John Cleese and A Fish Called Wanda at Cornell Cinema

I am gonna come clean now: I didn’t know who John Cleese is until two weeks ago. My best friend was appalled when he asked if I wanted to go to this Cleese talk together, and I looked at the event title and said “sure, I loved Kirshner’s class.”

But now I’m converted! The Monty Python star wrote, directed and stars in the brilliantly silly heist movie, A Fish Called Wanda, which screened at Cornell Cinema on Sept. 10. Cleese and professor Jonathan Kirshner, government, engaged in a prescreening conversation, which is just as funny and nutritious as the film.

Cleese Uses His Extensive Travel to Advise Hotelies

Since his appointment as the A.D. White Professor-at-large ten years ago, famed British actor, comedian and screenwriter John Cleese has regularly visited Cornell’s campus to share his thoughts on a wide range of topics, including writing, theatre, film, psychology and religion.
And now for something completely different.
Stepping out of the shoes of Basil Fawlty, a gloriously rude hotel manager in the ‘70s television series Fawlty Towers, Cleese spoke yesterday to 130 Hotel Administration students as a well-traveled customer who has stayed in many hotels around the world.

Pythons and Politics: Cleese Visits Cornell

Even before he opened his mouth, British actor and screenwriter John Cleese was already exercising the craft that lifted him to fame — making the audience laugh.
“He is part comedian. He is part psychologist, part master-teacher and fully, a public intellectual,” said Provost Kent Fuchs as he introduced Cleese, whose serious nods to Fuchs’s words enticed laughter from the 700 audience members in Statler Auditorium.