“So Anyway ..”, by John Cleese – Review

Before anything else is said, if you are a Monty Python fan first and a John Cleese fan second, this book might be disappointing for you. The author covers his life from fetus through the O2 reunion show, but the section concerning the Pythons is very abbreviated (less than five pages). Who knows, maybe details there will be in a different book.

Regardless, this book is well written (and why wouldn’t it be given the author is first and foremost a writer?) plus an easy read. I very much enjoyed reading anecdotes about Cleese working with many of the UK’s premiere old-school comedy talent. I was familiar with their work but not that they had been affiliated with Cleese early in his career. It was also interesting to read that some of my favorite Python sketches were previously performed on other shows prior to the formation of Python.

One book scene I can definitely picture, Cleese and Chapman writing a sketch. Cleese not sure sketch is funny and keeps asking Chapman if it is; Chapman stating unequivocally that it is, with the dead certitude he showed on-screen many times in memory. Amusing mind video. It is one of the famous sketches, so I won’t spoil it.

All told, I would buy the book knowing the above, maybe you should too.