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Domenic from Cambridge, Ontario
WONDERFUL! IF THE DAMN THING HAD FINISHED PROPERLY!
It was lovely to see see Mr. Cleese regale us all with stories of his life, from boy to star, and a bit in between. He ventured into his childhood with his mother, his Pre, During, and Post Python years, and even talked of his personal sadness at the death of his friend and writing partner, Graham Chapman. All in all, it was a wonderful evening filled with hilarious anecdotes, and a comedy legend who, I'm sure, had too many stories to cram into two hours. But where were the questions?! We were promised a Q&A when purchasing our tickets but didn't get one! Both my date and myself were very disappointed that there was not even an apology for such an oversight, whatever the reason. If there had been some mention of something, I'm sure I would move on. Yet now I have a question unanswered, so perhaps I'll leave it with you. In your opinion, why do you think so many comedians of the 60's and 70's had such tormented personal lives, and what draws these types to comedy in the first place?
Heathersneste from Charlotte, North Carolina
WAY BETTER THAN MOST REVIEWS WILL HAVE YOU BELIEVE.
First I want to say that there was no film in the beginning which many previous reviews had complained about. I love Cleese, but can not say I am a fan of Python, so no film made me very happy. The evening was highly intelligent and thought provoking. The fact that I was able to purchase discounted tickets via Groupon made it that much better! John Cleese is extremely intelligent and speaks to challenge your beliefs which obviously unnerved people since there were many empty seats, but what can you expect in Charlotte, NC.
Stephen Korbey from Toronto, Ontario
CANDID REMINISCENCE BY A HUGE ICON OF COMEDY.
John is older now, but still incisive and scathing of the ability of eighty percent of the global population. He is an incredible raconteur with a massive arsenal of stories referring to so many parts of our lives. His comedy is not always immediately accessible unless you are familiar with his body of work. If you are a fan, go see him. We arrived by Go train at Union, a short walk, via Kelly’s Landing, from the hall.
Mike Kissner from Dallas, Texas
JOHN CLEESE AT IRVING TX
I was fully expecting the showing of Holy Grail but ended up disappointed that any "highlight" clips from the MPFC TV series and Fawlty Towers with his commentary on the clips was not part of the evening. I guess it would have made the show too long....but to have none? That would have been a much more effective and enjoyable use of time to spend with one of my all time favorite comedians! Most of his observations were funny and typical John Cleese. His anecdotal stories were also great.
Roger from Fresno, California
It was great to be able to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail in a theater again. It was even better when Mr. Cleese was introduced by his daughter. The man is still a comedic genius and the crowd seemed very appreciative where I was sitting. I don't understand the negative review because he didn't get very political ( I guess some people are too thin skinned) at all. The people complaining don't seem to understand that Mr. Cleese pointed out some sad truths about our current political situation. That's good comedy! The person complaining about "not enough questions" had the opportunity to fill out as many question cards as they would have liked but apparently chose to not participate. I, along with my wife and 20 year old son, had a great time and if it would have been another half hour I would have rated it 5 stars. It was over way too quickly. If he comes back to Fresno, we will go again! Great night, great comedy with a legend! Come back Mr. Cleese!
Phil Zoda from Hamilton, NJ
LAST NIGHT AT PARX
My wife and I went to Parx to see John Cleese last night. I thoroughly enjoyed his show. The man is a comic genius. I do understand why some of the reviewers on this site found him less than hilarious. To appreciate Mr. Cleese, a familiarity with his body of work is essential. Being a longtime fan, I feel I am absolutely his target audience. He began with a few stories about his family and youth, and then went on to recount his introduction into show business and the genesis of Monty Python. The show was interspersed with video clips of his work beginning with "The Frost Report" and continuing through "A Fish Called Wanda". Even though I knew most of the stories, I found myself laughing out loud many times during the evening. My only disappointment was his failure to mention "Fawlty Towers". I would heartily recommend this show to any fan of John Cleese' work.
Mara Nesbitt from Kitchener, Ontario
I paid $150.00 for a 1 hour show and although I did laugh at his comments, it was not the John Cleese I expected to see. A short picture of Fawlty Towers with no comment on the show itself, plus a brief mention of Monty Python was very disappointing. NOT the John Cleese I expected to see, and way overpriced for such a short show, it felt incomplete.
Dennis from Madison, Wisconsin
90 minutes, no intermission. The 90 minutes included a slightly late start, an introduction that was too long and really unnecessary. Mr.Cleese talked about stupidity and psychology and incompetence for about 35 minutes, a moderator came back, they talked for about 45 minutes and then a stage manager came on and said this was the last question. Lights up out the doors. Sound boring? I have heard many college lectures that were as witty and clever. John Cleese was brilliant in his day, but he is now a man who is famous for being a celebrity and must have to tour to pay the alimony from his many marriages. John, you say you are a writer and you once were brilliant.Time to turn off the television in your hotel room and try to write some life back into this tired act. Sorry to say, skip this show.
Kevin from Boston, Massachusetts
NEVER MEET YOUR IDOL
I was excited to see John Cleese in person, but pretty disappointed when he spoke. He ranted a lot about his ex wives. First of all, I can hear that kind of talk for much less money on a bad date. Second of all, it wasn't funny. In fact it was kind of mean. I started to get a feeling about why so many marriages did not work out. I just read a saying recently that you should .never meet your idol (because you will probably be disappointed) and I think that rings true in this case. Also, most of the evening was watching the movie!
Stewart from Ottawa, Ontario
DISAPPOINTING SHOW AT THE NAC
From the get-go I felt that despite my lack of any expectation I would be disappointed with John Cleese's appearance at Ottawa's National Arts Centre. At $100+ per amphitheatre seat, I was anticipating at least the odd chuckle and a couple of belly-laughs; but it was not to be. The sound was terrible and was made worse by fact that he spoke very quickly during the monologue portion of the show - my ears could not listen fast enough and I felt as though I was constantly decoding. Mr. Cleese spoke about critics and offered advice to an apparently-aspiring critic in the crowd by saying that they should not be mean. As such, I will offer that this show was not up to the standard that I have come to expect from Mr. Cleese through my longtime following of his TV shows, movies and management videos. The "fireside chat" portion of the show, where he sat and chatted with a local DJ was, in a word, boring and offered no flow. In the least mean way possible - not good value for my $$!
John Holden from Ottawa, Ontario
Mr. Cleese presented a fifty minute diatribe on general incompetence, stupidity, and how idiots came to run the world. They don't know they are stupid, you see. He then anwered a few questions from a moderator and the audience, His responses were mildly humorous but seemed to be one-size-fits- all set pieces that were stored until needed. The show eneded promptly at the 90 minute mark and I could not help but get the feeling that Mr. Cleese had been mentally looking at his watch and thinking; "Will this never end?" He did have a good line about Canada; "There is nothing wrong with your country that could not be cured by towing it 1500 miles south". Save your money and watch a Fawlty Towers re-run instead.
Bezdeekvor from Fresno, California
I feel like I just paid 60 bucks to view an old movie. I don't think it was advertised as a Monty Python viewing when I purchased the tickets 6 months ago. So for those of you who like Cleese's other works, don't waste your time. It was all Python and questions regarding Pythons. No Faulty Towers or Fish Called Wanda. No sketches or imitations. All Python. The movie is 1.5 hours long and the Q and A is about 40 minutes.
Carolyn Gibbs from San Francisco, California
DISAPPOINTED IN SAN FRANCISCO
Was very excited as I spent many of my younger year in England. John Cleese and his band of merry men were true iconic groundbreaking heroes. To this day, his skits - The Parrot sketch, The Cheese Shop, The Argument, Faulty Towers and a Fish called Wanda rival all and any comedy out there. Unfortunately, the first at least hour was watching (the best parts) of the Holy Grail movies, building anticipation for him to come out. When he did, it was mumbling, answering STUPID questions, like: any advice for tall men (WHAT??) and how many times were you married. I DONT CARE - I wanted stories and tidbits about working with all these amazing other comedians, how they all came up with story lines, What was it like working with Connie and Manuel on Faulty Towers? Was super let down. When he got political (bad form) I was done. This was a sad ending to remember this once great entertainer. Felt like it was a throw away evening.
J.B. from Winnipeg, Manitoba
JOHN CLEESE WINNIPEG
Disapointed! Poor flow, boring content. Nothing about personal young days,pre-comedy! 1 1/2 total included 8-10 questions and 2 introductions and BAM over! Not worth my time or $$$$
J.B. from Winnipeg, Manitoba
JOHN CLEESE WINNIPEG
Not impressed! Very little structure! Random rants about politics. Noting about what started his live of comedy. Took about 8-10 questions from audience. With introductions from two people- less than 1 1:2 hours. Not worth the money!!!
