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John Cleese

D.O.B. 1939-10-27 | Actor | Comedian | Producer | Writer
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Best known for:
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus
  • The Holy Grail
  • Fawlty Towers
  • Will & Grace

Stories

Ask Him Questions

A few years ago, John Cleese was having a show to raise money past his divorce. Show was great, personal anecdotes, bashing the ex and marriage in general (it was fun, I'm not anti marriage, just to clear that up).

At the end of the show, he had a session where the audience would come up to a mic and ask him questions. My friends and I had gallery seats, and it took some time to gather up the courage to go down there, so I had to run. Ran trough the theater, down the stairs, and made it to the line on the mic. Most of the other guy (and gals) had some decent question, such as "My best friend just got married, got any advice?" To wich Cleece screams "PRE-NUP!!" When the guy says that's too late, Cleese just starts laughing at the guy. It was quite intimidating for a 20 year old.....

So, my turn! I had already decided on my questions, we had two questions that we used for interviews at a uni-newspaper to test creativity and general sense of humour. So I ask Cleese if I can ask him two short questions, he promptly answers that I only get one shot. So I pick the best one: "What torture instrument do you identify with the most, and why?" Cleese's face lights up, and he cracks up, letting a whole new crazy laugh out, while he stammers "C-c-orkscrew!!".

Now, I'm about to walk away, laughing myself, but then he says "Okay, fire up the second one". Now I get nervous! I just made John Cleese burst out laughing in front of a few hundred people, this is going to flop like a dead baby seal..... So, the second question: "If you were a part of an airplane, what part would you be?". Sure, not a crazy question, the first one nets better responses, but Cleese really outdid himself. He pauses a bit, builds up a grin, and says: "The JOY!--stick!". And keeps laughing while I silently move away from the microphone with a giant grin!

Just Don't Mention The War

My dad and I were in London one day, I think we'd been to a museum, I was about 9, maybe 10. We decided to get a cab to a restaurant because I didn't like the confined trains.
So as we hail a cab, another gentleman about 4 feet away from us does the same. I turn to my dad and say "Look, it's the man from Fawlty Towers", low and behold, it was John Cleese in the flesh.
He was very courteous and insisted that we take the taxi. I also told him that I was a big fan of Fawlty Towers, despite it being made some 20 years before I was born to which he replied "just don't mention the war".

I Met John Cleese At An Airport When I Was 12.

I met John Cleese at an airport when I was 12. My brother, my dad and I walked up to him and his wife. We all knew him from Monty Python but he thought we knew him as Nearly Headless Nick from Harry Potter.
My dad told him that we we're going to buy the entire Monty Python DVD boxed set. He told us that we should use the $120 it would cost to buy ice cream instead, as that would be "a lot of ice cream".
He asked for our address and we ended up getting a signed picture of him in the mail. His wife was also very nice and recommended I read Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series (The Golden Compass, etc.) since I told her I like to read.

Silly Walks

Years ago, a friend of mine was studying abroad and had a master acting class with Mr. Cleese. As my friend tells it, the very first day of class Cleese says something along the lines of "Yes, I'm John Cleese, I'm famous, Monty Python etc, etc.
However, this is a serious class and our time is limited. If anyone, ever wastes our time mentioning anything related to Monty Python, they will fail. Especially the silly walks sketch."

Apparently he was really adamant about the silly walks, specifically. So the whole term plays out and is amazing and at the very end each student get a one-on-one meet with Mr. Cleese to discuss their progress and grade.
My friend can't help himself and blurts out how much he loved Monty Python and Fawlty Towers and all of it and that he thinks John Cleese is a genius. Cleese sighs, says "Well, I warned you about what would happen. I'm sorry, but you will not receive a passing mark in my class", stands up and silly walks out of the office.

I Helped John Cleese With A Crossword Puzzle

I helped John Cleese with a crossword puzzle on a plane when I was 5. He was sitting near us and kept saying to himself, "A five letter word that means, 'drill'."
Now I had just started watching a buttload of these videos about drills and cranes and machinery ("Hardhat Harry" if anyone is interested) and so I told him the answer: "Auger."

I didn't know who he was, but my mom realized it was him when the plane landed and she saw someone holding a sign that said, "Cleese."

The sign didn't really say this, it just had his name written on it. Sorry if I may have caused any misconceptions.

See Him Every Once In A While

He lives in my town and people will see him around every once and a while, just hanging out.

Once I was eating at a Chinese resturant and heard a banging behind me. Turn around and it's John Motherfucking Cleese just tappin on the window and waving at someone. Everyone was like, "Oh hey. It's John Cleese. Cool."