October 27, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mr. Fawlty!


Today is the birthday of Python alum and all-around lunatic John Cleese.

I posted this particular pic in tribute because Fawlty Towers is my favorite work of Cleese's. Python certainly has its moments, but I don't think it can match FT for sustained sublime silliness. But that's just me. I'm sure all of you have your favorite Cleese moments - why not drop a comment about them?

(BTW - the curious thing about Cleese is that I have seen him interviewed a number of times and on occassion am struck by the sensation that he doesn't really understand why people think he's so damn funny. It's just something about the way he talks about things - flat, dull, misdirected. Then again, he may be doing in on purpose just to spike the interviewer.)

Posted by Robert at October 27, 2005 05:42 PM | TrackBack

My favourite Cleese moment includes whatever state of indignation and crazed rage he happens to get himself into. That he really masters.

" ...I see. Well, of course, this is just the sort of blinkered philistine ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss for the struggling artist. (starts screaming) You excrement, you whining hypocritical toadies with your colour TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding masonic secret handshakes. (face turning red) You wouldn't let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards. Well I wouldn't become a Freemason if you went down on your stinking knees and begged me."

Posted by: lemuel at October 27, 2005 07:23 PM

Ah, Basil the Rat, my absolute favorite (or is it favourite?) episode.

Posted by: Vinnie at October 27, 2005 07:47 PM

German patron: Will you shtop taking about the war?!
Basil Fawlty: Well, you started it...
German patron: We did not shtart it!
Basil Fawlty: Yes, you did! You invaded Poland!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 27, 2005 09:56 PM

This is an ex-parrot...

He's just pining.

He's not pining; he's passed on.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at October 27, 2005 10:02 PM

I'm always partial to Cleese in MP's Self-Defense against fruit sketch:
Pointed stick? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh?

Cleese was always excellent at playing the psychotic authority figure.

Posted by: Allan at October 27, 2005 10:18 PM

Allan, in the same vein--Cleese as the Centurion giving Latin lessons to Brian:
"What's this, then? 'Romanes Eunt Domus'? 'People called Romanes they go the house'?
It-- it says, 'Romans, go home'.
No, it doesn't. What's Latin for 'Roman'? Come on! "
And, of course..."what have the Romans ever done for us??"

Posted by: T. Marcell at October 28, 2005 02:38 AM

My favorite bit of Cleesiness was not in any episode at all. It was an anecdote recounted in a book about Python. It seems the cast was filming on location in Scotland, and the rain forced them to seek sheter in a car. They got bored, and decided to pass the time seeing who could come up with the most humorous declension of the verb "to sheep-worry". Cleese won with his present pluperfect "I am about to have been sheep-worried".

Posted by: Brian B at October 28, 2005 10:39 AM

Drat. Tuning Spork and T. Marcell took my two favorite Cleese moments.

Posted by: JohnL at October 28, 2005 10:44 AM