The very essence of playfulness is an openness to anything that may happen, the feeling that whatever happens, it's okay... you're either free to play, or you're not.

— John Cleese

The most surprising John Cleese quotes that will activate your desire to change

What have the Romans ever done for us?


All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?


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


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


Come to me. I want to plow you like a Calgary driveway at Christmas.


There are 3 basic differences between we British and you Americans.

One, we speak English, and you don't. Two, when we have a "World Championship", we invite teams from other nations. Three, when you meet the British head of State, you only have to get down on one knee.


Creativity is not the possession of some special talent. It’s about the willingness to play.


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.


Muslims, who have a completely different value system, come to the West, then they should accept that there are certain basic values in the West intrinsic to our culture. Just as I wouldn't suggest that any Westerner walk down the streets of Saudi Arabia in a bikini.


If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at the particular point I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge its truth.


Because, 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.


I can certainly see that you know your wine.

Most of the guests who stay here wouldn't know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret.


About John Cleese

Quotes 146 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Actor
Birthday October 16

No hope for planet at all. But I will be gone before the planet is gone, so it's your problem.


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


If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you open to my ideas


If you want to know who your friends are, have a major failure.


The most creative people have learned to tolerate the slight discomfort of indecision for much longer and so, just because they put in more pondering time, their solutions are more creative.


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


Don't let anyone tell you what you ought to like.


I can do anything I want, I'm eccentric!


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


There's nothing good on the television;

let's burn a witch. It must have been terribly exciting to live in those times.


Political correctness is a bit like a granny, a maiden aunt arriving at a party when everyone's having a good time. And she comes in, they all start sort of buttoning up and becoming self-conscious and behaving properly and then when she leaves, you can have fun again.


To be creative you must create a space for yourself where you can be undisturbed... separate from everyday concerns.


If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time to be considering alternative strategies.


How to defend yourself against a banana


My hovercraft is full of eels.


A satisfied customer. We should have him stuffed.


If life were fair, Dan Quayle would be making a living asking 'Do you want fries with that?'


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.


I think that the real religion is about the understanding that if we can only still our egos for a few seconds, we might have a chance of experiencing something that is divine in nature.


I learned a lot of things about literature talking to people at the publishing company. Did you know that about 90 percent of celebrity autobiographies are ghostwritten?


If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time for considering alternative strategies... Do it in the 'closed' mode. But the moment the action is over, try to return to the 'open' mode... because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and therefore at our most intelligent.


When people say 'I'm not a prude, but ...' what they mean is 'I am a prude, and ...'.


I find it rather easy to portray a businessman.

Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.


If you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick.


If I like chocolate it won't surprise you that I have a few chocolates in my fridge, but if you find out I've got 16 warehouses full of chocolate, you'd think I was insane. All these rich guys are insane, obsessive compulsive twits obsessed with money - money is all they think about - they're all nuts.


The Americans are just more enthusiastic and more likely to engage in hyperbole.


While you're being creative, nothing is wrong.

There's no such thing as a mistake, and any drivel may lead to the breakthrough.


By watching the great, old comedians I picked up a few tricks about how to do physical comedy. And whenever I could learn something, I sort of added that to my repertoire.


You can't make Christ funny. He's self-aware, he's too flexible within the situation. It's rigidity, it's when the ego takes over and the behavior becomes inappropriate that it becomes funny.


It's a plastic surgeon you need, not a doctor


I think there are so many activities going on, like mountaineering.

You know, you would pay good money not to have to do that, and yet there are people racing out who want to spend their spare time clambering up rocks.


My mum died about three years ago at the age of 101, and just towards the end, as she began to run out of energy, she did actually stop trying to tell me what to do most of the time.


Give your mind as long as possible to come up with something original.


It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.


The trouble with the British is that they are not interested in ideas.

If Jesus came back today and offered to speak for an hour on British television, they would say, "What! Another talking head?


I find the Alexander Technique very helpful in my work.

Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you.


Once we've made a decision, we are efficient only if we go through with it decisively, undistracted by doubts about its correctness.