Full Episode: John Cleese, January 8, 2016

In this special edition of MetroFocus, we’re joined by John Cleese, actor, comedian and the creative genius behind “Monty Python.” Its spin-off, “Spamalot” ran on Broadway for four years and earned a 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical. Cleese played the audio-only role of God, of course.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS' ON OF THE GENIUSES BEHIND MONTY PYTHON IS HERE ALL THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

Announcer: THIS I 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENN FLANIGAN FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FO 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY - MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOU RETIREMENT COMPANY

> THIS IS --

NO, NO.

I FART IN YOUR GENERA DIRECTION.

JOHN, WELCOME

THANK YOU

YOU WENT TO CAMBRIDGE YOU WENT TO CAMBRIDGE TO STUDY SCIENCE.

YOU SWITCHED TO LAW.

YES

HOW DID WRITING COMEDY AN PERFORMING GET INTO THE MIX?

COMPLETELY BY ACCIDENT.

IT WAS LIKE THE HASTY PUDDIN CLUB AT HARVARD.

I TOYED WITH JOINING WHEN I WENT UP TO SORT OF LITTLE STORE THAT THEY HAD A THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR WHEN ALL THE DIFFERENT SOCIETIES WERE GATHERED IN THIS HUGE HALL AND PUT UP LITTLE STORES AND TRIED TO PERSUADE YOU TO LEARN HOW T FLY AIRCRAFT OR HOW TO BE A GOOD YOUNG CHRISTIAN, I WENT UP T THE DESK AND I SAID I WA INTERESTED THEY SAID TO ME, FINE, FINE.

CAN YOU SING AND I'M THE WORST SINGER IN TH WORLD.

I WAS ONCE IN A BROADWAY MUSICAL AND I WAS FORBIDDEN TO SING.

AND I SAID, NO, I DON'T SING THEY SAID, DO YOU DANCE?

I SAID DANCE I'M ENGLISH.

NO, I DON'T DANCE.

THEY SAID, WHAT DO YOU DO?

I TRY TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH I WENT BRIGHT RED AND RAN AWAY ABOUT TWO TERMS LATER, M CLOSEST FRIEND SAID HE MET SOMEONE IN THE CLUB AND WH DIDN'T WE GO ALONG I WENT ALONG AND I FOUND THE WERE THE NICEST PEOPLE A CAMBRIDGE BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T STUCK-UP ORSNOTTY.

THEY HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR AN VALUES IT WAS A PLEASURE.

SO I STARTED DOING SKETCHE THERE WITHOUT REALLY THE SLIGHTEST INTENTION OF -- IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT COULD COME INTO SHOW BUSINESS.

BECAUSE PEOPLE FROM MY LITTL TOWN WHERE I WAS BORN, YOU KNOW, IT WAS LIKELY TO BE THE POPE A A COMEDIAN IT WASN'T ON RADAR SCREEN.

YOU WERE A SHOP KEEPER, YOU SOLD INSURANCE, THIS KIND OF THING.

YOU MIGHT BECOME A BANK MANAGE IF YOU DID REALLY WELL SO I GOT INTO THE CLUB AND THE THE CLUB USED TO PUT A SHOW ON AT THE END OF EACH ACADEMIC YEAR IN JUNE.

AND THEY USED THE BEST MATERIA FROM ALL THE CONCERTS WE HAD DONE EVERY YEAR AND THE BEST PERFORMERS WOULD BE IN IT.

MY SECOND YEAR, I GOT IN THE SHOW SOMEBODY CAME TO SEE US TH SECOND WEEK OF OUR TWO-WEEK RU IN CAMBRIDGE AND SAID, I WANT TO PUT YOU ON THE WEST END.

WE SAID WHAT HE SAID, OUR LITTLE STUDEN REVIEW, IT'S VERY FUNNY.

IT'S GOING TO WORK HE PUT US ON THE WEST END.

IT RAN FOR FIVE MONTHS DURING THAT TIME THE BBC SAI WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK IN RADIO?

WHICH IS MY FAVORITE MEDIUM.

AS A WRITER OF COMEDY.

I SAID I WOULD LOVE TO I WROTE TO THIS POSH FIRM OF LAWYERS.

WHO HAD OFFERED YOU A JOB

SOLICITORS OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND.

I SAID I'M GOING TO DECLINE YOUR INVITATION I'M GOING INTO SHOW BUSINESS THEY MUST HAVE THOUGHT, HE'S MAD.

