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September 5, 2015

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Hugh Laurie going off before he became House

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 7th 2009 7:45PM
A rather amusing video popped up on the Internet's neverending series of tubes earlier this week: one of Hugh Laurie's early acting gigs as a rather rude person.

Laurie plays the world's worst customer service clerk in this instructional video opposite Jennifer Saunders, star of Absolutely Fabulous and one-half of the comedy duo French & Saunders, called How to Lose Customers produced by John Cleese's Video Arts company. Laurie not only becomes the rudest clerk since the dark days of Service Merchandise, but Saunders becomes one of the few people to successfully put the overbearing House in his rightful place.

[via Fark]

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Have some Spam in honor of Monty Python's 40th anniversary

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 5th 2009 8:09PM
Monty Python's 40th anniversaryOne of the world' most quotable and iconic comedy shows made its television debut 40 years ago today.

Monty Python's Flying Circus first appeared on British television on Oct. 5, 1969, a show that branched into four feature length films, launched the careers of six very funny dudes and inspired millions of countless nerds to quote their most famous lines to death (myself included).

I'm sure everyone with a working set of eyes and a television set remembers the first time they saw Monty Python. What's your earliest memory of the show and more importantly, did it include any images of nude ladies?

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BAFTA to honor Monty Python

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 19th 2009 11:03AM
Monty Python BAFTA (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts) will be honoring Monty Python on the group's 40th anniversary. The surviving members of Monty Python will receive a special award for outstanding contribution to film and television in October. The event will be co-hosted by the Independent Film Channel and take place in New York.

Excuse me. What? An awards event hosted by a British organization for a British group is taking place in New York? Isn't that somewhat counter-intuitive? Unless IFC is picking up the whole check (which is a distinct possibility), this should be moved to London.

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Sketch Comedy Saturday: Monty Python's Flying Circus

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 11th 2009 2:05PM
I was going to save this extra-classic show, Monty Python's Flying Circus, for the later part of the Sketch Comedy Saturday series, but I just had to do this in light of recent, super-exciting news. As I hope most of you know, Monty Python will be having a reunion. Sure, John Cleese and Graham Chapman won't be there (for two, completely different reasons) but it will still be nice to see Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam get back together, right? Magic always happens when there's more than one Python guy around. Except that time John Cleese and Michael Palin tried to do "The Parrot Sketch" on Saturday Night Live a few years ago. That was just weird.

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Cleese doesn't mention the war during eye surgery

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 12th 2009 12:00PM
John Cleese is recovering from eye surgery in the UK.According to Twitter, John Cleese is recovering from successful eye surgery in the U.K.

Following a procedure on his left eye, Cleese handed his Tweets over to a friend, Garry Scott-Irvine. That buddy is keeping fans updated on the Monty Python and Fawlty Towers legend's condition. Fans sent scores of well-wishes to Cleese as he heals up in a British hospital.

The 69-year-old comedian is reportedly in good health otherwise and looking to head home later this week. His chosen method of communication is ironic when you consider Cleese sells a t-shirt on his site entitled: "WTF is Twitter?"

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Thirty years of Fawlty Towers

by Brad Trechak, posted May 7th 2009 11:03AM
The cast of Fawlty TowersJohn Cleese, Connie Booth, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs reunited for the filming of a Fawlty Towers reunion. At first I'd hoped it was new material, but sadly it was more of a retrospective than an actual new episode. Mind you, it would be pretty unique to wait thirty years to film the third season of a show.

There have been attempts to make an American version of Fawlty Towers, starring such names as the recently departed Bea Arthur and John Larroquette. Somehow, they never managed to equal the brilliant writing of the original.

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John Cleese's real last name is Cheese?! - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 5th 2009 6:07PM
KimmelWatching this interview that Jimmy Kimmel did with John Cleese the other night (after the jump), and near the start of the interview, Cleese mentions that the real last name in his family is "Cheese," not "Cleese." At first I thought this was some sort of absurdist humor by Cleese, but after doing a little checking around the online world, I found out that it's true. I wonder how many big Cleese/Monty Python fans like me never ever knew that little piece of trivia.

This is actually a great interview with Cleese, because both Cleese and Kimmel seem to get along well and they're both quick on their feet. Kimmel was sick that night so he immediately gives Cleese some antibacterial lotion, Cleese jokes about how many times he's been married (three times, all Americans - his wife passed away last year), and the comic even gets in that one of the things wrong with Kimmel is that he's overweight.

Cleese is also on Twitter, so you can keep up with him that way if you're a fan.

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TV Squad Ten: TV celebs worth following on Twitter

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 17th 2008 3:05PM
john hodgman twitter daily show

Yep, I got a Twitter. It's part of my plan to plaster the Internet with links to my must-read blog posts about '90s indie rock and that handsome bastard Neil Patrick Harris (don't ask). Fortunately for you, some clever TV stars also use Twitter for fun and shameless self-promotion.

