood.
H. L. Wayland
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He who laughs most, learns best.

John Marwood Cleese (born 1939-10-27) 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.

Sourced

Basil Fawlty was an easy character for me. For some reason, portraying a mean uptight incompetent bully comes naturally to me.
When you get to my age ... 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.
  • 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.
    • On Fresh Air with Terry Gross
  • 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.
    • On Fresh Air with Terry Gross
  • Cleese: 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, playing role of senile old man.
  • Cleese: 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, playing role of senile old man.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 600 years ago we would have been burned for this (Life of Brian). Now, what I'm suggesting is that we've advanced.
  • Aping Urbanity, Oozing with Vanity
    Plump as a Manatee, Faking Humanity
    Journalistic Calamity, Intellectual Inanity
    Fox News Insanity, You're a profanity
    Hannity

Unsourced

  • Come to me. I want to plow you like a Calgary driveway at Christmas.
  • Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited.
  • He who laughs most, learns best.
  • I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel, and incompetent comes naturally to me.
  • If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at the particular point I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge its truth.
  • If life were fair, Dan Quayle would be making a living asking "Do you want fries with that?"
  • If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
  • If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.
  • I used to desire many, many things, but now I have just one desire, and that's to get rid of all my other desires.
  • The one thing I remember about Christmas was that my father used to take me out in a boat about ten miles offshore on Christmas Day, and I used to have to swim back. Extraordinary. It was a ritual. Mind you, that wasn't the hard part. The difficult bit was getting out of the sack.
  • The three differences between American and British people:
    • We speak English and you don't.
    • When we hold a World Championship for a particular sport, we invite teams from other countries to play, as well.
    • When you meet the head of state in Great Britain, you only have to go down on one knee.
  • I would like to give a gift to all of my Canadian fans... (pulls out a gun and shoots Ben Mulroney in the chest)
  • If you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick. (referring to Palmerston North, New Zealand)

External links

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