Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

Quint goes one on one with John Cleese about THE MEANING OF LIFE, Harry Potter and all things Monty Python!

Hey folks, Harry here... In many ways, Quint and Mr. Beaks get the showiest of tasks here at AICN. I mean, Quint got to talk with John Cleese... for... real. Sure, I end up with the most stories written about me, I get called the most names by talk backers... and as thrilling as that is... I haven't gotten to talk with John Cleese. However, when John Cleese was teaching a class about film & comedy somewhere across the Blighty, he did mention me once. He told his class that there was this guy in Texas living in a trailer house somewhere that's got Hollywood scared to death. I love that John Cleese believes that I'm living in a trailer house. This is why John Cleese rules so hard! Well, not entirely, but it contributes to his coolness in my book. Well, from me, your faithful Texas Trailer Trash Power Guru, to the salty asides of Quint... We present

Ahoy, squirts. Quint here with a short talk I had with a living comedy legend... Tim the Enchanter himself, Mr. John Cleese. I've done around 100 interviews in my time writing for this site and, before that, my high school newspaper (The Lone Star Dispatch of Bowie High!) and while there is always a degree of nervousness before an interview I have not felt straight out terror since my very first interview, which was with George Carlin.  

I was 14 years old, a freshman in High School and in beginning journalism class... Not Newspaper, understand, but Journalism. I was a huge fan of George Carlin's work and when I saw he was coming to Austin to do his stand up act, I made sure I got some tickets. I offered to write up the concert for the newspaper. The editor was like, "Sure, why not?" So, I took it seriously.  

I stayed after the concert and a dude in a pink t-shirt comes out to talk with the four or five people who stayed behind. His name was Jerry Hamza, one of Carlin's long-time partners and producer of most of his shows. I nervously told him that I wrote for a high school newspaper and would like to interview Mr. Carlin. He gave me his card and told me to call his secretary in New York. "It's just for a high school paper," I told him. "No pressure or anything." "That's why I think he'll do it," Hamza replied.  

And low and behold it worked out. A couple weeks later I was on the phone with George Carlin and this man could have torn me a new asshole. I deserved it. I recently dug up the old micro-cassette I recorded the interview on and gave it a listen. It quite literally starts like this, RING RING... "Hello?" "Hi, this is George Carlin." (10 second pause) "Hi!"  

But he was supremely kind, gave me some great advice ("Listen, I find that if you go through life and don't give a fuck, you'll find yourself a happier person.") and told me the shitty interview I conducted was still a thousand times better than most of the ones he's forced to do. I know he was just being nice, but he didn't have to say that.  





Now I get a phone call asking me if I want to interview John Cleese for the upcoming DVD release of MONTY PYTHON'S THE MEANING OF LIFE (Hits DVD September 2nd!). I quickly assured the nice publicity dude that I would love to talk to Mr. Cleese and soon thereafter realized what I had committed to doing. I was scared. I had heard Cleese hadn't been to kind to interviewers in the past and I knew that he had a very sharp mind. One fuckup on my part and he'd have me for lunch.  

This is a rather lengthy intro do this short interview... I only had 15 minutes with the guy... and I apologize, but I think it's important to know where I was when I made this phone call. I studied up on my Monty Python, did some online research and had some questions I was happy with, but my fingers were trembling as I dialed that number... I wasn't worthy to take up 15 minutes of this man's time and I knew it. Would he tear me down, demand I somehow repay him for these lost minutes or would he go the Carlin route and be unnecessarily gracious?  

Below you'll find a literal transcription of the interview. I usually go out of my way to write exactly what is said from both me and the interviewee, even if it puts me in a bad light, but here I'm including our pre-interview banter (where Cleese starts interviewing me!), some talk about some side projects I'm working on and even the repeated questions and answers I had to ask for due to my rather shoddy speaker-phone I was using. As far as subject... you'll find everything from some interesting HARRY POTTER news to discussion of MEANING OF LIFE, LIFE OF BRIAN and HOLY GRAIL. Enjoy!  

 

QUINT: HOW'RE YOU DOING THIS AFTERNOON, SIR?  

JOHN CLEESE: I'm doing pretty well. I've done... one, two, three, four, five... This is my eighth interview.  

QUINT: OH, BOY. I'M SURE I'M DOOMED TO JUST REPEAT THE SAME QUESTIONS YOU'VE ALREADY BEEN ASKED...  

JOHN CLEESE: You'd be quite surprised, Eric. You know I've done every single one of these interviews and I've only repeated myself a little bit here and there.  

QUINT: THAT'S ALRIGHT. I'LL MAKE SURE TO SCREW IT UP SOMEHOW.  

JOHN CLEESE: (laughs) What age are you, young Eric?  

QUINT: WHAT'S THAT?  

JOHN CLEESE: What age are you?  

QUINT: TWENTY-TWO.  

JOHN CLEESE: Twenty-two... So, I'm nearly three times older than you.  

QUINT: AH, WELL... THAT MAY BE, BUT AH... IF I END UP WITH A TENTH OF YOUR TALENT AND SUCCESS, THEN I WOULD BE VERY HAPPY WITH MY LIFE...  

JOHN CLEESE: Oh, you're very sweet. What do you want to do?  

QUINT: UM... YOU MEAN IN LIFE?  

JOHN CLEESE: Yeah.  

QUINT: UM... WELL, I'VE BEEN WRITING FOR AIN'T IT COOL SINCE I WAS SIXTEEN. I'M SURE I'LL CONTINUE ON WITH THIS FOR A WHILE. I AM TRYING MY HAND RIGHT NOW AT WRITING SCREENPLAYS. I CO-WROTE A SHORT FILM THAT WAS SHOT EARLIER THIS YEAR AND AM NOW CO-WRITING A FEATURE SCRIPT.  

JOHN CLEESE: Writing screenplays are sooo difficult.  

QUINT: TELL ME ABOUT IT. I'M IN THE LAST ACT OF THE FEATURE I'M WRITING...  

JOHN CLEESE: Good! Good for you! (Pause) William Goldman. Do you know that great screenwriter?  

QUINT: OF COURSE. I'M A BIG FAN OF HIS.  

JOHN CLEESE: He's written for stage and he's written for television, he's written journalism, he's written novels. He says screenplays are the hardest. Anyway, listen... I'm on such a schedule. Someone else is going to be on the phone in a little while.  

QUINT: NO PROBLEM. LET'S GET THIS SHOW UNDER WAY... I'VE READ THAT YOU'VE BEEN PRETTY NEGATIVE ABOUT MEANING OF LIFE IN THE PAST. I EVEN FOUND A QUOTE FROM YOU CALLING IT A COCKUP. SINCE YOU'RE OUT PROMOTING THE DVD RELEASE, I TAKE IT YOUR OPINION AS SOFTENED A BIT.  

JOHN CLEESE: Yes, I have totally changed my mind. I think it is superb. I think it is hard to find words to capture the transcendental brilliance involved.  

QUINT: NICE. WHAT WARMED YOU UP TO THE MOVIE?  





JOHN CLEESE: (laughs) Well, the last time I saw it it was actually better than I remembered it. (laughs) I had always thought that there were some terrific things in it, but I found that the things that I hadn't been so keen on either seemed to go faster than I thought they would or else didn't seem to be quite as lame as I used to remember it. They seemed to be a slightly smaller proportion of the film.  

So, there are still things like the first World War thing with the clock. That seems to me to be unforgivably repetitious. But for every one of those, there's an Eric's Universal Cosmos song or Mr. Creosote exploding or Every Sperm is Sacred. There's some very, very funny good stuff in there and when you see the, what I think are the relatively undistinguished comedies that are out there now I would claim that there is more good stuff in MEANING OF LIFE than are in most of those.  

QUINT: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SKETCH FROM THE FILM? WHICH ONE DO YOU FIND YOURSELF LAUGHING AT THE HARDEST?  

JOHN CLEESE: Oddly enough, I think the one that gives me the most continuous pleasure is Eric's song about the Universe. Laughing? Um... I think the Liver Donor scene is pretty hilarious.  

QUINT: WELL, YOU CAN'T BEAT GILLIAM AS A JAMAICAN JEW.  

JOHN CLEESE: (LAUGHS) That's great! That's funny... Yes, there's also a lot of dialogue in that tiger sketch... Actually, I like very much a lot of the tiger stuff... All the excuses they give.  

QUINT: "WE FOUND IT!"/"WE MADE IT!"  

JOHN CLEESE: That's right! Graham (Chapman) and I wrote a great deal more about those guys. I think they were on some kind of expedition and they got captured by a mad Ayatollah who abused them for using toilet paper and various other western obscenities. The others weren't too keen on the material. It didn't finish up in the movie and it wasn't until afterwards when I saw what happened to Salmon Rushdie that I realized I was very happy it was not finished. There would have been a "Fatwa" out on at least two of the Pythons.  

QUINT: WHAT'S THE MOST BROUGHT UP OR REQUESTED PYTHON BIT WHEN YOU MEET FANS? I CAN IMAGINE YOU WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND JUST GETTING NOTHING BUT SILLY WALK REQUESTS...  

JOHN CLEESE: I used to get that, but I don't get it... at least you don't get it in Santa Barbara. They're much too laid back and courteous. Um... I was in a cheese shop recently, looking very intently at the cheeses, and two people came up to me during the time... one at the start and one at the end of my cheese perusal... and both of them made reference to the cheese shop skit.  

