Dick Cavett - John Cleese
Now to some people he is a member of 'Monty Pythons Flying Circus'. To other's he is a very tall Englishman that likes to dress up in women's clothing. And to yet even more people he just likes taking the piss out of religion. But to Dick Cavett, he's none other than John Cheese... errr... I mean Cleese himself.
Yes. That's correct talk show fans. For two consecutive programs, Dick asks John a number of questions relating to his current film, 'The Life of Brian', as well as anything else that he can think off. Such as: (1) John's time acting on stage opposite Dicks wife, and his lack of a singing ability. (2) The whole religious controversy surrounding 'Brian', plus the nature of free speech both in
(3) Why 'Python' took ABC to court because of an overzealous editor. And (4)
British Television, the 'Flat Earth Society', the Royal Family, plus John's
co-owned production company called 'Video Arts'.
Now without a stiff upper lip, John answers all of Dick's questions in a very straight forward and jovial manner. Granted, on occasion he does try to back up his opinions by paraphrasing pithy anecdotes or telling numerous tales of times past. Although, by in large Johns stance is mostly forthright and bold, saying it how he sees it, whilst interjecting here and there with an observation or a comment that's very 'Python' by default.
Furthermore, nearing the end of this televised tête-à-tête, John talks a little about the other members in his comedy troupe -- especially Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam -- plus his time as a failed journalist, his comedic inspirations, as well as what it was like growing up in the British costal town of Weston-super-Mare.
Here, before I go off and eat some Cheese, here are some quotes taken from this interview.
- This is the second chat show I've been on in my life. The last one was in 1967. I just thought it best that I leave it for a little while before I did more, ha!
- It was the BBC who first wrote the title 'Flying Circus' in print. So because the rest of us were pissed at the time, we just went along with it. We added the 'Monty Python' part later.
- The initial idea was that Brian was going to be Jesus' 13th disciple, and that he was always going to be late for everything because of his overbearing wife. But it didn't work. We found that we couldn't satirize Jesus because what of he stood for.
time 'Python' or '
' is broadcast in Faulty Towers New York, I get £2.
first time 'Python' went out in
Englandit was aired at on a Sunday night. No. It wasn't ideal.
- You can't watch something like the news after you've watched 'Python'. Everything just seems silly somehow.
- The world is comprised of two types of people -- the anal retentive and those who are comfortable with themselves.
- As 'Python' went on we started to parody each others styles. So it's very hard for us to figure out who wrote what now.
- The English are very vicious, yet we manage to hide it very well.
- I find that there are two types of complaint. The personal complaint: where someone would approach you after the show, and tell you what they thought was offensive about your material. And then there are the heads of organisations: who would air their views because they think their members might be offended by something you've done.
- My strength as a writer is a stern logic. I stick to one rule and follow it all the way through to the punch line.
- The 'Parrot Shop' sketch started out as a man complaining to his mechanic about his damaged car. It then developed into something completely different.
And with that, my friends, both John and Dick got up out of their seats, and then frog marched out of the studio like a couple of loons. Say no more.
[ Not The Interview In Question ]
Now what can I say about 'John Cleese on the Dick Cavett Show', that won't make me sound like some kind of Python obsessed freak? Errr? Nothing I suppose. I just loved watching this program to the max. It's all the things I love about Dick and Python plus much-much more.
Holy Flying Circus' to have watched this interview and inserted it into their dramatisation. Not only because it epitomised what John was really like during this time, but it also had a lot to say about the whole uproar relating to 'The Life of Brian'.
But do you know what the funniest thing about this is though? It isn't what John had to say about 'Brian' which was so poignant. No. As I heard most of that before. It's what Dick Cavett said instead. Especially when he just spurted out...
'Some people say that laughter is always the best medicine. So I don't see why someone should be upset about something that makes people happy and well'.
Ha! Say no more.