John Cleese con So, Anyway...: The Autobiography
Despite having apparently no talent for singing or dancing, John Cleese joined the Footlights club when he took up his place at Cambridge in 1960. Among his contemporaries were Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Graham Chapman with whom he would go on to form Monty Python. This autobiography describes the comedian's life and influences from his childhood and time as a teacher at his old prep school to his success as a scriptwriter, comedian and ultimately film star.
"Vivid, ridiculously entertaining, and, at times, explosively funny... Cleese is a master of crisp comic prose: his elegant syntax and sudden absurdities would have PG Wodehouse raising a martini glass. So, Anyway... glows with fairness, kindness, gentleness and loyalty." (Nicholas Barber Sunday Express)
"Told with considerable charm and a refreshing amount of candour, the story is one of a vulnerable soul gradually finding a degree of security from behind a carapace of cutting wit... Remarkably warm and generous." (Graham McCann Times Literary Supplement)
"John Cleese’s memoir is just about everything one would expect of its author – smart, thoughtful, provocative and above all funny… A picture, if you will, of the artist as a young man." (Washington Post)
"So, Anyway… breaks away from the shallow conventions of the famous person's autobiography... The result is a book that is frequently hilarious, occasionally lyrical and always thoughtful. It is a fine and funny achievement." (Herald)
"Like having a long lunch with an amiable, slightly loony uncle. Who also happens to be John Cleese." (Michael Ian Black New York Times)
"Left me wiping away tears." (Helen Brown Sunday Telegraph)
From the Inside Flap
Candid and brilliantly funny, this is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend. En route, John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic home life with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via scriptwriting for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python.
Punctuated from time to time with John Cleese's thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and waterskiing, and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a former schoolmaster.
John Marwood Cleese was born in Weston-super-Mare in 1939 and educated at Clifton College and at Cambridge. He achieved his first big success in the West End and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. He went on to co-found the legendary Monty Python comedy troupe, writing and performing in the TV series and in films that include Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian. In the mid-1970s, John Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote and starred in the now-classic sitcom Fawlty Towers. Later, he wrote and co-starred in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. He has appeared in many other films, from James Bond to Harry Potter to Shrek, and has guest-starred in TV shows that have included Cheers, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Will & Grace and Entourage. He lives in London.