It kind of amused me because when I go to a delicatessen to look at cheese I don't immediately think, "This is like the cheese shop skit." You know what I mean. They both made amusing remarks and I rather enjoyed that. I think that gets mentioned along with parrots. Lots of references to parrots. I think those are the two that I hear most of all.  

QUINT: WHEN YOU SPEAK WITH FANS OF YOUR PYTHON STUFF, WHAT PYTHON FILM IS MOST ASKED ABOUT?  

JOHN CLEESE: Well, this is very peculiar and I don't have an explanation for any of it, but in England LIFE OF BRIAN constantly the most popular. And in America... HOLY GRAIL. I can't quite explain it. I prefer LIFE OF BRIAN myself. I think the first forty-five minutes of HOLY GRAIL is as funny as anything we did. I find THE LIFE OF BRIAN to be more satisfying.  

QUINT: FOR ME, PERSONALLY, MY FAVORITE DEPENDS ON WHAT MOOD I'M IN.  

JOHN CLEESE: Oh?  

QUINT: I THINK I SAW LIFE OF BRIAN FIRST AND I LOVE IT... BUT HOLY GRAIL HAS SO MANY MORE BITS AND CHARACTERS THAT I THINK ABOUT MORE OFTEN... LIKE GILLIAM'S "WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?" BIT AND YOUR TIM THE ENCHANTER... FOR SOME REASON THOSE CHARACTERS STICK OUT MORE FOR ME, THOUGH I THINK BRIAN IS A BETTER FILM.  

JOHN CLEESE: How interesting...  

QUINT: THAT'S JUST ME, THOUGH.  

JOHN CLEESE: No, that's interesting... Maybe... Maybe the characters are more... In BRIAN we're making jokes about more important things.  

QUINT: YES... I LOVE ANYTHING THAT POKES FUN AT THE INSTITUTION OF RELIGION. IT'S ALWAYS ENTERTAINING TO SEE PEOPLE POINT OUT SOME OF THE MORE RIDICULOUS DOGMA.  

JOHN CLEESE: That's right. Not the foundation of religion, but what the followers make of it.  

QUINT: EXACTLY. SINCE WE'VE TALKED ABOUT YOU BEING RECOGNIZED FOR PYTHON, HAVE YOU HAD ANY KIDS RECOGNIZE YOU AS NEARLY HEADLESS NICK YET?  

JOHN CLEESE: No. Because...  

QUINT: BECAUSE YOUR HEAD IS STILL ON? (LAUGHS)  

JOHN CLEESE: Yeah! And with the make-up and all that... I seldom get recognized. Most of the kids now, the young kids, recognize me for RAT RACE which became very popular on video. So, I would say the young kids tend to recognize me from that. Almost entirely from that, really. They kind of get very interested when they hear that I'm in HARRY POTTER, but they can't remember which one I was.  

QUINT: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE WHOLE HARRY POTTER CRAZE? ARE YOU INTO IT OR ARE JUST KINDA CONFOUNDED BY IT ALL?  

JOHN CLEESE: Um... Like most people... Just anything that makes kids read. Anything we can do to reclaim them back from this vacuous world of modern day television.  

QUINT: IT IS SOMETHING TO SEE YOUNG KIDS CRACKING BOOKS THAT ARE 870-SOMEODD PAGES.  

JOHN CLEESE: It's fantastic! Let's just hope someone else starts writing.  

QUINT: HAVE YOU FILMED YOUR PART IN "AZKABAN" YET?  

JOHN CLEESE: In what?  

QUINT: IN "HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN."  

JOHN CLEESE: Oh, I'm not in it.  

QUINT: YOU'RE NOT IN IT?!?  

JOHN CLEESE: No... or at least I don't think I am. The producer tried to get a hold of me at some stage, but I think he got embarrassed. I heard that I wasn't in the third one, but that I was going to be back in again for the fourth. I haven't spoken to anyone involved in the HARRY POTTER movie about it.  

QUINT: WELL, I'M GLAD YOU'RE STILL IN "GOBLET OF FIRE..."  

JOHN CLEESE: Well, I haven't heard from them for ages, but I was told I was going to be in the fourth one. [A PHONE HAS BEEN RINGING ON HIS END DURING THE LAST QUESTION...] Now, listen. I've got the next person on the line, but I'm very happy to chat a little bit more if you've got anything else you're dying to ask.  

QUINT: I HAVE MAYBE ONE OR TWO MORE QUESTIONS. IS THAT ALRIGHT?  

JOHN CLEESE: Oh yeah.  

QUINT: I READ THAT YOU WERE WRITING A SUPERMAN STORYLINE CALLED "TRUE BRIT" FOR DC. IS THAT TRUE?  

