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

'''John Marwood Cleese''' (b. 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.
* TheBigGuy: One can simply quote from the Archaeology Sketch: "Because I am six-foot five, and I eat little twerps like you for breakfast!"
* DeadpanSnarker
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Graham Chapman.
* 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 what with his failed marriages.
* TypeCasting: He's pretty much the same in every movie. He often says "Jolly good" and "Marvelous".
* 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!!]]''