ONE PERSON WHO APPARENTLY WAS OFFERING YOU MORE JOBS THA ANYONE ELSE WAS DAVID FROST.

TALK ABOUT HIM AND HOW IMPORTANT HE WAS

HE WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME I GOTTA SAY HE'S A VERY SWEE GUY.

I NEVER HEARD HIM MAKE A MEA REMARK ABOUT ANYONE.

HE WAS VERY -- AND HE WAS KIND AND HE WAS AMBITIOUS AND EXTROVERTED IN THE WAY ENGLISH ARE.

SOMEBODY SAID HE WAS RESENTED IN ENGLAND.

IF HE WAS IN AMERICA, WE WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THAT IN MY FIRST YEAR, HE WAS IN HI LAST YEAR.

AT CAMBRIDGE?

AT CAMBRIDGE.

AND HE DID SOME MATERIAL OF MINE IN THE REVIEW.

AND SO I ALWAYS -- EVEN WHEN H WAS VERY IMPORTANT, HE WAS ALWAYS VERY FRIENDLY AND NOT STUCK-UP HE SEEMED TO MAINTAIN A CONTAC WITH ME.

I REALIZE THAT HE HAD SPOTTE THAT I HAD TALENT, WHICH NOBOD HAD.

THAT WAS HIS TALENT IT SEEMS, RIGHT?

THAT WAS HIS TALENT YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT HE WAS A FABULOUS SPOTTER OF TALENT AND A VERY GOOD PRODUCER BECAUSE IF HE TRUSTED YOU, H GAVE THE FRAMEWORK BUT HE NEVE INTERFERED HE JUST LET YOU GET ON WITH IT AND FOUR MONTHS AFTER HE LEF CAMBRIDGE, THE MOS EXTRAORDINARY THING HAPPENED T HIM, WHICH HE WAS CHOSEN T FRONT THE VERY FIRST SHOW HE HAD ON ENGLISH TELEVISION -- THA WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS.

THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS.

WHEN IT SPREAD TO AMERICA BECAUSE IT WAS SO SUCCESSFUL EACH WEEK AND DO THE SHOW HERE SO HE SUDDENLY BECAME A HUGE STAR AND HE HAD HIS OWN SHOWS HE BECAME VERY FAMOUS.

HE HAD A PARTY OF LONDON ZOO AND THE BRITISH CABINET, THEY AL WENT HE WAS A HUGE FIGURE WHEN I WAS IN AMERICA ONCE REALLY NOT KNOWING WHAT I WA GOING TO DO NEXT, DAVID RANG M OUT OF THE BLUE AND SAID, HELLO.

I SAID, HELLO.

HE SAID, I'M DOING A SHOW FO THE BBC IN THE NEW YEAR.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN IT AND I -- NOBODY KNEW WHO I WAS SO HE PICKED ME OUT OF COMPLET OBSCURITY AND PUT ME O TELEVISION THREE MONTHS, FOUR MONTHS LATER, THREE MONTHS LATER I WAS DOING A SHOW TO 14 MILLION PEOPLE.

PRETTY BIG AUDIENCE.

I WAS DOING IT LIVE.

I NEARLY DIED OF FEAR.

IT WAS TERRIFYING.

I HAD NO BACKGROUND IN TELEVISION BUT AS A RESULT OF THAT, EVERYTHING THEN TOOK OFF AND HE THEN COMMISSIONED ME TO DO WHAT WAS GOING TO BE MY OWN SHOW, WHICH FINISHED UP TO I THE 1948 SHOW.

AND I -- YOU KNOW, I DISCOVERE MARTY.

HE WAS A WRITER YOU PUT HIM ON TV.

PEOPLE DIDN'T WANT TO PUT HIM ON TV BECAUSE HE LOOKED WEIRD

WHEN I SAID TO DAVID THAT I WANTED TO PUT MARTY IN THE SHO THAT HE HAD OFFERED ME, REMEMBER DAVID SAID, WHAT ABOU THE WAY HE LOOKS AS THOUGH IT WAS A DISADVANTAGE.

AND THEN AFTER THAT, DAVID HAD COMMISSIONED A COUPLE OF FILMS FOR ME, ONE OF WHICH WAS MADE.

AND HE WAS A LOVELY INFLUENCE.

AND I WAS VERY SAD WHEN HE DIED.