JOHN CLEESE: Well, my beloved assistant Howard is writing the story, but I'm helping him here and there with a few comments and a few suggestions.  

QUINT: IS IT STILL COMING OUT IN DECEMBER?  

JOHN CLEESE: I don't know... (To someone on his end...) When's the Superman story come out? (Pause) Next Spring.  

QUINT: I HAVE A STANDARD QUESTION I ASK EVERYONE I INTERVIEW AND I'M VERY INTERESTED TO HEAR YOUR RESPONSE... WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DIRTY JOKE?  

JOHN CLEESE: How interesting... My favorite dirty joke... Oh yes! I like this... Why are firemen's balls bigger than policemen's balls?  

QUINT: WHY?  

JOHN CLEESE: (Pause) They sell more tickets.  

 

There you have it, squirts. As you can tell, he ended up being extremely courteous and kind. And a good interview, too. Lots of interesting stuff in there. No Nearly Headless Nick in PRISONER OF AZKABAN, but definitely in GOBLET OF FIRE? Hmmmmm....  

I'll be back soon with yet one more interview and a cool script review on top of that. 'Til that day, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.  

-Quint

email: Due to a virus attack that has been filling up my Yahoo account to capacity, I've temporarily changed my contact email to aicnquint@aintitcoolmail! Click here or you can try my regular aicnquint@yahoo.com!!! Don't be surprised if it bounces back atcha, though!!!












 
Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Aug. 21, 2003, 3:59 a.m. CST

    First

    by dethkamp drone

    John Cleese has not been funny since clockwork, which ruled.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 3:59 a.m. CST

    John Cleese is a top bloke!

    by afraidoffans

    and erm....that's it really. I'm off to lob a sword at a strange woman who is lying in a pond...revenge is so sweet....

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:02 a.m. CST

    no nick? wtf

    by Schmiggy JK

    whos dumb idea was that, christ.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:04 a.m. CST

    ex-parrot?

    by septimus_p

    a nice interview with a comic legend, well done, lad. BTW, I feel your pain---or at least my mailbox does. out, damn virus!

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:12 a.m. CST

    Cleese is God

    by gingy

    that is all.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:13 a.m. CST

    The man

    by diego

    John Cleese does seem to be quite a nice bloke. Don't know why they left him out of the third one, but I hope he keeps showing up in movies franchises like Bond and Harry Potter. He's brilliant, he is.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:16 a.m. CST

    I thought ALL Americans lived in trailers...

    by earthworm_

    Cool interview. I like the sex education lesson the best, I always kind of imagined it happening to me at school. And I hear you about that damn virus...

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Michael Palin's travel shows are the greatest thing on earth.

    by Cash Bailey

    I've watched his AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS about 20 times.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Hasn't Rik Mayall been cut out of both of the HP movies so far?

    by Cash Bailey

    Jesus Vhrist, keeping him in would have certainly injected the life those movies so desperately needed. BOTTOM is the second greatest comedy show ever (after FATHER TED) and to see Rik unleashed in the piss-weak world of Chris Columbus would have gotten me into the theatres to see them, rather than renting them on DVD for my nephews.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 5:26 a.m. CST

    Best. Corner gif. Ever.

    by earthworm_

    Rik Mayall = Box office poison. Bottom was brilliant (as was the Young Ones), but have you seen Drop Dead Fred or Guesthouse Paradiso? <shudder>

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Nice Gif Harry,

    by Conan_the_Humble

    And Nice interview Quint. My favourite CLEESE line, "you are accused of uttering the name of our Lord, and so as a BLASPHEMOUR you are to be stoned to death!!!" Classic, does it get any funnier than this? Cheers.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 6:25 a.m. CST

    What a coincidence

    by Buster Gonads

    I just came back from a class where i introduced some "young people" to the musical genius of "every sperm is sacred". Oh yeah, cleese and Python rock!

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Great job Quint. I can relate to the nervousness

    by RenoNevada2000

    I got a chance to interview Terry Jones when he was doing the book tour for "Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic" and was absolutely petrified for the first couple of minutes. Fortunately, he was a real coolguy and I quickly felt at ease. When he slipped into the Spam Waitress voice to illustrate a point has become one of the single most coolest moments of my life.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Might as well leave Nick out, he's barely a cameo in the first t

    by minderbinder

    Does Nick even do anything in the third one? I doubt we'll miss him.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 8:41 a.m. CST

    All Hail The Python

    by KingOfTheFools

    GREAT interview Quint! Now...BRING ME A SHRUBBERY! BTW...I feel everyone's pain on this email thing. It's getting pretty old

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 9:06 a.m. CST

    The single greatest musical number in cinema history

    by Stephen Dedalus

    Too bad the rest of the movie isn't up to par.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Flayed Otters, Watery Owls, Flowery Twats

    by Trav McGee

    Fawlty Towers, the ONLY sitcom worth owning on DVD. Think I'll be breaking them out again tonight. Timeless, genius, incredibly well-structured and eminently quotable. "You know what I'll do if I find out that money is yours, Basil." "...You'll have to sew 'em back on first."

