->''"John Cleese is very, very tall. He also has a very SillyWalk."''
-->-- ''[=TeeVeePedia=] article on John Cleese''

'''John Marwood Cleese''' (October 27, 1939-) is a British actor. He is most famous for his work in ''Creator/MontyPython'', where he played a lot of authority figures. His leaving the show before the fourth season is widely seen to be the moment when it JumpedTheShark. Beyond that, he, along with his then-wife Connie Booth, created and starred in ''Series/FawltyTowers'', co-wrote and starred in ''Film/AFishCalledWanda'', helped write a ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' {{Elseworld}}, [[HeyItsThatGuy made cameo appearances all over the place]], and gave a [[PrecisionFStrike rather famous]] eulogy to friend and fellow Pythonite Creator/GrahamChapman.

He is the straightest StraightMan possible, without having to resort to Asimo or attaching girders to one's back. Except when he's playing a raving lunatic. Although even then he manages to be the straightest raving lunatic you've ever encountered (see [[Series/FawltyTowers Basil Fawlty]], and [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail Tim the Enchanter)]].

!!Partial list of roles:

* ''Series/AtLastThe1948Show''
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' -- Many characters, but most memorably, the "And now for something completely different..." guy.
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' -- A lot of characters, but chiefly known for Sir Lancelot, The BlackKnight, the taunting French Knight and Tim the Enchanter.
* ''Series/FawltyTowers'' -- Basil Fawlty
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' -- Most notably, the Centurion.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife''
* ''Film/TimeBandits'' -- RobinHood
* ''Film/AFishCalledWanda'' -- Archie Leach
* ''StarshipTitanic'' -- The Bomb
* ''RatRace'' -- Donald Sinclair
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' -- Sir Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard
* ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail: Fievel Goes West'' -- Cat R. Waul (voice)
* ''Film/GeorgeOfTheJungle'' (the movie) -- Ape (voice)
* ''Film/JamesBond'' -- R (''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough''), Q (''Film/DieAnotherDay'') (Same character, he just got promoted between films)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek2}}'' -- King Harold (voice)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Planet 51}}'' -- Professor Kipple (voice)
* ''VideoGame/FableIII'' -- Jasper (voice)
* ''Film/HarryPotter'' -- Nearly Headless Nick
* ''Disney/WinnieThePooh'' -- The Narrator
* ''Film/{{Silverado}}'' -- Sheriff Langston
* ''Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters'' -- Undersecretary Screwtape (voice, in an audiobook edition)

!!Tropes associated with him include:

* BadassMustache: It's something of a trademark of his in the post-''Python'' years, with the exception of some appearances like ''Film/AFishCalledWanda''.
* TheBigGuy: His tall length is often used as a source for his comedy. He plays authoritarian characters or is pitched against smaller comedians. One can simply quote from the Archaeology Sketch: "Because I am six-foot five, and I eat little twerps like you for breakfast!"
* CreatorBacklash: Despite being the most famous member of Creator/MontyPython he is the only one who grew dissatisfied with the format early, left the series after the third season because of SeasonalRot and to this day still thinks most of what they did could've been a whole lot better if they had more time and money to perfectionize some stuff. He is also the only Python who once complained to the BBC about one of their sketches he deemed too vulgar and managed to have it cut.
* DeadpanSnarker: Cleese is very well known for saying odd stuff while remaining straight faced.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Creator/GrahamChapman.
* IAmVeryBritish: It may be difficult to find another British comedian who embodies all the stereotypical ideas about the QuintessentialBritishGentleman more than Cleese. Creator/PeterSellers could, though he is more famous as [[Franchise/ThePinkPanther a French detective]].
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Cleese has a reputation for being very intent on earning money. Creator/EricIdle complained a lot about this, especially because Cleese only wanted to do the post-Python projects (like the movies) if they brought in a lot of cash. Many of the films and TV sitcom appearances Cleese has done in the later years of his life have been criticized as this too.
* PrecisionFStrike: Believes that profanity has its place, but it must be handled carefully or it loses its effect. He abhors works that use it simply for the sake of being vulgar.
* SadClown: Like most comedians, he suffered from depression with his failed marriages. His conversations with psychiatrist Robin Skynner led to the popular books ''Families and How To Survive Them'' and ''Life And How To Survive It''.
* SillyWalk: Not the TropeNamer, since other comedians before him have had silly walks, but he could be the TropeCodifier. A famous Monty Python sketch has him as the Minister of Silly Walks and he goosestepped another funny walk in the ''Series/FawltyTowers'' episode ''The Germans''. It's one of his trademarks, though he doesn't particularly like the fact that he is pigeonholed for [[CreatorBacklash "such a ordinary and simple joke."]]
* StiffUpperLip: Talks a lot between his teeth while remaining straight faced.
* TypeCasting: He's pretty much the same in every movie. He often says "Jolly good", "Right!", "Marvelous" and "(sucking wind between teeth)...Still!" Since ''Film/AFishCalledWanda'' he is also cast too often in films and TV series as somewhat of a ChickMagnet.
* WriteWhatYouKnow: He based Basil Fawlty on a very rude hotel manager called Donald Sinclair. The other Pythons left the hotel, but John chose to stay and study Donald's behavior.

->''[[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail Ooh, ooh, I see. Going to another page, eh? YOU YELLOW BASTARDS!! Come back here and read the article again! I'll bite your legs off!!]]''