John Cleese's huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp, irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seem written into comedy's DNA. In this rollicking memoir, So, Anyway..., Cleese takes listeners on a grand tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman) to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.
Cleese was just days away from graduating Cambridge and setting off on a law career when he was visited by two BBC executives who offered him a job writing comedy for radio. That fateful moment - and a near-simultaneous offer to take his university humor revue to London's famed West End - propelled him down a different path, cutting his teeth writing for stars like David Frost and Peter Sellers and eventually joining the five other Pythons to pioneer a new kind of comedy that prized invention, silliness, and absurdity. Along the way he found his first true love with the actress Connie Booth and transformed himself from a reluctant performer to a world-class actor and back again.
Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions - with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what's funny and why - this story of a young man's journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.
©2016 John Cleese (P)2016 Random House Audio
"So, Anyway... ambles along in loose fashion, taking its time, stopping to admire the view here and there, dispensing a little social commentary...and otherwise taking the scenic route through a mostly sunny landscape. The effect is a bit like having a long lunch with an amiable, slightly loony uncle. Who also happens to be John Cleese." (Michael Ian Black, The New York Times Book Review)
"John Cleese's memoir is just about everything one would expect of its author - smart, thoughtful, provocative and above all funny...a picture, if you will, of the artist as a young man." (Washington Post)
"Give John Cleese points for candor.... Give him additional points for graceful writing and sly humor...." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
This is a really fun autobiography, but before you buy, you do need to take note of one thing: The book more or less ends when Monty Python is formed. Things like Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda are mentioned often, but they are not really covered.
The book is joy to listen to, as Mr Cleese recalls his childhood, education, and early work, both in the U.K. and U.S. There are a few actual clips of old routines, and he often has to pause to laugh as he relates funny episodes from his past.
My personal hope is that he decides to do a follow-up, covering the years from Monty Python to present day.
Loved it. It does end with just a little bit of Python, but you do learn a lot about how Cleese developed his comic skill, and about the origins of some Python materials. Hope there will be a part 2 some day.
Jon Cheese is a brilliant writer and performer. I'm so glad I not only got to enjoy this book but I got to enjoy Cheese's timing and delivery as well!
Yes it's Cheese. Check the book.
cleese is wildly entertaining. it includes old audio recordings that are wonderful. a bit more from the python time would've been appreciated
Merci, Monsieur Cleese. Ain't nothing wrong with being lucky. Your reading was top shelf and, as I listened, I became more and more fond of your denigration of all of us ungrateful and unappreciative listeners. Goodnight!
Seit 1987 lebe ich in den USA, seit 12 Jahren in Virginia.Hoere deutsche Buecher um mit deutscher Literatur auf dem laufenden zu bleiben.
Loved it so much that I listened to it twice in a row just in case I missed anything. His talent for timing paired with his unique gift of storytelling elevate this memoir of a uniquely British humorist to an absolute must- listen for the connoisseur of absurd Pythonesque comedy.
For lovers of Monty Python, Cleese provides the context for this innovative comedy show by his telling of his world and The time that led up to Python. Very enjoyable; the audio version read by Cleese himself is a must.
Cleese is one of the great minds of comedy. He did not disappoint. I would recommend this book to anyone who has had the pleasure of watching the man at work. I would have liked to hear more of Basil Fawlty, but can now look forward to the next book.
I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book. I particularly liked when he laughed as he retold some of his stories. It was a delightful look into a treasured comedy legend. Thank you, Mr. Cleese!
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