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John Cleese

John Cleese and Martin Short: Memoirs by your humble comedy legends

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As I was growing up, two famous comic troupes worked from different sides of the pond. On public television, Britain’s renowned Monty Python’s Flying Circus dazzled us with a singularly bizarre brand of humor that at any time might feature exploding penguins, singing lumberjacks, Spam-loving Vikings, or a pantomime Princess Margaret. Back home, each week, LIVE FROM NEW YORK! came Saturday Night Live, with its Coneheads, Blues Brothers, Land Sharks and Killer Bees. Some tried to argue over which series was funniest. The rest of us were content just to enjoy what we knew was a golden age of televised comedy. Now, we can take a look at these celebrated series and two of the men behind each with the…

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One down, five to go: Getting up close and personal with Monty Python

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It is easy to forget that the men who make up what began as Monty Python’s Flying Circus started out as writers.  John Cleese said as much when asked if “they ever made things up on stage.” “No, no,” responded Terry Jones immediately. “We aren’t improv actors. Everything is scripted.” “You see, we all started out as writers,” added Cleese. We were at an “add-on” Q&A session in a private room at the top of a bar in the O2, London’s rather amazing entertainment venue, following a performance of Monty Python Live (mostly). Originally meant as a meet-and-greet, the opening night enthusiasm had forced them to hire security and change it to strictly a Q&A session.  We lost the selfie…

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