Belfast Telegraph

John Cleese claims he was snubbed by Netflix over comedy special

The Monty Python star said the streaming service did not return his calls.

John Cleese has said he was snubbed by Netflix over plans for a comedy special (Conor McCabe/PA)
John Cleese has said he was snubbed by Netflix over plans for a comedy special (Conor McCabe/PA)

John Cleese offered to work with Netflix on a comedy special but was snubbed by the streaming giant, according to the Monty Python star.

The comedian, 79, said he approached executives in December with the offer of a collaborative programme.

However, he suggested they must have “hated the idea” because they did not return his agent’s calls or emails.

He also described a later meeting with a head of comedy in which the executive behaved “like a teenage Mexican bandit on the run”.

He wrote on Twitter: “In December I visited Netflix to pitch the idea of a ‘Special’. They must have hated the idea because they never got back to me, or returned any of my agent’s phone calls or emails !”

In another post he added: “At another, the Head of Comedy behaved throughout like a teenage Mexican bandit on the run, throwing looks over his shoulder every few seconds, and wearing an expression of extreme terror throughout.”

Cleese said another of his programmes was turned down by ITV, with the broadcaster suggesting it was not “tonally right”.

The star said his work had been “too intelligent” for the channel.

The veteran comic added that he thought there was hope for his recent work given the number of times Monty Python’s Life Of Brian was turned down in the 1960s.

He added that even the man who commissioned Cleese’s successful 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers thought his work could be improved on.

He said: “Still, I take heart from the fact that every UK and US studio passed on ‘Life of Brian’, 10 out of 11 Hollywood studios turned down ‘Fish called Wanda’, and the man who commissioned ‘Fawlty Towers’ told me, after the first episode, that I had to ‘get it out of the hotel more’.”

Representatives of Netflix have been contacted for comment.

Press Association

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph