When John Cleese walks on stage at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, he is met by a thunderous applause. He waves to the audience and then proceeds to exit stage right. “That’s the show!” After much laughter, he returns and starts off by explaining why as a 77 year old man, he is currently telling jokes in a damp town so close to Canada. He displays a picture of a woman at an ATM. “That’s my ex-wife”, he explains. “She’s withdrawing her alimony.” The crowd erupts with laughter. He goes on to talk about his childhood in a small town in England. Cleese says it was bombed by the Germans in World War II. “There was nothing in the town worth more than the bomb itself!” Thus, this was the Germans proving they do have a sense of humor.
Afterwards, he proceeds to go on a run through of his career. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979), and The Meaning of Life (1983) are just some of the projects he mentions while telling stories about the making of them. He also includes clips from these projects including the “It’s just a flesh wound!” scene from The Holy Grail. It still holds up after all these years. As proof of this films lasting importance, the helmet which Cleese wears as the taunting French soldier is currently displayed at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.
After a brief Q & A in which he mentions Fawlty Towers (1975), he ends the night after 75 minutes. The audience was left wanting more, which is just how the great performers do it. Everyone left with a smile on their face, happy to see the comedy legend, who is still funny and charming as ever.
See our preview here.
Also, see our review of The Faulty Towers Dining Experience.