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Great way to start the day. A chat with Basil Fawlty.

    by Damitol

    Great interview Quint. Normally, I couldn't give two shits about what most celebrities have to say outside of a project I am interested it, but I think I would hang on every word if John Cleese just read the phone book out loud. He and the Pythons have been such a huge part of my life, that I could see and hear him saying every word in the interview. I can't wait for the new DVD to replace the bare bones Meaning of Life I currently own. "They sell more tickets." Ha, ha - good one...

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Fawlty Towers is great, but...

    by TABALF

    The Beeb is doing its best to ruin the shows forever for everyone by showing them on a continuous loop.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 10:39 a.m. CST

    What a very British joke.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I think if I interviewed John Cleese I couldn't help but yank his chain a little. "So you used to play Monty Python. What was that all about?" sk

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 10:40 a.m. CST

    As long as...

    by Randall Flagg

    As long as he's in Order of the Phoenix that's fine. My favorite scene in OotP revolves around a conversation between Harry and Nick, and it needs to be in the movie. It's a spoiler though, but if you've read it, you know.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Cleese is the man.

    by Nice Marmot

    Love this guy. I would have complimented him for Fawlty Towers. LOVE that show.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 11:06 a.m. CST

    "I seem to have stepped in monsieur's BUCKET..."

    by Blanket-Man

    Bar none, the funniest skit ever filmed. Nothing makes me laugh harder than a joke at the expense of an obesely fat person. I think that's why I enjoy these talkbacks so much...

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 11:19 a.m. CST

    I saw

    by Tall_Boy

    Holy Grail is still the funniest, but I think Meaning of Life is the smartest. I gotta get that double-disc holy grail DVD or maybe this Meaning of Life one.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 11:33 a.m. CST

    A complaint

    by Winstanley

    Dear AICN, I am thoroughly disgusted by the overwhelmingly positive and courteous tone this Talkback is displaying. This kind of enthusiastic discussion and displays of affection for an artist's body of work have no place on the modern Internets. Surely someone somewhere can come on here and tell another poster to 'stick his jerkwad opinions up his dumbfuck asspipe'? I just hate to see standards slipping. Thank you.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Too Much Humour

    by hayt43

    Dear sir I would like to complain about the serious prevalence of humour in your peridicle, as a serious film goer, I find this sort of flippancy to be well flippant Capt B.J Smythee...in a white wine sauce...yaddda yadda

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 3:34 p.m. CST

    I dearly wish they would release the funeral of Graham Chapman.

    by Rolling_Stone

    Just the bits and pieces I've seen over time have been hilarious.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Harry, you amaze me!

    by mtoast

    A story by Quint. Nothing to do with you. But you manage to worm in the COMPLETELY FUCKING IRRELEVANT fact that John Cleese might give a pinch of shit about who you are. It's bad enough when you resort to this tactic regarding people that you've actually met. In this case, the guy might just know who you are. Maybe. Do you still fail to understand why and how your efforts at name-dropping annoy the people who come to your site? Jesus... Look -- you started a website that got up in Hollywood's ass. You have thousands and thousands of people who come here for scraps of rumors and news. That's great. Honestly, it is. But PLEASE stop trying to convince yourself -- and the world -- of your own importance. It will either be evident or it won't. You try too hard and you embarrass yourself! Seriously, think of this as an intervention.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 3:55 p.m. CST

    By the way, thanks for this interview Quint...

    by mtoast

    It might have been geek epics that originally brought me to AICN, but increasingly, it's intelligent work like this interview and the American Splendor coverage that keep me checking in. Rumors and leaks are everywhere these days. Good coverage of intelligent material has become much more valuable.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Damn

    by chickenmonkey

    Why was Quint yelling at Mr. Cleese? Made my eyes hurt.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I agree with mtoast

    by Ray Garraty #47

    Mtoast, you're right. you have to love how Harry needs to mention that John Cleese knows Harry exists. Harry, you insecure fuck. Just as bad as actually asking AICN readers for "Pwesents." What is your problem, man? Look aback as some of the shit you write and it's evident that you need some sort of couseling about your inferiority complex.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Harry DOES NOT live in a house trailer. Harry could not FIT in

    by Rolling_Stone

    So there. You Rock Harry.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Friendly Suggestion for Quint

    by Spaceman Spliff

    To elaborate on chickenmonkey's comment, Quint, I think your purposes might be better served by putting the INTERVIEWEE'S words in caps rather than your own. Not that you're unimportant, but it's kind of annoying to have to "filter out" your half of the interview and squint to read his. (Kinda like working on a car engine in the dark while your dumbass kid shines a flashlight in your face.) That said, though, I thought your questions were intelligent and inciteful. I just wish you'd had more time with him.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 5:26 p.m. CST

    John Cleese real name

    by pieface

    His real name is John Cheese and not a lot of people know that. Strange but true!!

