A new John Cleese YouTube channel was launched earlier this week and features fresh comedy from the Monty Python icon of the genre. Cleese has uploaded five videos to YouTube so far. The most popular video features the British comedian wearing a paper mask featuring his own likeness as he welcomes viewers to the channel; the video has received close to 24,000 views.
“I’m famous for complaining about parrots, massaging a Russian in the nude, suffering mere flesh wounds, arming James Bond, employing waiters from Barcelona, and being divorced,” Cleese stated before considering how many times he had been divorced, counting on his fingers, “Ahhh. Well, at least three times.”
Cleese rejoiced upon informing viewers of the good news that he is “still alive” and that he is bringing his new YouTube channel to the world, “whatever that may be.” He explains that his fans will be able to keep up to date on his “ranting” about fellow members of Monty Python, as well as his reminiscing about the group’s heyday in the 1970s and 1980s. Cleese also promised to discuss Daily Mail “hatchet jobs” that cover both his friends and him.
The first comedy skit uploaded to the John Cleese channel features Cleese as Lieutenant Colonel James Packer, a seeming colonial African explorer.
The understated manner with which Cleese and the Monty Python players nonchalantly sipped cocktails and discussed a junior officer’s missing leg as if it were a mosquito bite, as his non-commissioned men and Zulu warriors raged in hand-to-hand combat all around them, was possibly the height of Python absurdity.
It is perhaps not surprising, if not highly welcomed by his fans, that Cleese would begin his YouTube channel with a mention of Lieutenant Colonel Packer’s African guide engaging in a search for “Harry’s leg.” The character missing their leg in The Meaning of Life was known as Perkins. It is not clear if Harry and Perkins are the same characters.
While out walking in the jungle, looking for wildlife specimens, Cleese, as Packer, recounted being surprised on the trail by a male lion and how he engaged the beast with a series of uppercuts and jabs and how the lion flailed at him with ineffective “hay-makers.”
Then, Cleese as Packer told the tale of how 15 of the lion’s accomplices surrounded them, forcing him to use an unsportsmanlike shot against his opponent, which the comedian explained he felt was justified in the situation, the lions’ behavior also being unsportsmanlike, outnumbering him so roundly.
“What a strange sight I must have made,” Cleese stated. “Hanging from the branch with three enormous lions attached to me.”
Cleese explained how he used his teeth to hold onto the tree branch, freeing his hands to successfully fight off the three lions attached to him. Part One ends with Cleese describing the pride growing to about 100 lions as he sat on the branch above them. Part Two of the John Cleese YouTube Africa piece is also included, as well as his Church of J.C. Capitalist piece, which includes the founding of a new capitalist church, in typical Cleese style.
[Photo by James Morgan/Getty Images]