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John Cleese quotes (27)

A man will give up almost anything except his suffering.
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But then acting is all about faking. We're all very good at faking things that we have no competence with.
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Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited.
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Don't let anyone tell you what you ought to like... Some wines that some experts think are absolutely exquisite don't appeal to me at all.
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For me, the great problem growing up in England was that I had a very narrow concept of what God can be, and it was damn close to an old man with a beard.
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God was treated like this powerful, erratic, rather punitive father who has to be pacified and praised. You know, flattered.
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He who laughs most, learns best.
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I can never do better than Fawlty Towers whatever I do. Now I very much want to teach young talent some rules of the game.
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I can't tell you how scary it can be walking onto a movie and suddenly joining this family, it's like going to somebody else's Christmas dinner, everyone knows everyone, and you're there and you're not quite sure what you're supposed to be doing.
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I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.
John Cleese   Category: Business

I tend to have an odd split in my mind: I tend to look at it as a writer and when the writing thing is OK and I'm happy with it, then I put on my actor's hat.
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I think that sometimes you do something that makes a small group of people laugh, which is all we were trying to do; we were just trying to make each other laugh.
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I used to desire many, many things, but now I have just one desire, and that's to get rid of all my other desires.
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I want to write a book which is the history of comedy.
John Cleese   Category:

I was very sad to hear of the death of Ronnie Barker, who was such a warm, friendly and encouraging presence to have when I started in television. He was also a great comic actor to learn from.
John Cleese   Category:

If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
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If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at the particular point I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge its truth.
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If life were fair, Dan Quayle would be making a living asking 'Do you want fries with that?'
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If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.
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It seems astounding to me now that the video games are perhaps as important as the movie themselves. And people will spend 2 or 3 years obsessing about the video game in exactly the same way that they'd be obsessing about the movie if they were working on that.
John Cleese   Category:

The English contribution to world cuisine - the chip.
John Cleese   Category:

The really good idea is always traceable back quite a long way, often to a not very good idea which sparked off another idea that was only slightly better, which somebody else misunderstood in such a way that they then said something which was really rather interesting.
John Cleese   Category:

The thrill I got discovering Buster Keaton when I was growing up was so exciting. He was one of the greats.
John Cleese   Category:

When the target audience is American teenage kids, you can have problems. My generation prized really fine acting and writing. Sometimes you have to go back to the basic principles which underpin great visual comedy.
John Cleese   Category:

Who's ever going to write a film in which I get the girl? Me!
John Cleese   Category:

Wine is wonderful stuff. But so many people are put off by the snobbery of it.
John Cleese   Category:

You don't have to be the Dalai Lama to tell people that life's about change.
John Cleese   Category: