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October 10, 2015

John Cleese to retire from sitcoms; will become comedy professor

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 13th 2006 11:11AM
John CleeseOK, this is a bit confusing; this BBC article says that John Cleese is retiring from writing and performing sitcoms, because nothing he could do would top the genius of his 1970s Britcom Fawlty Towers. In addition, he cites the fact that most sitcoms these days are not funny because they're written with U.S. teenagers in mind. The article goes on to say Cleese will publish a book on the history of comedy and teach classes on how to properly make people laugh.

Here's the confusing part: does this mean we won't see Cleese in movies or narrating documentaries anymore? The article said he wouldn't be in sitcoms anymore, but others, including a career summary on the BBC says he's retiring from performing completely, though the article does conclude that we will see him in other work. Hm. Considering the last time Cleese was in a Britcom was four years ago, this might not be such big news after all.

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levi hillman

love the work big fan but when does the book come out i MUST have it i agree with today sitcoms

i love the python style and want to bring it back to the public

June 23 2006 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott mclendon

I love him in those commercials for Macgregor golf balls.He is hysterical!

June 14 2006 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I think he is still amazing. TV and movies are dumbed down for the general population. I suppose intelligent performers can't make it in a Brittany Spears and "Friends" world...

Oh, well. I hope he was joking.

June 13 2006 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

John Cleese was the BEST in his day. I find the Monty Python bits that focus on him to be their funniest. I loved every minute of "Fawlty Towers" (complete set available on DVD, by the way, for under $40).

The last time I saw him be truly amazingly funny was his guest shot on "Cheers" from 1987, where he played a couples therapist who was hounded by Sam & Diane until he exploded in aggravation, telling them to split up. When that didn't satisfy them, he told them they were perfect for each other. Five shows later, Diane left the show for good (or at least until the series ended, 6 years later).

He has done a lot of voice work since then, as well as made appearances as Nearly Headless Nick in the "Harry Potter" movies. And he's been in the last few James Bond films, and he was on "Will & Grace". None of which I'd count as comedic performances, "W&G" included.

June 13 2006 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

About time, he's right he's not really done anything good for a long time. Fair enough the material he gets may not be much cop but even his own material has been crap. In fact he's turned into the sort of person who thinks you get funnier as you get louder.

June 13 2006 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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