John Cleese Quits Movies, Says He's "Looking Forward" to Death

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“I have only got five or six years left and I will be gone – I won’t have to worry about ISIS or Ebola," says ex-Python

British actor and comedian John Cleese says he's rather looking forward to the prospect of dying because "[m]ost of the best people are dead – I will be in excellent company having a wonderful time.”

Aside from dissing Taylor Swift's cat, Cleese, 74, has recently been busy promoting his autobiography So Anyway..., and he made the darkly comic comments at a promotional event at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, The Mirror reported on Sunday. 

Cleese's famed absurdist humor came through when he said the fears of the modern world would no longer plague him when he dies. "I have only got five or six years left and I will be gone – I won’t have to worry about ISIS or Ebola, I am looking forward to it," he said. 

Read more John Cleese: 'James Bond' Franchise Sacrificed Humor to Win Asia Markets

With the time remaining, Cleese says he won't making movies, and he likely disappointed his legions of fans around the world when he  ruled out a movie follow-up to A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. “No, because it is too much like hard work. It is two-and-three-quarter years and I am too old for that process," he said when asked about a possible follow-up film. "If I started on it now I would die."

Cleese also revealed that the members of Monty Python, the legendary comedy troupe that first made his name, were never "huge friends." Cleese said: “The key to understanding Python now is we have all driven off in completely different directions. Michael [Palin], as you know, makes those travel programs that I put on any time I can’t sleep. Eric Idle is very good at lyrics so he is writing songs. Terry Gilliam is off trying to raise money for one of his plotless ­extravaganzas. And [Terry] Jonesy is just insane – he writes children’s books and recently went to Lisbon and directed an opera about vacuum cleaners.”

Twitter: @gentlemanabroad