He reunited with the Monty Python gang last week to celebrate the group’s 40th anniversary and the release of a documentary series on the show now airing on the Independent Film Channel. The group’s five surviving members also received lifetime achievement awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Cleese, who turns 70 this month, has had a home in Santa Barbara for the last decade and recently moved in with his daughter at a Pacific Palisades home as he works on a series of new projects. He will bring his one-man show, “A Final Wave at the World (or the Alimony Tour, Year One)” to the Alex on Nov. 14.
ZAIN SHAUK: Why have you embarked on a comedy tour after years of being out of the spotlight?
JOHN CLEESE: Up until about 10 years ago I tended to have about one project or another going, which was a major project. When I switched my center of gravity and moved out here — which was actually because my daughter by my second marriage by arrangement came to live with me when she was 15 — once that happened then I moved to Santa Barbara. And the truth is that my living expenses, my income requirement got very, very high because my ex-wife and I developed a very luxurious lifestyle, with muses in London and flats in Los Angeles and a ranch and a beach house and all this stuff. So to finance this I became a bit of a hired gun and took what work was available, which was usually perfectly pleasant film, television, speeches and this kind of thing, commercials.