Harvard Business Review interviews John Cleese

This struck me as a meeting of opposites, the Ministry of Silly Walks meets the straight-laced Harvard Business Review. But I did enjoy it, this bit in particular:

Q: As a scripted comedian, what do you think about the rise of improv?

A: The delights of improv have always rather escaped me. I don’t know why it’s considered a major art form. I don’t mean that it’s not interesting or skillful. But over the years all the comedians that I’ve respected—I could also say all the comic writers—are people who put words down on paper and went on working on them until they felt they couldn’t improve them anymore. That seems to me the most important and interesting part of comedy. The other is sort of a party trick, which I respect, but it doesn’t seem to me that it should be regarded at the same level. I got an Oscar nomination for the script of A Fish Called Wanda, which had been through 13 drafts, and by the end of it, I really felt I had brought it all together. That is not a feeling I have with improv. They don’t really build to any kind of dramatic climax or comedic climax.

Fascinating guy.