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Ray Garraty #47, my friend...

    by mtoast

    Thank you for agreeing with my post. Speaking of agreements, Bruce Campbell once agreed with me! He said it was fun to play Elvis. I totally agree with him! And, therefore, he totally agrees with me. It really is exciting! I once screamed at him as he was entering a film premiere. "I agree! I agreeeee! You are god. I will make you love meeeeeeeeee!" A security tackled me. (and then crushed my windpipe with his boot!) But as Bruce walked away, he cast a glance over his shoulder down at my squirming writhing form. He shook his head and rolled his eyes. It was as if to say, "I approve of you. I approve of you. Our souls forever intertwined." What was REALLY cool was later on that night -- when he personally pressed charges against me. I framed the restraining order and I masturbate onto it fortnightly. Oh yeah, here's a review of Freddy Vs. Jason.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 5:58 p.m. CST

    He has a wife you know...

    by Anita Hummer

    Do you find it funny when I mention the name of my friend BIGGUS DICKUS! Great interview Quint. Good to see that young people are doing something other than sniffing glue and peircing things. I think that Mr Cleese actually took a shining to you. It never ceases to amaze when talkbackers mock on Harry for being a tad self promoting, self important and rambling on just to watch himself type. Harry is in fact a self made man who should be proud that even if John Cleese does not know his name he was referred to in an off hand way by a Python. So what if he gets down on his knees to blow guys like Peter Jackson or Avi Arad every time they drop some hollywood swag on him. Just because you suck a little dick doesn't mean you're a homo does it. Most of you whiners couldn't let go of your bleeding puds for long enough to produce anything other than pee, poo or spooge while you mock out on someone who actually stopped beating off for long enough to do something productive. When Harry pulls his nose out of someone's ass at least it is someone important or intersting and not the assistant night manager at the Ralf's on Sunset. At least Harry's trailer is filled with trash that the studios sent to him for pimping their stuff and not empty vienna sausage cans, crusty gym socks and booger sculptures of girls they would if they were fameous. Goldboink Out!

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 8:57 p.m. CST

    apparently the members of MP used to test their sketches on each

    by jackburtonlives

    monty python is at their best when they portray extremely anal authority figures, esp. soldiers. "COm'on now! attack me with this banana!". cleese's parade ground antics are the funniest. their ability to mock their own culture in its finest points and ticks is what really sets them apart. and to the TBer who said that AROUND THE WORLD with M. Palin was great, you're right; but Palin is such a great conversationalist that you could sit and listen to him gab on endlessly on any subject and never grow tired. THE SAD THING about MP is that there doesn't seem to be anyone to replace them. no one on the comedic horizon at all.

  • Aug. 21, 2003, 10:58 p.m. CST

    know what's funny?

    by MiltonWaddams

    the thing on monty python where the guy comes out on stage and goes "i love you" and hits himself in the head with two bricks. all of my friends that are monty python fans absolutely adore that scene. they don't really laugh at it, because it's not funny on any level, they just kind of stare at the screen and force laughter. the knights who say "ni". shit, that's some comic genius.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Inside Quint's Argument Clinic

    by Oberon

    You summed up my Python feelings perfectly, Quint: "Brian" is the better film, but Python has more indelible characters and scenes. And after all, what have the Romans done for us?

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 8:43 a.m. CST

    re: harry's self-aggrandisment

    by simon72

    "I love that John Cleese believes that I'm living in a trailer house." I find it stranger still that he believes that you've "got Hollywood scared to death"

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 8:45 a.m. CST

    What about a DVD release of 'CLOCKWORK'? It's so much funnier t

    by workshed

    Quint... what a missed opportunity! He must have given you all of sixty seconds (about the time it took me to read it). Should have skipped the Potter stuff and got down to questions concerning the whereabouts of the funniest person Cleese ever worked with, namely, CONNIE BOOTH. That would have unsettled the bar-steward. Did he kill her after they finished the 12th episode of FT? etc, etc.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 9:19 a.m. CST

    goldboink

    by Ray Garraty #47

    Goldboink, I throw my empty vienna sausage cans into a sealed garbage bag. If I leave them out, they draw roaches...

