John Cleese blasts Australia for ‘rip off’

English actor John Cleese is usually an easy-going man, ready to have a laugh and crack a joke for his
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: John Cleese attends the Monty Python Press Conference during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)

English actor John Cleese is usually an easy-going man, ready to have a laugh and crack a joke for his audience.

It seems he won’t be having a laugh in Australia anytime soon though, after lashing out at a local theatre company for “ripping off” some of his most famous work.

Mr Cleese only recently discovered that the Faulty Towers Dining Experience, a theatre show about the characters of Faulty Towers, has been running in Australia for 20 years and he is nothing short of furious.

“I had absolutely no idea this was going on until about a year ago,” Cleese told Fairfax.

“If they’ve been going for 20 years without paying us a penny, they could well owe us a very significant amount.

“These people are completely brazen, utterly shameless.

“The awful thing about our society is that shameless people get away with things – look at [Donald] Trump.

“They take our concepts, they take our characters, they take our characters’ names and then they change the W to a U and say it’s got nothing to do with our show.”

Mr Cleese says he is strongly considering taking legal action against the theatre group.

Meanwhile the producers of the Faulty Towers Dining Experience have come back saying they have done nothing wrong.

Mr Cleese is currently putting the finishing touches on his own stage version of his hit show, called Fawlty Towers Live, which will make its world premier in Sydney in August.

Despite his anger over the issue, Mr Cleese eventually conceded he was able to see the funny side the the issue.

“These people are shamelessly ripping off Connie Booth and myself, and they are publishing aggressive threats against anyone else who would seek to rip them off in the same way,” he said.

“It’s absolutely wonderful!”

Did you used to watch Faulty Towers on TV? Are you a fan of John Cleese? Do you think he is right about this issue?