February 28, 2021

So, Anyway – John Cleese

This is very much “John Cleese, The Early Years”. A grudging intro from Michael Palin sets the tone for the entire book.

I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by John himself, and I think this was the best way to enjoy the book. There was more than one occasion where he lost it and gave in to hysterical laughter while telling one of his anecdotes. This led to me grinning like a loony at my desk and giggling along with him.

So, Anyway is far from a complete autobiography. It got to about half way through while he was still at university and I realised he wasn’t going to go into Python in any depth. Interviews since the release of the book suggest Cleese is planning another and I so hope this is true.

The book takes us from his childhood in Weston-Super-Mare, through his university years at Cambridge, a spell in the US where he meets his first wife Connie Booth (who he speaks of in only the most glowing terms), right up until he starts Monty Python. He does mention the Reunion Tour in 2014 (which Mr Blanket-Fort and I attended) but there’s very few other Python stories.

The fact the book was read by John, includes clips of old sketches, and has kept in his corpsing laughter made this a really enjoyable audio book. I loved it. Yes, it’s incomplete – no mention of any wives after Connie, no mention of his children, very few references to any of the Pythons other than Graham Chapman. Did that bother this fan? Nope.


2 thoughts on “So, Anyway – John Cleese

  1. I always liked John Cleese. I didnt know he had a biography out. I would agree that the best way to listen to it would be an audiobook that he narrates. It would be like an interview that you get to see live.

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