John Cleese quotes

Born
27 October 1939 Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK.

Occupation
Actor, comedian, screenwriter.

John Cleese is an English actor, voice actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python.

You don’t have to be the Dalai Lama to tell people that life’s about change.
– John Cleese
God was treated like this powerful, erratic, rather punitive father who has to be pacified and praised. You know, flattered.
– John Cleese
I can never do better than Fawlty Towers whatever I do. Now I very much want to teach young talent some rules of the game.
– John Cleese
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.
– John Cleese
I want to write a book which is the history of comedy.
– John Cleese
In Britain, girls seem to be either bright or attractive. In America, that’s not the case. They’re both.
– John Cleese
A wonderful thing about true laughter is that it just destroys any kind of system of dividing people.
– John Cleese
If life were fair, Dan Quayle would be making a living asking ‘Do you want fries with that?’
– John Cleese
The Americans all love ‘The Holy Grail’, and the English all love ‘Life Of Brian’, and I’m afraid on this one, I side with the English.
– John Cleese
Don’t let anyone tell you what you ought to like… Some wines that some experts think are absolutely exquisite don’t appeal to me at all.
– John Cleese
If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
– John Cleese
The most creative people have this childlike facility to play.
– John Cleese
I have several times made a poor choice by avoiding a necessary confrontation.
– John Cleese
I think that money spoils most things, once it becomes the primary motivating force.
– John Cleese
Wine is wonderful stuff. But so many people are put off by the snobbery of it.
– John Cleese
But then acting is all about faking. We’re all very good at faking things that we have no competence with.
– John Cleese
English television from the Fifties to the Nineties was the least bad in the world, and now it’s just as bad as it is anywhere.
– John Cleese
Filming takes a lot out of you. It really does. It’s immensely demanding, and you have to put the rest of your life in the icebox until you do your final shot.
– John Cleese
I don’t miss London much. I find it crowded, vast and difficult to get around. Cabs are incredibly expensive.
– John Cleese
The really good idea is always traceable back quite a long way, often to a not very good idea which sparked off another idea that was only slightly better, which somebody else misunderstood in such a way that they then said something which was really rather interesting.
– John Cleese
I would say that I began with a very edgy, very driven personality and after a sufficient amount of therapy over many, many years, I managed to become rather relaxed and happy.
– John Cleese
I love having different cultures around, but when the parent culture kind of dissipates, you’re left thinking, ‘Well, what’s going on?’
– John Cleese
Who’s ever going to write a film in which I get the girl? Me!
– John Cleese
I just think that sometimes we hang onto people or relationships long after they’ve ceased to be of any use to either of you. I’m always meeting new people, and my list of friends seems to change quite a bit.
– John Cleese
I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.
– John Cleese
I’m always meeting new people, and my list of friends seems to change quite a bit.
– John Cleese
I was always a sports nut but I’ve lost interest now in whether one bunch of mercenaries in north London is going to beat another bunch of mercenaries from west London.
– John Cleese
Well, the only way I can get a leading-man role is if I write it.
– John Cleese
I think that sometimes you do something that makes a small group of people laugh, which is all we were trying to do; we were just trying to make each other laugh.
– John Cleese
I can’t tell you how scary it can be walking onto a movie and suddenly joining this family, it’s like going to somebody else’s Christmas dinner, everyone knows everyone, and you’re there and you’re not quite sure what you’re supposed to be doing.
– John Cleese
If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.
– John Cleese
Sci-fi has never really been my bag. But I do believe in a lot of weird things these days, such as synchronicity. Quantum physics suggests it’s possible, so why not?
– John Cleese
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.
– John Cleese
Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited.
– John Cleese
The English contribution to world cuisine – the chip.
– John Cleese
When you’ve been doing comedy for forty years, you really do know most of the jokes. And even if you don’t know a specific joke, you can pretty much guess what it’s going to be.
– John Cleese
For me, the great problem growing up in England was that I had a very narrow concept of what God can be, and it was damn close to an old man with a beard.
– John Cleese
Now most people do not want an ordinary life in which they do a job well, earn the respect of their collaborators and competitors, bring up a family and have friends. That’s not enough any more, and I think that is absolutely tragic – and I’m not exaggerating – that people feel like a decent, ordinary, fun life is no longer enough.
– John Cleese
He who laughs most, learns best.
– John Cleese
A man will give up almost anything except his suffering.
– John Cleese
I tend to have an odd split in my mind: I tend to look at it as a writer and when the writing thing is OK and I’m happy with it, then I put on my actor’s hat.
– John Cleese
Some actors, I think, want to feel that they are as creative as the writer. And the answer is, frankly, they’re not.
– John Cleese
I was very sad to hear of the death of Ronnie Barker, who was such a warm, friendly and encouraging presence to have when I started in television. He was also a great comic actor to learn from.
– John Cleese
England is a fairly envious little country and it’s embodied in the press. They don’t like anyone being more distinguished than they are.
– John Cleese