BBC Radio 4 - Funny in Four - What has John Cleese ever done for us?

JOHN CLEESE (1939 – )                

Monty Python Reunites To Raise Graham Chapman From The Dead - CINEMABLEND

Graham Chapman

[From the eulogy he gave at his friend and fellow Python, Graham Chapman’s memorial service]: ‘…and I guess that we’re all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, a man of such capability and kindness, of such unusual intelligence, should now, so suddenly, be spirited away at the age of only 48, before he’d achieved many of the things of which he was capable and before he’d had enough fun. Well, I feel that I should say ‘Nonsense!’ Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries.’

John Cleese in £12 million divorce settlement

John & Alyce in happier times

[On his divorce from Alyce Faye Eichelberger in 2008]: ‘I feel angry sometimes. But my anger is not so much about sharing the property but having to go on working hard to provide alimony for someone who’s already going to have at least $10 million worth of property, and who’s getting a million pounds this year. At some point you say, ‘Well, what did I do wrong? You know, I was the breadwinner.’ The system is insane.’

‘The divorce settlement absolutely affects every decision I make professionally. I have to earn $1 million a year before I even keep a penny and I have to build my professional choices around that fact. It annoys me that in my seventies I am having to live in a way I don’t choose to live. Imagine how much I’d have to pay Alyce if she had contributed anything to the relationship – such as children or a conversation.’

Barbara Trentham

Barbara Trentham

‘One of my ex-wives died [Barbara Trentham in 2013], you know, that was really sad, ‘cause it was the wrong one.’


‘Piers Morgan writes that I didn’t recognize him in a restaurant in New York. I did. I just didn’t want to speak to someone I truly detest.’

Piers Morgan on Twitter: "Oh FFS… leave Enid Blyton alone you woke w*nkers."

Piers Morgan

[Further on Morgan]: ‘I see that Piers Morgan has serious concerns about Meghan Markle’s veracity. I have serious concerns about Piers Morgan. I believe he should be in jail, not hosting morning TV. I have serious concerns about Morgan’s veracity. Could he please sue me?’

‘I’m more relaxed now but if I look at the world, I don’t believe it’s ever been in a worse situation. I look at what’s going on and there isn’t much to be cheerful about. I look at [Donald] Trump, and I see a narcissist, with no attention span, who doesn’t have clear ideas about anything and makes it all up as he goes along.’

‘Donald Trump still seems quite popular among many people but his supporters are some of the stupidest people you’ll ever meet in your life…The fact is that the British loathe Donald Trump. This because he is the polar opposite of a ‘Gentleman’, who has qualities the British admire…To the British, a ‘Gentleman’ is a man who is modest, well-mannered, self-deprecating, quietly intelligent, considerate of other people’s feelings, and well-informed. He is not vulgar, inflated, vain, boastful, noisily ignorant, sleazy and common as muck.’

[More on Trump]: ‘It’s hard to understand why so many states want themselves represented in the world by such an apology for a human being. Maybe he’s pretty classy by their standards. The only thing we can say with certainty is: Lincoln should have let them go.’

Michael Palin - he's still got it, forty something years later. | Michael palin, Inspirational people, Monty python

Michael Palin

[On fellow Python Michael Palin]: ‘Sometimes he can be annoyingly conciliatory. Sometimes you want him to stand up for a point of view. I always used to say he could have tea with Hitler and Stalin and they’d both come away with the impression he was on their side. He’s immensely agreeable.’

‘I’m very confused about toppling statues…The Greeks, whose civilization has long been admired in the West, believed that in the Ancient World, a cultured society was only possible if it was based on slavery. So should we be getting rid of statues of Socrates and Aristotle? Similarly, the Romans enslaved the British for 400 years. So are we due reparations from the Italians? And Sir Isaac Newton was a shareholder in the South Sea Company, which included slave trading among its activities. What do we do about his statues? It’s rather complicated.

The Best (and Worst) of Basil Fawlty and His Guests | Fawlty Towers | BBC Comedy Greats - YouTube

[On accusations of racism in Fawlty Towers (1975)]: ‘If you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of, you’re not broadcasting their views, you’re making fun of them. The Major was an old fossil left over from decades before. We were not supporting his views, we were making fun of them. If they can’t see that – if people are too stupid to see that – what can one say?’

Kelly Preston, Actress and Wife of John Travolta, Dies at 57 - The New York Times

KELLY PRESTON (1962-2020) with husband John Travolta                                         

‘There’s the jiggle factor in Hollywood. Once I was at an audition and they told me, ‘You must show your breasts!’ and I was like ‘get outta town.’ I just laughed and slammed the door on my way out.’

[While she was engaged to Charlie Sheen back in 1990, Kelly accidentally received a gunshot wound. According to Charlie, this is what happened]: ‘I was downstairs early in the morning making coffee and I thought she was still asleep upstairs. And I heard a fucking gunshot go off. I thought, ‘She did it, she finally fucking did it. She killed herself and they’re going to fucking blame me. She explained to me that when she lifted my pants off the scale in the bathroom…the tiny revolver I used to carry…it fell out of the back jeans pocket and hit the floor and shot a bullet right between her legs. So she got hit with shrapnel from the toilet bowl.’

Apparently, No One Originally Wanted To Hire Pat Morita For The Karate Kid - CINEMABLEND

PAT MORITA (1932-2005)                        

‘Thanks to the Japanese and Geronimo, John Wayne became a millionaire.’

[The star of films in The Karate Kid franchise (he was Mr. Miyagi)]: ‘I was never able to do karate. That’s calling me a good actor. I act like I can do anything.’

Martha Plimpton Moves On (Again) | River phoenix, Martha plimpton,  Celebrity gossip entertainment

MARTHA PLIMPTON (1970 – ) with River Phoenix               

[During a 1995 Cosmopolitan magazine interview regarding her relationship with former boyfriend River Phoenix]: ‘Once when we were fifteen, River and I went out for this fancy dinner in Manhattan and I ordered soft-shell crabs. He left the restaurant and walked around on Park Avenue, crying. I went out and said, ‘I love you so much. Why?’ He had such pain that I was eating an animal, that he hadn’t impressed on me what was right. I loved him for that – for his dramatic desire that we share every belief; that I be with him all the way.’

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