John Cleese declares 'there is no hope' for this mad world, and he's 'never been happier' for it
So, anyway...English actor, comedian, writer and film producer John Cleese, most famous for his classics The Monty Python Flying Circus movies and BBC hit Fawlty Towers TV series, took the stage before a wildly enthusiastic audience at the 2014 Miami Book Fair International for an interview with NPR's books associate editor, Petra Mayer, featuring stories and observations from Cleese's recently released autobiography So, Anyway... (Crown Archetype; November, 2014), beginning with Cleese's early interest in psychology. After a quick lesson on the psychology of comedy, Cleese reminisced about working with his unique friend and co-founder of The Monty Python Flying CircusGraham Chapman, telling the story of Chapman's debate debacle at Oxford University, where he came as carrot. Cleese then went off on a riff about how the world's gone mad, and he's decided to write two more books, the final book in his autobiographical trilogy would be titled Why There Is No Hope. Pointing to America's 'demonstrably failed' democracy as an example, Cleese declared he has 'never been happier' now that he knows there isn't any hope that anything can be done to stop the madness. Comparing today's comics with those of the past, Cleese hailed Sid Caesar and the late greats of comedy, including Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin and Peter Sellers, commenting on Dr. Strangelove, the fake languages invented in The Life of Brian, and the famous Black Knight sketch in The Holy Grail. Taking questions from the audience, Cleese recalled the two chances he had to work with Mike Nichols but lost the parts to Robin Williams and Anthony Hopkins; the story of how George Harrison saved The Life of Brian with last minute funding; offered advice on 'living with no hope'; gave insider talk on special projects in the future; held forth on why he believes pop culture is 'less creative' these days; offered remembrances of Douglas Adams, famous for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; gave a shout out to Assholes: A Theory By Aaron James, a professor of philosophy at the University of California at Irvine; and revisited life on the set of Fawlty Towers.
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