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Albatross! Pork! - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Albatross! Pork!
Another achievement unlocked: we spent close to two hours in the same room as a real Python.

We've got tickets to all the UB Speaker Series for the academic year, but this is the one I really wanted to see. They split the subscription audience into two shows in the smaller Center for the Arts venue, and we luckily drew the earlier one starting at 7 p.m., with real assigned seats.

John Cleese has always been the face, or at least the voice, I most associate with Monty Python.  He figures in just about every sketch I hold dear from the MPFC years, and so many of the scenes from the films- plus Fawlty Towers (which he saved for question time, thinking the US audience wouldn't know it as well- WRONG!), plus Wanda, plus so much more of an unmistakable presence in so much social media. For crysake, I have a black knight clock on the wall of my office:

His hour-plus main presentation was basically a personal history- from growing up in the dullest of English coastal towns in Weston-super-Mare (bustling, he said, only in comparison to Rochester, presumably the one in Kent), to learning to use humour as his defense against bullying, to being given his big break by David Frost, only to return the favour by convincing the BBC to let his fellow show-writer Marty Feldman appear in front of the camera- with hilarious results in this clip he showed us from his pre-Python series At Last The 1948 Show:

"Pork!" is already on its way to becoming a catchphrase here, as "Albatross!" always was. I cried it out on the steps down the aisle after he finished- I think a few people got it.

Cleese is now older than Charlie Crichton was when they did Wanda in the 80s. That film began solely from a Crichton desire to see a character run over by a steamroller.  Everyone in it was a pleasure to work with, he said.

Once he got to the Fawlty parts, he gave a very kind remembrance of Andrew Sachs, Manuel on the series, who died last month. Cleese set us up to guess where this truly British actor was born- and after we all shouted "Barthelona," he told us the correct answer was Berlin. Sachs was Jewish- and got out in 1938.

Nothing was sacred.  Religion is fine- organized religion, not so much; Cleese wondered how the church has gotten so far away from Christ's own message of denial of ego, almost, in his words, a Buddhist concept. (Eleanor took note of that.)

During questions, someone brought up the Orange Numpty.  Cleese first noticed the squirrel on his head over 30 years ago, and concluded, based on some Cornell research, that Drumpf doesn't know what he's doing- but he also doesn't know that he doesn't know what he's doing.  His sources think it's likely that the bloom will be off the rose orange within a year and that it will be the Republicans who will impeach him.... leaving us with President Pence, and with no hope whatsoever.

Sadly, Eric Idle is not on the Distinguished Speakers Series. Yet.
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weebleswobble From: weebleswobble Date: December 13th, 2016 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
the orange numpty. thats awesome.
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