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John Cleese - Author

About the Author

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 first three TV series and in Monty Python 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 3rd Rock from the Sun, Will & Grace and Entourage. He lives in London.

Featured books by John Cleese

So, Anyway... The Autobiography

So, Anyway... The Autobiography

Author: John Cleese Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

Candid and brilliantly funny, this is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend. En route, John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic home life with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via scriptwriting for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python. Punctuated from time to time with John Cleese's thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and waterskiing, and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a former schoolmaster.

So, Anyway...

So, Anyway...

Author: John Cleese Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/10/2014

Candid and brilliantly funny, this is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a comedy giant. En route, John Cleese describes his nerve-wracking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of 8 and 5/6ths; his endlessly peripatetic home life with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work as a teacher who knew next to nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via script-writing for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python. Punctuated from time to time with John Cleese's thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and water-skiing, and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a master performer.

Other books by John Cleese

Professor at Large The Cornell Years

Professor at Large The Cornell Years

Author: John Cleese Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2018

And now for something completely different. Professor at Large features beloved English comedian and actor John Cleese in the role of ivy league professor at Cornell University. His almost twenty years as professor-at-large has led to many talks, essays, and lectures on campus. This collection of the very best moments from Cleese under his mortarboard provides a unique view of his endless pursuit of intellectual discovery across a range of topics. Since 1999, Cleese has provided Cornell students and local citizens with his ideas on everything from scriptwriting to psychology, religion to hotel management, and wine to medicine. His incredibly popular events and classes-including talks, workshops, and an analysis of A Fish Called Wanda and The Life of Brian-draw hundreds of people. He has given a sermon at Sage Chapel, narrated Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, conducted a class on script writing, and lectured on psychology and human development. Each time Cleese has visited the campus in Ithaca, NY, he held a public presentation, attended and or lectured in classes, and met privately with researchers. From the archives of these visits, Professor at Large includes an interview with screenwriter William Goldman, a lecture about creativity entitled, Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind, talks about Professor at Large and The Life of Brian, a discussion of facial recognition, and Cleese's musings on group dynamics with business students and faculty. Professor at Large provides a window into the workings of John Cleese's scholarly mind, showcasing the wit and intelligence that have driven his career as a comedian, while demonstrating his knack of pinpointing the essence of humans and human problems. His genius on the screen has long been lauded; now his academic chops get their moment in the spotlight, too.

So, Anyway...

So, Anyway...

Author: John Cleese Format: eBook Release Date: 13/12/2016

John Cleese's huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seem written into comedy's DNA. In this rollicking memoir, So, Anyway, Cleese takes readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.Cleese was just days away from graduating Cambridge and setting off on a law career when he was visited by two BBC executives, who offered him a job writing comedy for radio. That fateful momentand a near-simultaneous offer to take his university humor revue to London's famed West Endpropelled him down a different path, cutting his teeth writing for stars like David Frost and Peter Sellers, and eventually joining the five other Pythons to pioneer a new kind of comedy that prized invention, silliness, and absurdity. Along the way, he found his first true love with the actress Connie Booth and transformed himself from a reluctant performer to a world class actor and back again.Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressionswith some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what's funny and whythis story of a young man's journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.

So, Anyway... The Autobiography

So, Anyway... The Autobiography

Author: John Cleese Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

Candid and brilliantly funny, this is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend. En route, John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic home life with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via scriptwriting for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python. Punctuated from time to time with John Cleese's thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and waterskiing, and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a former schoolmaster.

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Every soundtrack episode of the classic BBC TV comedy

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Every soundtrack episode of the classic BBC TV comedy

Author: John Cleese, Connie Booth Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 19/02/2015

John Cleese's special introductions to each episode are included in this collection of all 12 TV soundtrack episodes. Welcome to Fawlty Towers, where attentive hotelier Basil Fawlty and his charming wife Sybil will attend to your every need - in your worst nightmare. With hapless waiter Manuel and long-suffering waitress Polly on hand to help, anything could happen during your stay - and probably will. Every episode of both TV series is included in this soundtrack collection: A Touch of Class; The Builders; The Wedding Party; The Hotel Inspectors; Gourmet Night; The Germans; Communication Problems; The Psychiatrist; Waldorf Salad; The Kipper and the Corpse; The Anniversary; Basil the Rat. Co-starring with John Cleese as Basil are Prunella Scales (Sybil), Andrew Sachs (Manuel), Connie Booth (Polly) with a supporting cast including Ballard Berkeley, Bernard Cribbins, Joan Sanderson, Geoffrey Palmer, Nicky Henson and Ken Campbell. Also included are special introductions to each episode by John Cleese.

So, Anyway... The Autobiography

So, Anyway... The Autobiography

Author: John Cleese Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 09/10/2014

Read by John Cleese with an introduction by Michael Palin. This is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend. En route, John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic home life with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via scriptwriting for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python. Includes archive clips of many of his most famous moments. Punctuated from time to time with John Cleese's thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and waterskiing, and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a former schoolmaster. This hilarious autobiography is told over 12 CDS.

Very Best of Monty Python

Very Best of Monty Python

Author: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2001

In October 1969, the BBC broadcast the first programme in a new series entitled 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', written and conceived by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Over the years the six of them followed this with another forty-four extremely silly programmes, a German TV special, five full-length feature films, seven books, nine long-playing records and live stage shows that toured the UK, Canada and America. In 'The Very Best of Monty Python', each of the surviving Pythons makes a personal choice of their favourite bits from the vast Python oeuvre. These include: Why accountancy is not boring, Spamalot, The Piranha Brothers, The Lumberjack Song, The Larch, Every Sperm is Sacred, The Ministry of Silly Walks, Always look on the Bright Side of Life, Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink, Rat Recipes, Albatross, Constitutional Peasants, Spam, Monsieur Creosote, The Meaning of Life, I'm so worried, Stan's right to have babies, Careers advice for Mr Anchovy, The Truth about Protestants, The News for Parrots, What have the Romans ever done for us?!, The Undertaker Sketch, Find the Fish, How to Talk to the Queen and many other classics of silliness.

Complete Fawlty Towers

Complete Fawlty Towers

Author: John Cleese, Connie Booth Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/08/1998

Life And How To Survive It

Life And How To Survive It

Author: John Cleese, Robin Skynner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/06/1996

Brilliantly entertaining, enlightening and inspiring, Robin Skynner and John Cleese take on the big issue: life, and the challenge of living, in all its myriad forms. This book is an essential guide to surviving life's ups and downs - at home or in the workplace, as a member of a family or society. Presented in the same lively style as the best-selling Families and How to Survive Them, Life extends Skynner's and Cleese's study beyond the family to relationships and group interaction in life outside it. The book deals with such pithy issues as: -Why life gives you all the lessons you need -How grief can be good for you -Why work is essential to our psychological health -What mid-life crisis means for you We are all searching for healthier, happier, more satisfying lives, but it's the journey that matters, not the destination. Skynner and Cleese are the perfect travelling companions.