Here are ten fan-friendly TV celebs worth stalking on Twitter. Unlike that fake Stephen Colbert, these guys are all one-hundred percent, real-life paparazzo magnets.

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Monty Python finally does something with this YouTube stuff - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 18th 2008 7:03PM
Monty PythonHey, want to know something super-sad? For most of seventh grade, I came home every day from school and, before doing anything else, watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail from beginning to end. I also spent a great deal of middle school reading everything I could about the troupe, filling my brain with pointless trivia about Sam Peckinpah's "Salad Days" and Spam.

This not only caused me to develop a type of hardcore social awkwardness that was extremely rare outside of the 70s and 80s, but forever instilled in me a deep love for Monty Python. Since the boys are very busy with their individual projects these days, it's a thrill to see any new Python stuff to come around, even when it's in the form of an extra-short YouTube clip and they're never actually shown to be in the same room together.

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Five more television personalities who have pitched computers - VIDEOS

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 22nd 2008 2:01PM

William Shatner -- Starship Captain, Police Officer, Computer SalesmanLadies and gentlemen, I would now like to take you into the world of how a writer of TV-related items thinks during his day. After reading about Jerry Seinfeld's new role as pitchman for Microsoft's Vista operating system my mind didn't turn to thoughts of how Jerry has become a corporate shill and will do anything to get his mug back on television. Nor did I think about the many pluses and minuses of Microsoft Vista. No, what I reflected upon was the fact that Jerry is not the first high-profile television personality to promote a computer.

That, in turn, brought me to YouTube and its glorious library of video history, from which I was able to cull a few examples of those other big-time TV folks who expounded on the glories of those new-fangled personal computers. New-fangled, you question? Yes, because these examples all come from the 1980s: the dawn of the personal computer era. Here are five examples of our favorite stars promoting the dickens out of their Commodore, Atari, and Texas Instruments computers.

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The Flying Circus comes to BBC America

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 20th 2008 4:43PM
Monty PythonMay as well starting laughing now! On May 26, BBC America will air a 10-hour marathon of Monty Python's Flying Circus. The network has just snagged all four seasons of the legendary comedy series, including a couple of specials they did for German TV.

As every fan of great comedy knows, the Monty Python troupe consisted of Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman and Terry Jones. Monty Python's Flying Circus debuted on BBC on October 5, 1969, and over the years the shows have been shown over and over again, becoming classic. Now that they are coming to BBC America, it's a chance for fans -- new and old -- to watch them one more time -- and DVR them if you're smart. Unless you already have the DVDs.

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Muppet Show season two coming August 7

by Anna Johns, posted Jun 14th 2007 10:24AM
miss piggy; the muppet showAs the ranking #2 fan of The Muppets here at TV Squad (Adam definitely has me beat), I'm happy to announce that season two of The Muppet Show will be available on DVD on August 7th. It's been about 2 years since season one came out on DVD and fans have been not-so-patiently waiting for more.

Season two is a 24-episode set with classic guest appearances by Bob Hope, George Burns, John Cleese, Milton Berle, Elton John, Bernadette Peters and Julie Andrews, just to name a few. The bonus material includes The Muppets Valentine Day Special, a pilot which aired two years before The Muppet Show came on air. It features Kermit and Mia Farrow, and is hosted by little-known Muppet 'Wally'.

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Palmerston North, NZ can not take a joke

by Paul Goebel, posted May 22nd 2007 5:21PM

Do not piss off John CleeseRecently John Cleese performed in the New Zealand city of Palmerston North and he found the crowd there less than welcoming. So much so, that in an interview afterwards he took a couple of shots at the city by saying it was the suicide capital of the country. In retaliation, residents of Palmerston North have erected a sign in front of a landfill that says Mt. Cleese.

Let's all pause while we enjoy the hilarity.

As a comedian, I have done way too many shows that I was unhappy with. Most of the time, I will take the blame for the bad show or just chalk it up to some unavoidable occurrence. However, every once in a while, I am forced to point the finger at the audience. Now, when I do it, it's generally in the privacy of my car on the way home with no one else in attendance. John Cleese, being the legend that he is, took a different tactic.

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Monty Python star Terry Jones has cancer

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 22nd 2006 11:39AM
Terry JonesTerry Jones, one-sixth of the Monty Python troupe, has recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer. However, his doctors believe that they caught it at an early enough stage to treat it. Jones will be having an operation soon but he's in high spirits, according to his agent.

I'm not gonna lie, I definitely got chills when I initially read the headline. I don't think I'm ready to lose my first Python (Graham Chapman died from cancer back in the late 80s, but I was too young to know what was going on). Here's to hoping Mr. Jones has a speedy recovery.

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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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