PETER SELLERS, TALK ABOUT HIM.

WE WERE VERY LUCKY.

I MET HARRY, WHO HAD WORKED -- I DON'T THINK YOU KNOW HARRY I AMERICA.

I READ ABOUT HIM IN THE BOOK.

HE WAS WONDERFUL.

ONE OF THE NICEST MEN I MET.

AND I THINK HE ASKED ME -- HARRY ASKED ME TO WRITE MATERIAL FOR HIM.

HE RECOMMENDED ME TO PETER AND I STARTED WRITING FOR PETER.

I HAVE TO SAY, COULDN'T HAVE BEEN A BETTER EXPERIENCE I KNOW THERE WAS A VERY NAST BIOGRAPHY ABOUT HIM.

HE GOT THE BALANCE WRONG WHAT WAS INTERESTING ABOUT SELLERS IS HE WAS UNBELIEVABLY BRILLIANT.

I GOTTA ASK YOU ABOUT THE BIZARRE STORY WHEN YOU AND CHAPMAN MET HIM EARLY ON, WHEN HE WAS JUST WAKING UP.

THAT'S RIGHT.

AND HE GOT OUT OF HIS BEDROOM AND STARTED TALKING TO YOU WHAT HAPPENED?

WHAT I WAS FASCINATED BY WITH SELLERS WAS IF HE LISTENED T YOU FOR 30 SECONDS, HE COULD D YOUR VOICE SO WELL THAT A FRIEND LISTENING TO HIM ON TH TELEPHONE WOULD THINK HE WAS YOU.

I MEAN, HE COULD JUST TAKE YOU ACCENT AND STEAL IT.

AND IT TOOK HIM NO TIME DO THAT.

I THOUGHT, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

AND THEN ONE MORNING WE ARRIVE EARLY.

HIS DEAR CHAUFFEUR SAID, I WIL MAKE YOU COFFEE.

HE IS STILL WAKING UP.

AND WHEN HE CAME OUT OF TH BEDROOM IN HIS DRESSING GOWN, HE WAS TALKING TO US APOLOGIZING.

BUT IN A VOICE WE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE.

AND THEN AFTER A FEW PACES TOWARDS US HE STARTED TALKING IN THIS RATHER -- AND THEN HE WENT -- IT WAS EASTERN EUROPEA ACCENT AS HE CAME PAST US AN SAT DOWN THEN AFTER TEN SECONDS, HE I TALKING IN HIS OWN VOICE AND AFTERWARDS I SAID TO GRAHAM, I SAID, THIS IS WHAT I THOUGHT HAPPENED HE SAID, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED.

AND WE REALIZED THAT IN TH MORNING, PETER HAD TO FIND HIS OWN VOICE.

HE WAS SO VOID --

YES AND THAT WAS WHY HE COULD TAKE ON SOMEONE ELSE'S VOICE OR INDEED PERSONALITY BECAUSE THERE WAS SO LITTLE OF HIMSELF THERE.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN IF I TRY TO IMPERSONATE -- I CAN'T GET RID OF ME.

SELLERS COULD.

HE WASN'T PUTTING YOU ON?

NO.

OH, NO NO IT WAS A MOMENT OF SEEING BEHIND THE SCREEN THAT THAT WAS WHY H WAS AN AMAZING IMPERSONATOR.

I HAVE THIS BRITISH FRIEN WHO TOLD ME ONCE THAT HE WAS AMAZED MONTY PYTHON HAD BEEN S SUCCESSFUL IN THE UNITED STATE BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT WA BRITISH COMEDY DO YOU THINK THE COMEDY OF MONTY PYTHON WAS SO INHERENTLY BRITISH?

WE NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD HAVE A CHANCE IN THE UNITE STATES AND WE -- I CAN BACK THAT UP BECAUSE AFTER THE FIRST SERIES A GUY CAME FROM BOSTON AND SAID HE HAD HEARD ABOUT THIS SERIES AN COULD HE WATCH A COUPLE OF EPISODES AND SO WE WENT IN A DARKENED ROOM AND WE RAN A COUPLE O EPISODES AFTERWARDS HE SAT THERE LOOKIN AS THOUGH HE HAD SEEN A GHOST.

HE COULD HARDLY SPEAK AND HE HAD GONE WHITE I WAS TERRIFIED.

HE SORT OF MUSTERED APOLOGIE AND LEFT IN CONFUSION.

