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John Cleese

Real name: John Marwood Cleese
Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Status: N/A
Partner: Alice Faye Eichelberger

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John Marwood Cleese (IPA: ) (born 27 October 1939) is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award winning English comedian and actor. He is best known for being one of the founding members of the renowned comedy group Monty Python, and as the writer and star of the popular television comedy Fawlty Towers.

He joined the Cambridge Footlights Revue while he was studying for a law degree at Downing College, Cambridge. Here he met his future writing partner Graham Chapman. Cleese wrote extra material for the 1961 Footlights Revue I Thought I Saw It Move, and was Registrar for the Footlights Club during 1962, as well as being one of the cast members for the 1962 Footlights Revue Double Take!

Such was the popularity of the series that, in 1966, Cleese and Chapman were invited to work as writers and performers with Brooke-Taylor and Feldman on At Last the 1948 Show, during which time the Four Yorkshiremen sketch was written by all four writers/performers (the Four Yorkshiremen sketch is now better known as a Monty Python sketch). John Cleese and Graham Chapman also wrote episodes of Doctor in the House. These series were successful and, in 1969, Cleese and Chapman were offered their very own series. However, due to Chapman's alcoholism, Cleese found himself bearing an increasing workload in the partnership and was therefore unenthusiastic about doing a series with just the two of them. He had found working with Palin on The Frost Report an enjoyable experience, and invited him to join the series. Palin had previously been working on Do Not Adjust Your Set, with Idle and Jones, and Terry Gilliam doing animations. The four of them had, on the back of the success of Do Not Adjust Your Set, been offered a series for ITV, which they were waiting to begin when Cleese's offer arrived. Palin agreed to work with Cleese and Chapman in the meantime, bringing with him Gilliam, Jones and Idle.

In a 2005 poll of comedians and comedy insiders The Comedian's Comedian, Cleese was voted second only to Peter Cook. Also in 2005, a long-standing piece of Internet humour, "The Revocation of Independence", was wrongly attributed to Cleese.

In 2007, he started filming the sequel to The Pink Panther, titled The Next Pink Panther with Steve Martin and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai.

On September 27, 2007, The Podcast Network announced it had signed a deal with Cleese to produce a series of video podcasts called HEADCAST to be published on TPN's website.

John Cleese's most recent live comedic performance was at the 2006 Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, Canada. Cleese was host for one of the galas and performed sketches very reminiscent to his Monty Python days. His first sketch was him performing his own eulogy as he promised to kill himself as the grand finale, remarking "Top that Jason Alexander...you bastard." The second sketch was him as the judge of 'Cleese Idol', where contestants from Montreal would be performing his skits, so he could find his successor. He shot the last contestant as well as the special guest host, Ben Mulroney (the host of Canadian Idol). The gala ended with his "execution", where he asked people to choose the method of execution by text messaging a number (which was fake). The choices were stoning, electric chair, firing squad, hanging and guillotine. The guillotine won, and Cleese was beheaded just as he was about to say something to the crowd.


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