Just finished a autobiography, So Anyway by John Cleese. I don't read a lot of autobiography's, but this one caught my eye. I love pretty much every performance by John Cleese, Grew up on Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. If it wasn't for Cleese, I would not be as addicted to BritComs like I am today.
book takes us from when Cleese was 8 5/6 to just before he started on
the Flying Circus. How he believes frequent moves as a child helped
develop his creativity, his (surprise surprise... not) issues with his
mother, how he sort of accidentally fell into math and science in public
school, sort of fell into a teaching job he was woefully unprepared for
and had to study every night to stay one lesson ahead of his students,
switched to law because he wasn't as obsessive as he needed to be to
succeed in math and science. How he initially passed up the Cambridge
club/group that led him to develop his comedic skills. How he was set
to start a career in law, but things just sort of fell into his lap to
create his comedic genius career.
though I say things sort of fell into his lap, please don't mis-read
that to mean he didn't work hard at it. He was a perfectionist, who
endlessly rewrote things, worked on understanding audiences and comedic
timing. Had to overcome performance jitters and stage anxiety. It
probably would have been less work and stress if he had settled into
book covers his on and off relationship with future wife/ex-wife
Connie. It covers how he ended up with the other Pythons - but it sort
of glosses over everyone except for Graham Chapman. You do really get a
sense of how an initial non-encounter ended up in the close friendship
between the two - and especially in the last chapter you get a sense of
how much he still misses him. I did not realize that Cleese and co
pretty much put Marty Feldman onto the screen for the first time.
I know this book got a lot of mixed reviews, but I loved it. It was easy to read and it was like sitting down to a cup of tea and having Cleese tell you about that part of his life.