Monty Python’s John Cleese returning to Cornell for “Wanda” screening

Nearly two decades after a stint as an A.D. White professor-at-large began at Cornell, comedian, actor, and filmmaker John Cleese is returning for a screening next month of “A Fish Called Wanda” at Cornell Cinema and a public talk at Cornell’s Bailey Hall.

“A Fish Called Wanda” promotional image courtesy Cornell Cinema.

“Wanda” matches two Brits, Cleese and fellow Monty Python alum Michael Palin, with Americans Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline, in a hilarious heist movie with layers of deception, intrigue, and absurdity.

Cornell Cinema’s Visiting Filmmakers series is bringing Cleese back to talk about the movie, along with Professor Jonathan Kirshner.

Cleese spent six years as a “professor at large,” visiting campus several times starting in 1998 for class appearances, public talks, even a sermon, and has visited since. According to The Cornell Daily Sun, “Cleese says he hates traveling to Ithaca, but once he arrives, he never wants to leave.”

The special screening is at 7pm on Sunday, September 10th, in Cornell Cinema’s Willard Straight Hall theatre. Advance tickets, going fast, are available at

Cleese is also giving a free public talk at Bailey Hall at 7pm on Monday, September 11th. Tickets for the event are free but required, and are available at the Willard Straight Hall Resource Center with a two-per-person limit.

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