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John Cleese stops in at CBC Vancouver

11/14/2014 02:40 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST
John Cleese has documented his career and early life in a new autobiography entitled So Anyway. The book offers a look into a world of comedy that was bizarre, absurd and sometimes dark, at a time when many regarded British humour as being at its peak.

Cleese is a legend of comedy whose career has spanned generations. He's is known for his countless characters in Monty Python's Flying Circus, as Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers, and as Archie Leach from A Fish Called Wanda. Children may know him as Nearly Headless Nick from the Harry Potter movies.

"God I love this city," Cleese told Stephen Quinn in his interview on CBC Radio One's On the Coast.

"It's wonderful to have the sea around you... and wonderful Chinese food. It's just a great place."

- LISTEN | The legendary John Cleese, Nov. 13, 2014

Cleese was in Vancouver last year for his Last Chance to See me Before I Die tour. Some of the material from the one man show appears in his memoir. Cleese says he was inspired to write his book after fellow actor Michael Caine said to him that writing an autobiography helps to regain bits of one's life.

So Anyway delves into Cleese's personal story, beginning with his childhood in the small English town Weston-super-Mare, to his ascent into the world of comedy.

Cleese also touched on a number of other topics in his interview with the CBC's Stephen Quinn.

On becoming a comedian: "If you can make people laugh, they feel affection for you."

On his success: "When I do something usually it takes quite a lot of time for people to catch on to it. With Monty Python it wasn't until they repeated the first series six months later that it suddenly caught on."

On writing: "I hope this is success then I don't have to do so much acting. I can spend my time writing. 'Cause what I love (about writing), I make myself laugh."

John Cleese will be signing copies of his book So Anyway at Chapters on Robson Street in Vancouver at 7pm on Friday, November 14th.

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