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 9:25 a.m. CST

    What about a DVD release of 'CLOCKWISE'? It's so much funnier t

    by workshed

    Quint... what a missed opportunity! He must have given you all of sixty seconds (about the time it took me to read it). Should have skipped the Potter stuff and got down to questions concerning the whereabouts of the funniest person Cleese ever worked with, namely, CONNIE BOOTH. That would have unsettled the bar-steward. Did he kill her after they finished the 12th episode of FT? etc, etc.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Jackburtonlives, there WAS somebody...

    by Fish Tank

    that had the potential to be the next MP. The Kids in the Hall. Some absolutely priceless material in their TV shows (Chicken Lady is one example), but sadly they didn't stay together.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 10:30 a.m. CST

    First!!!

    by Winstanley

    Yes! First! *stops and looks around* Ah. Sorry. Sorry everyone. *exits giving a sheepish thumbs-up sign*

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 11:06 a.m. CST

    The nearest there's been to Python since Python

    by Trav McGee

    would have to be Mr. Show. Kids In The Hall were amazing, and re-ground-breaking, saving smart sketch comedy from a the likes of self-cannibalizing, tepid SNL. Every one of those guys is smart as hell, extremely knowledgeable and talented. So, grant the Canadians their Kids, and I never switch the channel when I find em again. Smart and weird and hilarious. ...Mr. Show, though. A solid half-hour without commercial pacing or breaks, that leapt from video to live on stage to film with an amazing sense of segue--the segue was reestablished as an art in itself. Surreal and slapstick, high cultural satire and fart jokes (and at least one satirical look at our embrace of fart jokes) so intertwined the difference was meaningless. And with such a warped perspective and bizarre delivery, Bob and David--and the rest of the great revolving cast--are as much an acquired taste as Python was/is to first-timers. I saw the first Mr. Show the first night it aired, pretty much by accident. My mouth was hanging open during the big closer, "The Joke, The Musical" and I was thinking, what the fuck IS this? Delighted at the newness of it, but stunned. Then when Bob came out all in white with a funnel on his head, singing in falsetto, "I'm the hated milk machine..." (if you don't know it, don't ask, just watch) I literally fell off my couch from laughing. It was the final weirdness that sent me over. And when THAT just devolved into "Auld Lang Syne," (IMO) obviously because the writers couldn't figure out how the hell to end that fucking sketch AND their first show ever (probably thought they'd never do another one, much less air that one), all I could think was, Jesus Christ, Monty Python's back. I scoured the TV guide for the repeat, taped that fucker (and every one since) and have been evangelizing Mr. Show to my friends ever since. Pretty easy to convert, too, just make sure they watch at least three eps in one sitting. Then it's a fight to get my tapes back. (Thank God for the DVDs! Where's the rest?!?) ...Mr. Show, now THEY nailed the spirit and creativity of Monty Python, and whereas the Pythons were decidely British, Bob and David are very much American. Too hidden on and unsupported by HBO to make the same cultural impact, unfortunately, but aspired to the same heights. Damn, last night was a Fawlty Towers fest, looks like I just talked myself into a Mr. Show weekend. And now I gotta get those Flying Circus DVDs....

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 11:11 a.m. CST

    John Cleese is the sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet

    by lookcloser07

    He's so hot it's not even funny.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Ray Garraty 47

    by Anita Hummer

    I incorporate my empty vienna sausage cans into the bugger sculptures of the girls I would do if I was famous.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Actually, Pieface, that's NOT true.

    by rev_skarekroe

    His Grandfather's name was Cheese, but he changed it before our man John was ever born. sk

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 1:23 p.m. CST

    I agree, it's not as bad as I first thought

    by Kauzi Sezso

    I saw "Meaning of Life" again recently (after not liking much of it when I saw it in theaters years ago), and he's right: the pacing, which I found dreadful originally, seemed better the second time around. And the good parts definately outweighed the bad parts. Maybe this is a movie that just gets better on repeat showings. I, for one, am looking forward to the DVD.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Cleese is Awesome - "A Fish Called Wanda!" He Gets to Nail Jaim

    by hipcheck13

    Wouldn't that, alone, make you a man among men? Cleese is terrific - truly quirky and hilarious.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Nice job, Quint

    by FrankCobretti

    A solid interview of a solid bloke. Way to go.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 10:07 p.m. CST

    "I LOVE ANYTHING THAT POKES FUN AT THE INSTITUTION OF RELIGION"

    by Specter22

    ..........thanks a lot, you're surprisingly as old as I am, and yet you've succeeded in slamming not only my lifestyle, but the lifestyle of the 1.2 BILLION Catholics around the world. This interview may have been good, but that just ruined it for me. And I don't care if anyone responds to this post, I won't be reading it in this TalkBack.

