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John Cleese, December 9, 2016, December 13, 2019

 File — Box: 10, Item: DVD 11-6-1392-115-BD
Identifier: I

Scope and Contents

Contains digital video of English comedian, actor, and writer John Cleese’s December 9, 2016 appearance in the Center for the Arts for the 2016-2017 Distinguished Speakers Series.

Begins with a video montage of past Distinguished Speakers Series appearances (0:00) and an introduction by Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Education Andrew Stott (3:25). Cleese’s speech (6:13) about his life and career covers topics such as growing up in England during World War II (7:44), going to school (13:00), getting started in comedy (15:10), writing for television and Monty Python (25:50), the development of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (40:36), Life of Brian (51:07), and A Fish Called Wanda (58:14). Also includes sketches and clips from Cleese’s work, including as “Top of the Form” (20:45), “Fish Slapping Dance” (33:27), “Knights of the Round Table” (43:44) and the castle confrontation scene (46:04) from The Holy Grail, a scene from Life of Brian in which Brian denies being the Messiah (56:29), and the dog deaths (1:01:28) and Ken’s stutter (1:03:45) from A Fish Called Wanda. A question and answer session follows the lecture (1:07:46), in which Cleese answers the following questions from the audience: Why did you leave out “Fawlty Towers?” (1:08:51); What do you think of our next president? (1:14:55).


  • December 9, 2016
  • Migrated: December 13, 2019


Conditions Governing Access

The recording of the Distinguished Speaker Series event with John Cleese, December 9, 2016 may only be accessed onsite within the library at this time.


0.390 Gigabytes (1 file (1:24:17 hours))

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Originals

DVD 11-6-1392-115-BD

Processing Information

Digital files created by William Regan and the Office of Special Events were transferred to the University Archives on various types of storage media including compact discs and digital optical discs. Where possible, digital content saved on storage media was migrated from the storage media, normalized to standard preservation and access formats, and transferred to a stable preservation environment following the University Libraries' Digital Preservation guidelines. Some folder titles and file titles were altered to assist researchers in locating and identifying digital content.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

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