AND THEN I GOT A CALL FROM A FELLOW, AN OLD FRIEND OF MINE.

HE WAS THE NUMBER TWO AT 'PLAYBOY' AND HE DID THE MARKETING IN THE EARLY YEARS HE WAS A PAL OF HEFNER HEFNER SENT HIM TO LONDON.

AND HE CALLED ME AND GAVE ME LUNCH.

HE SAID, I LOVE MONTY PYTHON BUT IT'S NEVER GOING TO GET ON AMERICAN TELEVISION.

HE SAID, LET'S MAKE A FILM BECAUSE THEN WE CAN GET IT O COLLEGE CAMPUS CINEMAS WE NEVER HAD ANY IDEA IT WAS GOING TO CATCH ON.

AND IT DIDN'T CATCH ON UNTIL W STOPPED MAKING THE TELEVISIO SHOWS.

IT STARTED IN DALLAS IN '74?

A PBS STATION AND THEY SAID, HAVE THEY BURNE THE STATION?

IT'S OKAY.

IT CAUGHT ON.

PBS AND SOMEBODY ON PBS SAI IF IT WASN'T FOR MONTY PYTHON, WE MIGHT NOT STILL BE AROUND BECAUSE WE DREW A LOT OF PEOPLE.

WE WERE -- MIND YOU, ONCE YO PAID US.

I USED TO GET A QUARTER OF ONE PERCENT OF MY FEE.

SO -

BUT YOU WERE ON PBS

I WAS ON PBS.

LISTEN I USED TO GET A QUARTER OF 1%. I USED TO GET 240 POUNDS A SHOW.

WHICH IS NOT A FORTUNE SO THAT'S TWO POUNDS 40 AFTE YOU HAVE DONE THE 1% AND A QUARTER OF THAT WAS IS 60.

IF YOU DO 13 SHOWS, I MUST HAV MADE SOMETHING IN THE ORDER OF $13.

IF YOU SHOWED A WHOLE SERIES, COULD BUY DINNER

HOW DID YOU -- HOW DID TH SIX OF YOU COME TOGETHER, TH SIX MONTY PYTHONERS?

WE KNEW EACH OTHER IN DIFFERENT WAYS IT'S ODD IT'S ALL IN THE BOOK, OBVIOUSLY.

GILIAM SAW ME ON STAGE HE LIKED THE FACES I PULLED.

ENORMOUS COMPLIMENT FOR AN ACTOR TO BE TOLD YOU PULL GOOD FACES AND I DID A MAGAZINE THING WIT HIM WHERE THEY PHOTOGRAPHED AN HAD MY DIALOGUE IN BUBBLES CHAPMAN I KNEW FROM CAMBRIDGE IN '62.

I JUST MET ERIC BECAUSE MY LAS YEAR WAS HIS FIRST WE KNEW EACH OTHER A LITTLE BI AT CAMBRIDGE THEN THESE OTHER GUYS, THE OXFORD GUYS, MIKE AND TERRY, THEY HAD DONE A SHOW IN LONDON THEN THEY WERE UP AT A FESTIVA WHEN ERIC WAS THERE.

WE KNEW THEM PERIPHERALLY.

WHEN DAVID ASKED ME TO DO TH SHOW, THEY WERE ON THE WRITERS TABLE.

APART FROM MARTY, WHO WAS TH SCRIPT EDITOR, IT WAS MYSELF CHAPMAN AND ERIC IN 1966, THERE WERE FIVE OTHER WRITERS, BUT THEY WERE OLDER THAN US.

WE GOT ON TERRIBLY WEL TOGETHER THEN WE SPLIT UP I WENT OFF TO WRITE FOR SELLERS.

THE OTHER GUYS ALL WENT OFF -- CHAPMAN WAS WITH ME.

THEY WENT OFF AND MADE A VER GOOD KID SERIES, LITERALLY - YEAH, IT WAS -- IT WAS THE FUNNIEST THING ON ENGLIS TELEVISION PROGRAM PLANNERS BEING PEOPL THEY ARE, THEY PUT IT OUT AT 5:00 WE RANG THEM UP AND WE SAID, WHY DON'T WE DO A SHOW TOGETHER?

THAT WAS THE START OF IT ALL I HAVE TO TELL YOU, THE VERY FIRST MEETING WHEN WE WENT ALONG TO THE ENTERTAINMENT BBC AND W SAID -- THE GUY GREETED UP HE SAID, I HEARD YOU WANT TO D A SERIES OF WE SAID YES.

HE SAID, WHAT ARE YOU PROPOSIN TO DO?

AND IT'S SO TYPICAL.

IT WAS AN AWKWARD SILENC BECAUSE WE HADN'T DISCUSSED IT

NO IDEA WHAT YOU WERE -

NO.

AND HE ASKED US.

AND WE SAID, WE'RE GOING TO DO HUMOROUS TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH.

COMEDY MATERIAL AND JOKES AN VISUAL GAGS.

AND HE SAID, GO AWAY AND MAKE 13 PROGRAMS

EVEN WITHOUT A PILOT.

WITHOUT A PILOT HE GAVE US A SERIES.

HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WE WER GOING TO DO.

WE DIDN'T KNOW BUT I LEARNED FROM THAT.

YOU SEE, I THINK THAT'S WHY IT WAS SO CREATIVE.

PEOPLE WILL BE SURPRISED, BUT IF WE HAD COME UP WITH A CONCEP AFTER THAT WE WOULD HAVE BEE FITTING OUR STUFF INTO THE CONCEPT.

BY STARTING OUT LITERALLY NOT --

A BLANK SLATE FILL IT UP HOWEVER YOU WISH.

YOU CAN LET CREATIVITY COME FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS I LECTURE ON THIS.

IT COMES FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS.

YOU CAN'T GUESS WHERE THAT'S GOING.

WHEN I GO TO WRITE, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO WRITE.

I WON'T MAKE MY MIND UP FOR TW OR THREE WEEKS UNTIL I SEE WHERE THE ENERGY IS.

AS THE QUAKERS SAY, WHERE TH SPIRIT IS MOVING ME.

YOU GOT ALONG FINE BEFORE YOU STARTED WORKING TOGETHER DID YOU GET ALONG AS FINE AFTE YOU STARTED SHOVING EACH OTHER MAYBE YOU DIDN'T SHOVE EAC OTHER.

PEOPLE WERE FASCINATED IN THE ARGUMENTS BECAUSE THAT'S ALL THAT HAPPENS IN THEI ENVIRONMENT.

IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE PEOPL COULD COEXIST RELATIVELY FRIENDLY

HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHIC SKETCH WOULD GO ON THE AIR

WE WOULD GO AWAY AND WRIT AND COME IN AND SIT AROUND A TABLE AND WE WOULD READ IT OUT IF IT -- PEOPLE LAUGHED, IT WA IN THE SHOW.

IF PEOPLE LAUGHED AT HALF OF IT, WE'LL KEEP THE FUNNY BIT THEN WE GOT THIS WAY OF DOING IT WITH A KIND OF FLOW BY CUTTING SKETCHES OFF AT THE MOMENT THA THEY STOPPED BEING FUNNY

THERE WAS NO COMPETITION AS TO WHO WOULD PLAY WHAT PART?

NONE AT ALL

IT WAS OBVIOUS.

WE WERE WRITERS PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE ME, BUT I PROMISE YOU FOR THE -- IF YO WANT TO UNDERSTAND PYTHON, W WERE SIX WRITERS WHO HAPPENED TO PERFORM OUR OWN STUFF.

ALL THE SQUABBLING WAS ABOUT THE MATERIAL BUT IT WAS INNOCENT.

IT WAS THE MOTIVATION WAS VERY ARTISTIC WHAT'S THE BEST WAY?

SHOULD THE SKETCH GO THI DIRECTION OR THAT DIRECTION?

YOU KNOW IS THIS PARTICULAR PIECE FUNNY AS IS IT SHOULD IT BE REWRITTEN THAT'S WHAT WE ARGUED ABOUT LIKE CATS AND DOGS.

IN A WAY IT WAS GOOD, BECAUSE WE CARED.

ONCE WE GOT TO CASTING IF I HA WRITTEN A SKETCH, I KNEW ERI HAD TO PLAY THAT, I HAD TO PLA THAT

A LOT OF THE SKETCHES WOULD BE CONSIDERED TODAY INSENSITIVE, IF NOT DOWNRIGHT OFFENSIVE RIGHT?

YOU KNOW

I LOVE INSENSITIVE.

OFFENSIVE IT BEGS THE QUESTION, COUL MONTY PYTHON BE BORN TODAY

NO.

ABSOLUTELY NOT WE WOULD NEVER GET AWAY WITH IT.

BACK IN '69, WE NEVER THOUGHT WE COULD GET AWAY WITH IT O AMERICAN TELEVISION.

NOW WE GOT BACK THERE.

IT'S A LITTLE BIT SAD.

I SAW WHAT JERRY SEINFELD SAID RECENTLY ABOUT WORKING O CAMPUSES I HAD A LOVELY -

HE SAID HE WOULDN'T BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE ANY SENSE OF HUMOR.

YES I WAS WARNED -- I HOPE DAV DOESN'T MIND ME SAYING THIS BU I'M A HUGE FAN OF DAVE BERRY WHO I THINK IS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST WRITERS.

I GOT TO KNOW HIM.

I ADMIRE HIM HE SAID, BE CAREFUL.

ONCE YOU GET INTO THAT ARE WHERE THERE IS NO SENSE OF HUMOR, A SENSE OF HUMOR IS A SENSE OF PROPORTION.

SO ONCE PEOPLE LOSE THEIR SENS OF PROPORTION, YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH THEM.

THE ANSWER IS, DON'T GO NEAR THESE PEOPLE

WHAT DO YOU DO?

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS?

THE WONDERFUL THING IS TH PYTHONS HAVE A LICENSE PEOPLE THINK, YOU ALWAYS DID THIS IT'S NOT AS THOUGH YOU SUDDENL STARTED DOING IT ALSO, THE LOVELY THING ABOUT GETTING OLD IS THAT PEOPLE CAN'T PERCEIVE PEOPLE, THEY DON' THINK I CAN'T STAND AMIDST M SIX TICKETS.

THEY ARE THERE BECAUSE THEY LIKE MY STUFF THEY ARE PRESELECTED TO BE OKA WITH THE KIND OF MATERIAL I DO BUT I LIKE PLAYING WITH THIS BECAUSE IT'S VERY FUNN SOMETIMES WHEN THE AUDIENC GOES -- WE HAD A WONDERFUL MOMENT WHEN ERIC -- WE USED TO GET QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENC AND PUT THEM IN A BOWL I SAID, WHAT IS THAT HE SAID, DO YOU WANT THIS ONE?

HE SAID, DID THE QUEEN KIL DIANA?

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

I LOVE THE RESPONSE.

I ACTUALLY SAID, NOT WITH TH BARE HANDS WHICH GOT A GOO LAUGH.

IT'S FUN TO PLAY WITH THAT STUFF INSTEAD OF IMAGINING THA EVERYONE IS SO FRAGILE THAT IF YOU MAKE A JOKE ABOUT THEM THE ARE GOING TO FALL APART.

JOHN, THE MEMOIR GOES UP TO 1969 THE BEGINNING OF MONTY PYTHON.

IS THERE GOING TO BE A VOLUM TWO?

YEAH.

I DON'T WANT TO DO -- FISH CALLED WANDA AND ALL OF THAT A LOT OF STUFF TO DO BUT PEOPLE SAID WE THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO BE MORE ABOUT MONTY PYTHON IT WOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED MONT PYTHON BUT THIS IS AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY IT'S ABOUT MY LIFE IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME IF PEOPLE AREN'T INTERESTED IN MY LIFE A ALL.

BUT IF THEY LIKE MY COMEDY MAYBE THEY ARE IN WHICH CASE THEY CAN FIND OU WHAT MY EXPERIENCE WAS AND HOW I THINK MY SENSE O HUMOR WAS HONED AND BROUGHT TO THE POINT THROUGH THE GOON SHO AND THINGS LIKE THAT WHEN IT EMERGED AS PYTHON.

NEAR THE END OF THE BOOK, YOU INCLUDE THE FAMOUS QUOTE BY SI HENRY IRWIN WHEN HE SAYS ON HI DEATH BED -- HE IS ASKED ON HI DEATH BED IF DIEING IS HARD.

HE SAID, DIEING IS EASY, COMED IS HARD.

GIVEN THAT, WHAT IS YOUR NUMBE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SOME FOOLISH YOUNG PERSON WHO WANTS TO GET INTO THIS COMEDY WRITIN GAME

WELL, IF YOU ARE AT THE VER BEGINNING, FIND STUFF.