Cory Stephens from Horseshoe Bay, Tx
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY THE SAME
I was so excited to take my two children to see John but things rapidly grew tedious. The seating at Bass Concert Hall is incredibly uncomfortable. Within forty minutes we were all squirming, trying to get circulation in our legs. The show began with Cleese warming up the audience with some jokes all of which were "borrowed" from other comics and that disappointed me. I understand that Cleese is over eighty and as a speaker, he is quite amazing. However, I learned absolutely nothing I did not already know which as a result had my son and myself nodding off. The presentation was basically a PowerPoint with clips from Monty Python and like any clip show it felt like filler. After a clip of Cleese at Chapman's funeral John walked back on stage and basically said, "Show's over. Good night," and walked off abruptly confusing us. He never spoke about his life past Fish Called Wanda. I was waiting for some "Q" stories or something I was not familiar with. I could have stayed home.
Larry Campbell from New Jersey
NOT WORTH IT
I was terribly disappointed , as was the other 3 people in our party, with what we experienced at Bergen PAC in Englewood NJ on July 19th. The best way to summarize this is that we laughed more at the movie, which I have seen more than 50 times, than with Mr. Cleese’s performance. I was looking forward to experience my comedic hero’s genius that night and was shocked at how amateurish the performance was. Most of the QA seemed scripted and was generally boring. His daughter appeared to have been struggling with either a medication issue or an illness, I am trying to be polite. We all did not want to hear another comic express their political views to us either. We are very “tired” of hearing comics tell us what they think politically, as I am sure many others are as well. To pay over $125 per ticket this is not at all what we expected. Save your money and watch the Holy Grail in the comfort of your home.
Carol from Ottawa, Ontario
I went with friends. We had great seats. Although we thought Mr. Cleese's observations were interesting, we found the show to be only mildly funny. We never laughed out loud; at most we chuckled and smiled. Obviously a well-read, intelligent man, he has an eye for humour that he easily turned into amusing anecdotes. There was a discernible thread throughout his monologue. We were disappointed that he only spoke for about 45 minutes. There was a Q&A in which he did not answer the actual questions. Some were admittedly stupid and/or long-winded questions (come on, people!). He left us on a positive note when he replied to a particularly inane question about emotional intelligence by responding with expertly garbled words that spoke volumes about his opinion (and ours) about that question. In short, we paid a lot of money for a generally disappointing show. I wish I had spent our money on a coffee table which i know I could use and enjoy for more than 90 minutes. Wouldn't recommend.
Kevin Basken from Winnipeg, Manitoba
My spouse and I attended the John Cleese show last evening. We are of the age who were privileged enough to grow up with Cleese’s amazing wit and wonderful manipulation of history and culture. Me Cleese holds high esteem in my memory of his lifetime of histerical work. Unfortunately his performance last night was mostly irrelevant and I found myself having to force a laugh here and there just to be polite. I certainly don’t wish to be cruel to one of my all time hero’s but I found his material old and worn. I’m afraid the phrase “Donald Trump” is no longer worthy of a giggle. Sorry John, I still love you.
Bob Roberts from Fresno, California
You watch a 43 year old movie, then the star anticlimactically comes out to answer questions. He is accidentally funny, and then we all go home. 3 hours of life l will never get back.
Andy Lorden from Saint john NB
Been a fan for decades but we left 40 minutes in... waste of money and time. Not funny...didnt know his lines without a teleprompter...if i wanted to read a biography of him, i can google it. He must be broke....what an embarrassment to his legacy.
Carolyn from Buffalo, New York
I brought my two boys, as their Christmas gift, to this show. It cost nearly $200.00 for the 3 of us and we are all big fans of the work of John Cleese. Unfortunately, there was very little mention of his life's work. The "show" mostly consisted of one sided political commentary, hypocritical comments about wealthy individuals and needless information about his ex-wives. He told a few lame ethnic jokes at the end but not once did we even crack a smile. The three of us sat through the bitter and humorless rantings of an angry old man and I for one felt like we were all just there to pay his alimony. The slide show behind him showed photos of people he was mentioning and an email address, no creativity, no irreverent humor. It was almost exactly 90 minutes and I would be grateful to have both the time and money back in my possession.
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