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And Now For Something Completely Different

There are few experiences that are more alluring to me than watching, listening to, or thinking about, my beloved Oakland A's. However, occasionally, just occasionally, one of those "once in a lifetime opportunities" presents itself, and Wednesday night was a night even more special to me than a Zito curve, a Huston slider, or an Ellis poke through the hole to right. Wednesday night I saw John Cleese live at the Zellerbach Theater in Berkeley. Having seen Eric Idle perform live in San Francisco a few years ago, I have now seen my favorite two of the five core members of the inimitable troupe known as Monty Python's Flying Circus. I thought I'd share this partly because I know there are many on AN who share my love and appreciation for Monty Python, a show as daring and groundbreaking as it was just plain hilarious.

Cleese's mostly-one-man show, titled "Seven Ways To Skin An Ocelot," was a rambling blend of many historical anecdotes about his family and his work, along with some comedic jokes and bits, a few biting thoughts on politics, and the occasional visual gag. It is hard to say what the show was trying to be and it didn't exactly come together, yet it was a great deal of fun and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. An informal "Q&A" session after the show offered the audience a chance to see Cleese's unscripted and informal side, creating another set of lasting memories I am grateful to have.

There just aren't that many people who fall into the category of: I don't care what the event happens to be, I just want to see this person live in my lifetime, if at all possible. John Cleese was on my short list; who is on yours?