I'M A FRIEND OF BILL DOLMAN, A GREAT SCREENWRITER HE SAID THE SAME THING WHEN HE TALKED TO YOUNG PEOPLE, FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE AND WATCH I UNTIL YOU ARE NO LONGE EMOTIONALLY AFFECTED BY IT IF IT'S A DRAMATIC SCENE, UNTI YOU ARE NOT MOVED BY I EMOTIONALLY.

IF IT'S A FUNNY SCENE, UNTIL YOU NO LONGER THINK IT'S FUNNY AND THEN YOU START SEEING HO IT'S DONE.

SO I WOULD SAY CHOOSE SOMEBODY A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT YOU REALLY LIKE AND JUST START WATCHING THEIR STUFF YOU BEGIN TO SEE HOW IT'S DONE WHILE YOU ARE STILL LAUGHING YOU CAN'T -- YOU DON'T SEE THE MECHANISM.

I HAVE TO ASK YOU THIS.

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ALL-TIME MONTY PYTHON SKIT?

PROBABLY THE CHEESE SHOP.

RELENTLESSNESS OF THE CHEESE AND SAYING WE NEVER HAVE IT ON A TUESDAY OR THE CAT ATE IT OR THERE'S NO CALL FOR CHEDDA AROUND HERE ALL THIS TIME.

WHEN I READ THAT OUT, I HAD TH HAPPIEST MOMENT OF MY ENTIRE PYTHON CAREER, WHICH WAS THA MICHAEL STARTED TO LAUGH AFTER 30 SECONDS OF THE SHEER PREDIC PREDICTABILITY OF IT HE ROLLED AROUND ON THE FLOO UNABLE TO STAND UP THAT WAS THE BEST MOMENT

AND YOUR SECOND FAVORITE?

I THINK THE FISH DANCE.

WHAT IS SO FUNNY IS PEOPLE HOWL AT IT.

IF YOU SAID WHAT DOES IT MEAN, IT MEANS NOTHING IT'S LIKE THE LINE IN LIFE O BRIAN WHEN HE SAYS, YOU ARE AL INDIVIDUALS.

THEY SAY, YES, WE'RE ALL INDIVIDUALS.

YES, WE HAVE TO THINK FO OURSELVES.

AFTER THE INDIVIDUALS, HE SAYS I'M NOT.

THEY SAY, SHH.

IT MEANS NOTHING AND YET IT'S VERY FUNNY.

IS THERE A SKIT THAT YOU AR SO SICK OF LOOKING AT OR HEARING ABOUT THAT YOU NEVER WANT TO KNOW ABOUT

YES

WHICH ONE

GUESS SILLY WALTZ.

EVERY TIME I APPEAR ON TELEVISION, THEY SHOW A CLIP WHY DON'T YOU SHOW SOMETHING MORE INTERESTING ATTACHMENT TO CLICHES, VER STRONG IN THE MEDIA.

HOW ABOUT THE DEAD PARROT THAT'S EVERYWHERE.

IT'S HILARIOUS I CAN'T STOP WATCHING IT

THE BEST THING ABOUT THE DEAD PARROT THAT I EVER HAD IS I DI IT ON STAGE WITH MICHAEL ONE NIGHT.

IT WENT OFF VERY WELL.

IT WAS THE LAST SKETCH, BECAUS IT WAS THE FINALE.

WE JUST CAME OFF PRIOR TO GOIN ON AND TAKING A BOW.

A VERY ANXIOUS YOUNG MAN SAID, CAN I ASK YOU SOMETHING ABOU THE DEAD PARROT SKIT I SAID, SURE HE SAID, IT'S ABOUT THE VIETNA WAR, ISN'T IT?

THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT JOHN, IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IS IT OVER?

LET'S GO ON.

LET'S SEE WHAT HAPPENS HOW LONG YOU HAVE BEEN A INTERVIEWER?

ABOUT 30 MINUTES.

HOW LONG HAVE WE BEEN GOING?

WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO IT

YOU THEY JUST PICKED ME OFF TH STREET AND SAID NOBODY WANTS T INTERVIEW THIS GUY WILL DO YOU IT WHO IS HE?

THEN YOU RAN OFF AND READ M BOOK IN FIVE MINUTES

THANK YOU, SIR.

TELL ME HOW FUNNY THE BOO IS

THE BOOK IS THE FUNNIEST BOOK I EVER READ.

I WASN'T EXPECTING THAT I WILL ACCEPT IT

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Funders

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