John Cleeseâ€™sÂ huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seem written into comedyâ€™s DNA. In this rollicking memoir, So, Anywayâ€¦, Cleese takes readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.
Cleese was just days away from graduating Cambridge and setting off on a law career when he was visited by two BBC executives, who offered him a job writing comedy for radio. That fateful momentâ€”and a near-simultaneous offer to take his university humor revue to Londonâ€™s famed West Endâ€”propelled him down a different path, cutting his teeth writing for stars like David Frost and Peter Sellers, and eventually joining the five other Pythons to pioneer a new kind of comedy that prized invention, silliness, and absurdity. Along the way, he found his first true love with the actress Connie Booth and transformed himself from a reluctant performer to a world class actor and back again.
Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressionsâ€”with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on whatâ€™s funny and whyâ€”this story of a young manâ€™s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.