John Cleese Quotes

Who is John Cleese?

John Cleese is an English actor, comedian and writer known for the television shows Monty Python's Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers.

Born October 27, 1939

Best 39 Quotes by John Cleese

“A man will give up almost anything except his suffering.”

John Cleese

“A wonderful thing about true laughter is that it just destroys any kind of system of dividing people.”

John Cleese

“Acting is all about faking. We're all very good at faking things that we have no competence with.”

John Cleese

“As we all know, it’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent than it is to do important things that are not urgent, like thinking. And it’s also easier to do little things we know we can do than to start on big things that we’re not so sure about.”

John Cleese

“Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.”

John Cleese

“He who laughs most, learns best.”

John Cleese

“I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.”

John Cleese

“I have several times made a poor choice by avoiding a necessary confrontation.”

John Cleese

“I think that money spoils most things, once it becomes the primary motivating force.”

John Cleese

“I think the problem with people like this is that they are so stupid that they have no idea how stupid they are.”

John Cleese

“I used to desire many, many things, but now I have just one desire, and that's to get rid of all my other desires.”

John Cleese

“I'm always meeting new people, and my list of friends seems to change quite a bit.”

John Cleese

“I'm not saying Obama is right on everything. Of course not. He may be wrong on a number of things. But what I do know is that he behaves like a very, very sane man almost all the time.”

John Cleese

“If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?”

John Cleese

“Laughter is a force for democracy.”

John Cleese

“Nothing will stop you being creative more effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”

John Cleese

“One of our professors described a lecture as 'a mystical process by which the notes on the pad of the lecturer pass on to the pad of the student, without passing through the mind of either'.”

John Cleese

“Only a few things in life matter a little. The rest don’t matter at all.”

John Cleese

“Technology frightens me to death. It's designed by engineers to impress other engineers. And they always come with instruction booklets that are written by engineers for other engineers — which is why almost no technology ever works.”

John Cleese

“The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely do not subscribe to.”

John Cleese

“The most creative people have this childlike facility to play.”

John Cleese

“The one thing I remember about Christmas was that my father used to take me out in a boat about ten miles offshore on Christmas Day, and I used to have to swim back. Extraordinary. It was a ritual.
Mind you, that wasn't the hard part. The difficult bit was getting out of the sack.”

John Cleese

“The sad thing about true stupidity is that you can do absolutely nothing about it.”

John Cleese

“This is the extraordinary thing about creativity: If just you keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.”

John Cleese

“Too many people confuse being serious with being solemn.”

John Cleese

“We don't know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is that we do not get them from our laptops.”

John Cleese

“Well, the only way I can get a leading-man role is if I write it.”

John Cleese

“Who's ever going to write a film in which I get the girl? Me!”

John Cleese

“Why write about the past? Well, there's more of it.”

John Cleese

“Wine is wonderful stuff. But so many people are put off by the snobbery of it.”

John Cleese

“You do realize as you grow older that almost nobody knows what they are talking about.”

John Cleese

“You don't have to be the Dalai Lama to tell people that life's about change.”

John Cleese

“If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.”

John Cleese

"Life and How to Survive It" Quotes

“Life is a terminal disease, and it is sexually transmitted.”

John Cleese
Life and How to Survive It

"So, Anyway..." Quotes

“British journalists tend to believe that people who become good at something do so because they seek fame and fortune. This is because these are the sole motives of people who become British journalists. But some people, operating at higher levels of mental health, pursue activities because they actually love them.”

John Cleese
So, Anyway...

“Cats are very intelligent at all the things that cats need to be intelligent about.”

John Cleese
So, Anyway...

“Genuinely good manners are, after all, essentially a way of moderating one’s own egotism, often in the service of considering the egos of others. Even if it’s done mainly for show, it’s still a start.”

John Cleese
So, Anyway...

“I noticed years ago that when people (myself definitely included) are anxious they tend to busy themselves with irrelevant activities, because these distract from and therefore reduce their actual experience of anxiety. To stay perfectly still is to feel the fear at its maximum intensity, so instead you scuttle around doing things as though you are, in some mysterious way, short of time.”

John Cleese
So, Anyway...

“Yes, I know it’s easy to make fun of the organised churches, but has it occurred to anyone to wonder why it’s so easy?”

John Cleese
So, Anyway...