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John Cleese Carefully Considers Your Futile Comments.
February 18, 2012 10:25 AM   Subscribe


 
I was honestly expecting that to really be "John Cleese Ignores Your Futile Comments and Talks About Something Else Entirely" -- and was slightly disappointed that it wasn't. But I liked it anyhow.
posted by axiom at 10:31 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also: Eric Idle Responds to Your Fatuous Comments
posted by maudlin at 10:34 AM on February 18, 2012


The Jeff Dunham response is just classic, "If that's the sort of entertainment you like...."

SNAP!
posted by Fizz at 10:34 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it seemed out-of-character to me that he was respectfully giving straight answers. I think maybe he was coerced somehow.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:35 AM on February 18, 2012


Whoops -- link above is part 2. Here's part 1.
posted by maudlin at 10:35 AM on February 18, 2012


Michael Palin is a riot.
posted by Harpocrates at 10:35 AM on February 18, 2012


I would listen to John Cleese do commentary on grass growing. Or explaining calculus.

But not reading the phone book, that still belongs to Morgan Freeman.
posted by theichibun at 10:36 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Easy to masturbate to.
posted by Winnemac at 10:38 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


But not reading the phone book, that still belongs to Morgan Freeman

I understand some of the obsession with Freeman's voice and his narration skills, but give me Jeremy Irons any day of the week and I'd be a happy man.
posted by Fizz at 10:38 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Black knight reference--gore warning needed!
posted by found missing at 10:40 AM on February 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Had a big crush on him that waxed and waned over the years. But it faded after he appeared on the Graham Hancock show and talked about eating dog in China and was rather dismissive about whether they'd suffered.
posted by Glinn at 10:40 AM on February 18, 2012


Werner Herzog reading my grocery list.
posted by maudlin at 10:41 AM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


... maybe he was coerced somehow.

I still see the sharp tongue, but it's more subtle and understated; maybe he's just getting mellower in his old age. It could also be that he managed to exercise out most of the overt sarcasm and snark while making Monty Python and Fawlty Towers shows.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:43 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


maybe he's just getting mellower in his old age.

Cleese has said he resisted therapy for years cause he thought his anger was the only thing fueling his wit.
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 AM on February 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


The Jeff Dunham response is just classic

Indeed. "And I'm sure we'll all hear of him very soon." Hah!
posted by gimonca at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was puzzled by the reference to Jeff Dunham and puppets. So in a careful effort to avoid any actual exposure to alleged humor, I looked him up on wikipedia to see what he was all about. My initial instinct to do the research without seeing his act were vindicated.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:54 AM on February 18, 2012


"I'd rather be a greybeard."
posted by Think_Long at 10:56 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would climb 7,000 steps to meet John Cleese.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:57 AM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


"I'd rather be a Greybeard."

Ok, that was just geektastic. The thought of sitting down for a session of Xboxen with John Cleese is just about the coolest thing in the world.
posted by calamari kid at 10:58 AM on February 18, 2012


Wait - you don't have elderberry cordial in the US? It's okay. You're not missing much. Kind of fruity, in a berry kind of way. Not bad at all.
posted by alasdair at 11:02 AM on February 18, 2012


Cleese has said he resisted therapy for years cause he thought his anger was the only thing fueling his wit.

It seems to me I read an interview in which he said after undergoing therapy, he really didn't feel the same drive to work--he didn't feel the same need for approval or something that was feeding his comedy. I'm broadly paraphrasing something I read years ago and am probably getting it mostly wrong, but that was the general gist.

So... thanks a LOT, therapists.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:04 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait. Wasn't this posted three days ago?
posted by clarknova at 11:14 AM on February 18, 2012


Glad to hear that Michael Palin has addressed sharing a name with the former Alaskan governor.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:16 AM on February 18, 2012


Right! Sarah is not Micheal's fault.
posted by Cranberry at 11:19 AM on February 18, 2012


His nearly nude scene in A Fish Called Wanda had me in stitches when I first saw it. A 40 year old man naked! Hilarious!

