For those who have grown up with Fawlty Towers or Monty Python would know of John Cleese! In fact it really should have been John Cheese, and this is one of many things you’ll learn if you read this book. I decided to listen to the Audiobook version and am glad I did as you get John’s voice and his recognisable vocal variety. It takes a more serious tone at the beginning with reflection of his childhood. With quotes such as “what happens around us when children in family life, for good or for bad, become the norm” shows the interesting life that John shares with the reader at the beginning. It then follows Cleese’s career first as a teacher before getting into theatre, writing and what we all really know him for … comedy. It is a fun book with some great stories and anecdotes and some life lessons here and there.
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. The reason Monty Python worked as a group is because they were all writers and not actors. If they were actors then they would have had fights over who played what role versus being rational on what made more sense.
2. Peter Sellers was such a good impersonator that he found it hard finding his own voice in the morning!
3. The Cleese two rules of comedy. First, get your panic in early so you can use the energy. Second, Your thoughts follow your mood, aim to be relaxed when performing