October 27, 1939-
Member of the comedy group Monty Pythonby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
"Whoever laughs the most learns the most" This is a quote by John Cleese, member of the Monty Python comedy group and actor.2 There are many comedians in our world, a majority of these comedians are not very appropriate though. This is no different for famous comedian and actor John Cleese. While he is in some very funny and entertaining movies most of them are not appropriate for all ages. Even though Cleese is not always in the best movies he is still one of the most well known comedians of all time.
John Cleese was born on October 27, 1939 to Reginald and Muriel Cleese in the small town of Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England.1 His last name would have been Cheese but Reginald Cheese changed his last name to Cleese when he signed up for the army. Even though he was 6 foot tall by the age of 12, he was still often picked on by bullies.3 Cleese attended St. Peter's Prep and then he went on to Clifton college where he had mostly A's. He was then offered a position at Downing College in Cambridge to read law. When he got to Cambridge he tried to join the group Footlights but was rejected. He then teamed up with Alan Hutchison to write the show "I Thought I Saw It Move" and this was so popular that they were both entered into the group. Through this group Cleese met Graham Chapman and the two form a partnership that would prove to be more than successful.
After graduating, Cleese took a job at BCC where he wrote for many new shows and several shows already on air at the time. He briefly toured with his own play, Cambridge Circus, first in New Zealand, then on Broadway. After the tour, Cleese took up a journalism job with Newsweek. He was then involved in the magazine Help! for a brief amount of time. Cleese was involved in several other shows before the group Monty Python was started.
Once the Monty Python group was established they had a highly successful TV called Monty Python's Flying Circus. Cleese was involved in the first three seasons but got tired of the show and left before the fourth season. After he left, the show ratings fell and that was the final season. Monty Python continued to do some things and actually released three movies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and The Meaning of Life. He displayed his talent in many ways in each of the Monty Python movies. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail he acted as seven different characters, Sir Lancelot, Tim the Enchanter, one of two swallow obsessed guards, one of two peasants arguing politics in the mud, Black Knight, French Taunter, and the body cart customer.
Even though his career with Monty Python was over, he continues to play small roles in many popular movies. He has played in the James Bond movies starting with The World Is Not Enough as the assistant and then replacement for Q. He has been in all five Harry Potter movies as Nearly Headless Nick. He also starred in the hit comedy A Fish Called Wanda. He played small roles in The Wind in the Willows, Rat Race, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Around the World in 80 Days, Charlotte's Web, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Igor, and The Pink Panther 2. He has even been in several video games such as the games for The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time, Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, 007 Racing and Trivial Pursuit.
John Cleese has had a very long and successful career as a comedy actor. Many of his movies have been large blockbuster hits, but he has acted in some weird movies too. All in all though it is hard to deny him the fact that he is very funny although sometime inappropriate. John Cleese is an iconic comedian who inspired others in a similar twisted brand of humor.
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