Time changes your perspective.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:23 AM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it seemed out-of-character to me that he was respectfully giving straight answers. I think maybe he was coerced somehow.

They didn't seem entirely straight to me, there's quite a bit of low-key wit in there. I agree he wasn't silly, but i think he was the first to get a little bored with silly after python.

Anyway, he was once asked to give a talk about humor (probably far more than once, I'm sure) and responded that humor was probably the most boring thing in the world to talk about, and gave the talk on something else instead. Despite which, he does a pretty damn entertaining job of talking about it here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:25 AM on February 18, 2012


I'm pretty sure he was confusing elderberry with elderflower, which is the light, fragrant one. Elderberry is just fruity, really.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:35 AM on February 18, 2012


And the elder plant as a whole, which I frequently have to rip out of my hedges, smells absolutely foul.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:35 AM on February 18, 2012


Why does John Cleese introduce himself as Michael Palin? Is this a joke I'm missing?
posted by smartypantz at 11:38 AM on February 18, 2012


Ahaha that was great thanks crunchland!
posted by elpapacito at 11:41 AM on February 18, 2012


Is this a joke I'm missing?

Yes
posted by found missing at 11:42 AM on February 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Werner Herzog reading my grocery list
I tought he masturbated to Zizek's tulips?
posted by elpapacito at 11:43 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Loved his comments on the Dunning-Kruger effect at the end of this clip! :D
posted by darkstar at 12:40 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So here's a paper which seems to relate to the research he mentions by David Dunning at Cornell: Unskilled and Unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Apparently this was awarded an Ig Nobel prize in 1999, which I can only hope is not disparaging of the research but rather of the innate hilarity of its findings.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:41 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or what, darkstar said, sort of, as there is in itself a kind of irony in linking to a Wikipedia article when discussing people's flawed sense of their own competence, which is why I didn't do it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:42 PM on February 18, 2012


John Cleese rant on football was rather amusing I thought.

On another note.
Having made elderflower cordial every year for the last 40 or so years I can tell you that the charactaristic light, fragrant bouquet is vaguely reminescent of cat piss.
Quite nice in fact.
Its a summer tradition here, picking the flowers usually a week or so before Midsommar.
posted by jan murray at 1:36 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


As someone who seethes in resentment that Jeff Dunham fills huge theaters, I am cheered beyond measure to discover that he is beneath John Cleese's notice.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:54 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cranberry: "Right! Sarah is not Micheal's fault."

Nor can Sarah take any credit for Michael. Although she would no doubt try.
posted by Splunge at 2:15 PM on February 18, 2012




Yeah, it seemed out-of-character to me that he was respectfully giving straight answers. I think maybe he was coerced somehow.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:35 PM on February 18


That was absolutely shot through with understated sarcasm, damning with faint praise etc.

Proper British humour, chaps. It ain't about Benny Hill. Really.
posted by Decani at 2:56 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


'twould be eminently appropriate to organize a significant Mifi block/cheering section for the event in the fall. It's free but get tickets early. (in Cambridge Ma)
posted by sammyo at 2:57 PM on February 18, 2012


le morte de bea arthur: "And the elder plant as a whole, which I frequently have to rip out of my hedges, smells absolutely foul."

Elderflowers and subsequently elderberries grow on small-medium sized trees. You're probably thinking of ground elder which would grow as a weed in your hedges and smells foul. As far as I can think, elder shrubs would be too woody to smell. But there is a faint hint of wee in the smell of elderflowers, which is not that unpleasant.
posted by ambrosen at 3:09 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having made elderflower cordial every year for the last 40 or so years I can tell you that the charactaristic light, fragrant bouquet is vaguely reminescent of cat piss.
Quite nice in fact.


I suspect you're infected with T. gondii.
posted by hippybear at 3:19 PM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


That was absolutely shot through with understated sarcasm,

My suggestion that he was being coerced was also meant to be understated humor. I gather from the fact that it's getting me lectured about Benny Hill that it may have been a little TOO understated...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:00 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


If anyone's interested, bottles of elderberry cordial can be purchased at your nearest IKEA.

It's pretty good.
posted by alexei at 4:17 PM on February 18, 2012


Are we talking about elderberry cordial or elderflower cordial? Because they're not the same thing. Elderberry is fine, but it's the elderflower that's so aromatic and . . . well, sort of indescribable. Apparently. But good! I have a bottle going right now. It's delicious in a glass of soda water.
posted by HotToddy at 4:38 PM on February 18, 2012


I <3 saft
posted by sid at 4:42 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Werner Herzog reading my grocery list.

Someone should make a Werner Herzog GPS navigation voice.
posted by ymgve at 5:01 PM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]



I would listen to John Cleese do commentary on grass growing. Or explaining calculus.

--theichibun

Long ago at a company I worked for we had to watch these business training tapes. One of them was how to do job interviews, by...John Cleese. It was characteristically hilarious. The one part I remember is him giving a guy an interview, and loving to talk so much that the interviewee can't get a word in edgewise. He apparently made a bunch of things like this. I would love to see them again.
posted by eye of newt at 5:31 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would love to see them again.

Do a Google video search for "john cleese business videos" and you'll find quite a few things on YouTube.
posted by hippybear at 5:33 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This elderberry/elderflower/ground elder discussion may be the most bizarre derail I have ever witnessed. I have never seen any elder-plants personally and had no idea of the complexity and depth of elder-botany. But I do like the elder Cleese.
posted by Dojie at 5:43 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Long ago at a company I worked for we had to watch these business training tapes. One of them was how to do job interviews, by...John Cleese.

Yes, I remember those too. The only one I can specifically remember was a sketch about the perils of setting your own appointments without informing your secretary, thus necessitating two schedule books and avoiding the inevitable disasters if you do not keep them in synchronization.

Ever since then, it has been my goal in life, and my biggest failure having not attained it, to achieve a position where I have a secretary to keep my schedule.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:55 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


John Cleese turned in to a very ugly racist and sexist man in his older years. He says he moved to Bath because he couldn't see any English faces in London. And his misogyny about his exwife...wow. He's just become a disappointing caricature of himself and it's terribly sad. Hrs no longer funny, he's a nasty bigot.
posted by taff at 7:08 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nope. still funny.
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:48 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone should make a Werner Herzog GPS navigation voice.

You have made a choice to go south, a commitment. But the fact is, every day we take such choices and yet we reject the commitment. I think you should commit fully to south, make it not just now but for always. If you really do want to go south then you must declare war on north, disable your steering wheel and the reverse gear in your transmission. I'm quite convinced that south now and forever, with all that entails, is the only choice for someone really dedicated to the modern automobile. Continue ever forward.

Off ramp in 300 meters. I hate the highway system with a deep and burning passion. Society has built up this monstrosity of concrete, covering everything, the immense destruction is killing us, it is ridiculous that we have spent such vast monies on slow and lonely suicide. Off ramp in 200 meters.

The possibility is here, there are many routes you can explore. But maybe there is an alternative entirely outside the paradigm you've created, and that is walking on foot. These are not only your choices - as I am here in your automobile with you, these decisions become our collective ones. The only difference between you and me is that I can articulate these choices. Please select route on touchscreen.

And so it looks already good, the destination is well within our grasp now. Turn right 100 meters.

As you have missed your turn, rejected my advice, it is now that we encounter the true difficulties. But as men we must face this situation head on, there is nothing to be done but reconsider, make new decisions, and continue on this new way with the same conviction and drive that was in our hearts as we began the journey. Be ready to show awareness of the problems you have, and be an example to those others who will follow you on this path. Turn right 400 meters.

We do not even know where we are standing. It doesn't take great genius to understand it, if our own location is unclear then getting closer to our goal is an insurmountable task. Please wait for GPS satellite reconnection.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:08 PM on February 18, 2012 [358 favorites]


elderberry cordial ... Kind of fruity, in a berry kind of way.

Really... hmm. Chuck, Halle or Dingle?
posted by Twang at 8:26 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Meatbomb, I read that out loud with a German accent and Herzogian Gewicht, which I am quite capable of or at least entitled to, being German and also a fan of his films and him being a total Mensch — and I have to say you did very well there.

The Idea of the Autobahn has always disturbed me. It was invented by people who do not hold on to life dearly. A kind of reduction of life itself to something quantifiable. Now you may drive as fast as you want to.
posted by quoquo at 10:06 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holy fuck, Meatbomb. That was awesome!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:16 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks quoquo. Despite my elementary level German I have worked hard to build up my fake "German speaking English" skill. My English teaching and love of Germans and Germany has given me a more attentive ear for the endearing little idiosyncrasies of German English.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:19 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having made elderflower cordial every year for the last 40 or so years I can tell you that the charactaristic light, fragrant bouquet is vaguely reminescent of cat piss.
Quite nice in fact.

I suspect you're infected with T. gondii.

hippybear, I was busy composing a snappy retort along those lines... vaguely. Instead, I shall sit and sulk in the knowledge that my best could not have matched your wit.

I hate you.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:26 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate you.
posted by IAmBroom

Well, we'll both have to live with your hate now, because I just MeFi Spoused you.
posted by hippybear at 10:04 AM on February 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why does Graham Chapman introduce himself as Michael Palin and apologize for calling the Hitler Channel the "History Channel" on the parrot sketch? Dick Cheney was not in that one. Anyway, Eric Idle sounds like Bilbo Baggins. Stolen the one ring? Well I feel very litigious.

"If you're very very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you're very very stupid? You'd have to be relatively intelligent to realize how stupid you are... in order to know how good you are at something, it requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place...if you're absolutely no good at something at all then you lack exactly the skills that you need to know that you're absolutely no good at at..."

More than Fox or Hollywood. That explains perhaps the fulcrum of human existence. Particularly coupled with Eric Idle's insight that: "I'm not a doctor, but I do have some basic gynecological knowledge."
posted by Smedleyman at 1:03 PM on February 19, 2012


Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of ELDERBERRIES!
posted by apis mellifera at 1:51 PM on February 19, 2012


Elderflowers and subsequently elderberries grow on small-medium sized trees. You're probably thinking of ground elder which would grow as a weed in your hedges and smells foul.

No, it's the elder tree all right. My hedges are 7 feet high, and the elders grow from nothing to the top of the hedge in a year. The birds eat the elderberries, poop out the seeds, and the elder trees spring forth. We've got elder trees (well, shrubs really) everywhere around here.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:55 PM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, we'll both have to live with your hate now, because I just MeFi Spoused you.

Kinda perfect, actually, hippybear. Just like mom & dad then!
posted by IAmBroom at 1:54 PM on February 20, 2012


Meatbomb has made a fine contribution to the fine metafilter tradition of imaginary Werner Herzog narrations.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:43 PM on February 20, 2012 [15 favorites]


My English teaching and love of Germans and Germany has given me a more attentive ear for the endearing little idiosyncrasies of German English.

Ah, but you missed the #1 idiosyncrasy of Gerglish: "if our own location is unclear" would have been spoken by a German as "when our own location is unclear" due to the wenn --> when transliteration error. I honestly haven't met a German yet who doesn't always use "when" for "if".
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:38 PM on February 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


The possibility is here, there are many routes you can explore. But maybe there is an alternative entirely outside the paradigm you've created, and that is walking on foot.

For anyone that enjoyed this, I heartily recommend Of Walking In Ice, which is Herzog's diary of a walk he took from Munich to Paris in 1974. He walked because he had an inkling that the walk itself might heal his friend, who was very sick. In true Herzogian fashion, he does not explain why he feels this, or what his logic might be, or whether the slow slide into hallucinatory imagery at the end of the diary is real or imagined; like many of his movies, the diary seems entirely unconcerned with defining reality or theorizing about motivations, and much more interested in the careful documentation of the obsessive human soul. It's Herzog at his Herzogiest!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:44 AM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


A 40 year old man naked! Hilarious!

He was almost 50 when A Fish called Wanda came out, but I don't think age was really the point so much as the fact he was a stuck-up pasty white guy.
posted by Hoopo at 11:57 AM on February 21, 2012


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