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John Cleese: “Most of the best people are dead”

As we age, it becomes all the more important to look at life and not be afraid to poke fun at it every so often. Laughter is often the best medicine and definitely a way to make some mountains shrink back down to molehills.

One actor who has kept us giggling for decades is John Cleese of “Monty Python” fame. His smart, oddball and sometimes-brash sense of humour can have a way of cutting through usually serious topics – like aging and death.

During an appearance on “The Tonight Show,” host Jimmy Fallon funnily began the interview with Cleese by asking: “Do you feel as good as you look? Because, you’re very, very, very old.”

“I am. I am astonishingly old,” humorously replied Cleese through a sea of studio audience cackling. “I’ve forgotten how old I am.”

After a pause, Cleese conveniently remembered: “I’m 77. It’s very nice being this old, because when you’re this old, you’re going to die soon, so you don’t give a [expletive].”

Following Cleese’s comment, Fallon kept the conversation moving by asking if the veteran comedian was afraid of death.

“I am not afraid of death,” responded a playful, yet thoughtful Cleese. “I was thinking about it a lot, because you do when you’re older. I thought, ‘most of the best people are dead.’ And, there are a lot of really awful people still alive, right? And, most of them are in charge.”

Cleese refused to reveal any names, so we’ll let you fill in the blank.

-Adam Grant

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