Cleese to hang up the silly walks
The 66-year-old, whose comedy CV is bursting with classics like Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, admitted in a rare interview with The Times that the time had come to impart his knowledge to the next generation of laugh-inducers.
"I'm too tired to write new comedy. I can never do better than Fawlty Towers whatever I do. Now I very much want to teach young talent some rules of the game," he said to the newspaper.
Cleese explained that his ultimate aim was to codify his know-how in a comedy bible, while he would also like to teach students face to face in humour master-classes.
"I want to write a book which is the history of comedy. It will cover the greats of silent cinema to Ricky Gervais, who is the height of modern entertainment," said Cleese, who also revealed that stand-up Eddie Izzard is among his modern favourites.
The star of such films such as Monty Python and The Holy Grail and A Fish Called Wanda, who has lived in California in the US for the last decade, said his comedy-professor stylings would help open young people's eyes to the "basic principles that underpin great visual comedy," like silent comedians Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and The Marx Brothers.
A self-confessed football fan, Cleese also urged England supporters in the World Cup to try and get on with their German counterparts. One of the comedian's most famous sketches involved a deranged Basil Fawlty goose-stepping around German visitors to his hotel while screeching "don't mention the war".
Nevertheless, he said: "My father fought against the Germans for three and a half years but he held no prejudice afterwards. All the Germans I have ever met have been very nice."
As well as considerable small screen success, Cleese has more recently starred in big-budget films such as the Harry Potter series, Charlie's Angels, Rat Race and the latter Pierce Brosnan James Bond films, although he has not been asked to reprise his role as Q for upcoming remake Casino Royale.
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