  • Aug. 22, 2003, 10:16 p.m. CST

    How in God's Green Earth ...

    by Itchy

    Could you conduct that interview and not ask him if he felt, looking back, that the Frenchmen in the Castle scene from Holy Grail was, in hindsight, a stinging indictment of the incohate amorality of French duplicity in their conduct of foreign affairs, both past and present.

  • Aug. 23, 2003, 12:31 a.m. CST

    by Harold Spengler

    It's too bad, but it seems like 'Meaning' was the least of all the Python movies, excluding 'And Now...' and 'Hollywood Bowl'. Aside from the first bit with the medical machines and some stuff along the way, it dragged too much. S'okay, since the gang's work means they don't have to answer to anyone. Too bad some people got mad over that crack about religion in the interview. Also strange the fellow Catholic was upset over the verb 'poke'. Wesley Willis died today. Rock over London, Rock on Chicago. Bank One...what's in your wallet?

  • Aug. 23, 2003, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Religion

    by Anita Hummer

    What religion is God, anyway. If he were a Jew why would he have created all of those Muslims, and if he were a Catholic, why would he have stacked them next to the Protestants.

  • Aug. 23, 2003, 1:53 p.m. CST

    trav mcgee, Mr. Show

    by mtoast

    Long live Mr. Show! Did you catch 'em live last year? Amazing! By the way, SEASON THREE DVD IS OUT ON TUESDAY! That's right Druggachusetts and all. As far as I'm concerned, it was season three when they really hit their stride. www.bobanddavid.com

  • Aug. 23, 2003, 7:34 p.m. CST

    mtoast...

    by raw_bean

    Whats all that about Harry's name droppping? Sorry fella but you just sound jealous. I mean, if Someone as great as John Cleese knew about and mentioned me, I'd never shut up about it! Wouldn't you mention it?

  • Aug. 23, 2003, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Meetings, Bloody Meetings

    by FrankCobretti

    Sure, it's classic Cleese, and the greatest corporate training video every made, and every college student should see it, but $870.00 for a 30-minute videotape? I mean, what the fuck?

  • Aug. 24, 2003, 3:13 p.m. CST

    raw_bean

    by mtoast

    If John Cleese knew who I was, I would definitely tell my friends, but I wouldn't feel the need to shoehorn it into someone else's interview just to make myself feel important in front of the masses. It added nothing to the piece and had nothing to do with the piece. Also, I don't have a well-known movie-based website -- so if John Cleese knew who I was, it would be very unusual. We all know that Harry's website has given him some celebrity status -- and that he buzzes onto Hollywood radar screens. Does he have to keep braying about it every time it happens? I'm just telling the guy, "You're OK. You've accomplished something. Let it speak for itself." And stop those damn pop-up ads! Please!

  • Aug. 24, 2003, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Tera delu, mtoast!

    by Trav McGee

    Tuesday, huh? It's almost time to go up Heaven's Chimney...

  • Aug. 24, 2003, 4:51 p.m. CST

    has harry ever gotten laid?

    by CaptainBlackbeer

    just wonderin

  • Aug. 24, 2003, 5:44 p.m. CST

    trav, right after Heaven's Chimney...

    by mtoast

    ...Pack your bags, 'cause we're goin' up my mother's ass!

  • Aug. 25, 2003, 1:41 a.m. CST

    GABRIEL BYRNE IS SO FUCKING HOT!

    by Brimacombe

    Oh remember when he played the priest in Stigmata? Average movie at best, but damn Gabe in a sexy black robe=repeated viewings. How about Miller's Crossing? I can't believe I didn't faint. Oh he was so yum in that movie. The Usual Suspects, sweet Jesus I could go on forever, the beige suit he wears at the beginning? Yum. His dark shock of hair? VA VA VOOM. The man oozes SEXINESS!!!!!!

  • Aug. 25, 2003, 7:52 a.m. CST

    AICN HSX League

    by FrankCobretti

    First, the on-topic post: John Cleese is, indeed, supercool. Now, the real reason for the post: I'm starting an AICN league at Hollywood Stock Exchange. Let me know if you want to join.

  • Aug. 25, 2003, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Cleese probably hasn't worked with Connie Booth lately because s

    by DeadRapedDeer

    Stupid dumb-ass question that was.

  • Aug. 25, 2003, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Connie Booth is still alive, ya moron.

    by minderbinder

  • Aug. 26, 2003, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Great, mtoast

    by Trav McGee

    Well, I love shoes! >BZZZZZZZ<

  • Aug. 26, 2003, 12:56 p.m. CST

    touche, trav

    by mtoast

    Yes, shoes are great, but blowjobs are the foundation of modern society!

  • Aug. 26, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST

    where's all the real news?

    by gopherkhan

    FILMROT.com