John Cleese – the REAL issue

John Cleese is in the country with his one man show.

I’ve got to say Cleese used to make me laugh a lot. Then he started seeing psychiatrists and he went a bit funny in the head.

One of his compatriots from the 1960s comedy boom, Willie Rushton, observed of Cleese a few years ago that “we just have to face the fact that this ‘care in the community’ policy is not working.”

Hectoring anti-smoking campaigns and vocal support of the Social Democrat Party were part of this. He also fronted a campaign for proportional representation.

But Fawlty Towers was brilliant. I can forgive most people who make me laugh, and anyone who makes me laugh THAT MUCH I can forgive a lot.

I once watched a Fawlty re-run at a Backpackers in Picton. With a bunch of Germans. Guess which episode it was….Actually, the Germans took it rather well, considering. A slightly bemused bewilderment rather than anything else. I think they realized it was in part a send up of the Brits’ continual obsession with WWII.

The Python films were brilliant: the TV series was very hit and miss. The best ones very good but there was a lot of utter bilge.

I’m a bit jaundiced on Python. I used to love it, but I did get tired, back in my Uni days, of fellow students who would parrot (heh!) Python lines all the time and think this made them witty and interesting.

When I was on university Challenge TVNZ took us to a video showing on the first night and it was “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.

Of the seven four man teams and their one-person support teams only ONE person in that entire room had not seen the film several times. And this one person got very fed up because she could not hear what was being said on the screen. The reason for this was too many of the other watchers would say the lines before they were said on the screen.

The interviews with Cleese so far have focused on how different New Zealand is from when he toured in the 1960s. We now have decent food and coffee.

The stories have unfortunately been less about Cleese and more about ‘wow, is New Zealand a cool place these days or what?’

“Please tell us its a cool place, Mr Cleese. We’ll be ever so grateful.” Cringe cringe fawn fawn.


They haven’t asked him the most interesting question of all though. According to his biography, he lost his virginity on tour in New Zealand.

It even names the site – the Station Hotel in Auckland.

So is Cleese going to revisit the place? And is the woman concerned going to come forward? What are her memories of the whole occasion?

I think we should be told.

5 thoughts on “John Cleese – the REAL issue

  1. I too hate the incessant fawning that all so called interviewers in NZ do. It is so lame. When will the editorial staff ban this kind of crap. If for no better reason than to stop the masses trying to emulate the same crap. I get sick of having foreign guests of mine harangued by every dickhead in the street/cafe etc trying to boost their own pathetic egos about living in a beautiful country with such a beneficient leader.This is quaint on day one, but by day 5 they get very bored with this crap.


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