PHOENIX (ABC4) – British comedian and actor John Cleese stands 6-foot-5, making it not totally unrealistic to imagine the “Monty Python” star as an effective basketball player.
Perhaps needing an additional forward or wing player, the Utah Jazz have signed Cleese, who has no history of playing the sport, to a one-year deal.
That’s a joke, of course, but Cleese did receive his own customized Jazz jersey while attending Utah’s game against the Phoenix Suns in Arizona on Wednesday night. He also jokingly announced that he and the team had agreed on a short-term deal.
Earlier in the week, Cleese took to Twitter to ask the Jazz, his favorite NBA team for tickets to the game against the Suns, tweeting the request with a funny photoshop of himself on-court in a Donovan Mitchell jersey standing next to Jazz center Rudy Gobert and retired NBA veteran Vince Carter.
He later tweeted that he was able to purchase tickets to the game on his own, having not known they were available when first making the plea on social media.
While Cleese admitted he was a bit disappointed in the outcome of his first experience seeing the team in person – the Jazz lost to Phoenix, 117-113 – he stated his excitement in seeing the game extended into overtime.
In his fake announcement, Cleese also declared what he would hypothetically bring to the team; a frontcourt presence and lessons in silly walking, a bit made famous from an iconic Monty Python sketch, “The Ministry of Silly Walks.”
Cleese’s fanhood of the Jazz has been documented for several years. The story goes that he originally fell in love with the team after rooting for the Jazz against the Chicago Bulls in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals, just to annoy his daughter, a fan of the Bulls.
The passion for the Jazz stuck, although Cleese’s appearance in Phoenix was his first time seeing them play in person. He has yet to see Utah play in Salt Lake City.