Last week I went to hear John Cleese of Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and A Fish Called Wanda …. He’s currently on what he’s macabrely calling his Last Time to See Me Before I Die tour. Cleese is now almost 83 years old: still cheeky, still funny, and still very, very silly. He told jokes at everybody’s expense, skewering sacred cows with gusto. His show was punctuated by clips of glorious skits and scenes from his shows and films.
The evening wasn’t entirely perfect: Cleese informed us the reason he was touring was the $20 million in alimony he was ordered to pay to one of his ex-wives, and he mentioned a couple times how we (the audience) all have boring ordinary lives. True enough. But I wondered, did we need to see an image of a woman’s hand withdrawing cash from an ATM? And did he expect that we applaud his much cleverer existence? The 70€ for tickets we were all willing to purchase to come see him seemed like acknowledgment enough….
In any event, the night was just what the doctor ordered for someone living in Europe listening to the reports of new spikes in COVID (Oktoberfest super-spreader opportunities, anyone?), saber-rattling by Russia’s dictator Putin, threatening to drop nuclear weapons as a way to win his invasion of Ukraine, and the autumn deaths of one of my original German instructors (‘long illness’), the cousin of close friends (sudden and aggressive form of lymphoma), and the death of another friend’s father. It doesn’t matter how old the person or expected the death is. It still leaves a hole.
Enter Mr. Cleese and his cheerful irreverence. May John Marwood Cleese, Minister of Silly Walks, continue to make us all laugh for many years to come. I fart in your general direction, Mr. Cleese!
NOTES: Text and Photos ©2022 Jadi Campbell
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13 thoughts on “And now for something completely different”
I saw his show maybe 10 years ago, and enjoyed it. That was the start of his “alimony” touring career. Sorry to hear he’s still paying, but that means more shows for us fans.
I didn’t realize he’s been earning money off his alimony status for so long. Perhaps it worked out for him after all…
I grew up on Monty Python, that was so cool you got to see him live! Long time no see, by the way, I haven’t visited in a while!
Why hello, ‘Ink on a Page’! I also grew up on Monty Python but I had to wait until I was in college before I appreciated most of the humor. As a kid it just seemed wildly bizarre!
Yes indeed! Did you ever watch the adult cartoon that came on after? I’m sure we weren’t supposed to be but we saw some funny things on there. My mom caught us watching one time and asked what we were watching!
You mean the cartoons with the credits? They were so naughty!
Yes! I only remember the one with the big breasted lady singing on the balcony.
Thanks for the Cleese report. I have always found him funny and clever. If in fact he has to pay $20M in alimony then he probably has led a more exciting life. I would say he probably could have used a better lawyer.
Either that, or a little less excitement!
Yeah … I’m an old Monty Python fan from way back !! ..
The skits are absolute classics and never go stale. I can watch the Cheese Shop episode 100 times and never tire of it. Or any of a dozen others, for that matter!
Yeah that’s for sure Jadi