(ABC4) – The Los Angeles Lakers famously have Hollywood icon Jack Nicholson as their most famous ticket holder; could actor John Cleese be the Utah Jazz’s most notable fan?
If Cleese has anything to say about it, then yes.
The English actor, who previously declared his admiration for Utah’s NBA franchise multiple times on Twitter, again made his fandom known on social media. This time, he included a humorous photoshop of himself in a Jazz jersey and a request for tickets to Wednesday’s game in Phoenix.
The photo is presumably taken from one of the team’s fan promotions in which a child can have his picture taken on the court before the game with a member of the Jazz and the opposing team. Cleese’s imaginative edit includes his 81-year-old head on the body of a youngster standing in front of Jazz center Rudy Gobert and now-retired NBA veteran Vince Carter.
Cleese made his name in the comedy world as a founding member of Monty Python, a troupe that produced the wildly popular 1975 cult classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” He also starred in and wrote the British sitcom “Fawlty Tower,” and starred in American films such as “A Fish Called Wanda” and “Rat Race.” His credits also include a couple of Harry Potter and James Bond films.
A fan of silliness, as evidenced by his comedy style, Cleese has suggested that his love for the team has a lot to do with its name.
“I love silly names,” Cleese told fans at the FanX pop culture convention at the Salt Palace in 2019. “And there has never, ever been a sillier name than the Utah Jazz.”
Cleese apparently began cheering for Utah during the team’s NBA Finals runs in the late-90s, just to be a contrarian to his daughter’s favorite team, the Chicago Bulls. His appreciation for the Jazz never left, long after the team’s losses to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the 1997 and 1998 Finals.
Lately, the comedy icon has had a few notable interactions with the Jazz’s official Twitter accounts.
He has also kept up on Utah’s stat lines during the Jazz’s successful 2020-21 campaign.
Cleese has also peppered in some Jazz love while making political commentary.
Jazz owner Ryan Smith responded to Cleese, making it seem like the famed comedian will be seeing his favorite team for the first time in person this week in Arizona.
In the end, though Cleese ended up just buying tickets himself, saying he didn’t realize they would still be on the market.
Utah will face the Mavericks in Dallas on Monday night before turning to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Wednesday night with Cleese in attendance.