36 Brilliant Minutes Of John Cleese On Creativity

I'm having trouble dating this video (though the consensus is 1991), but I can tell you it's from Video Arts, a UK e-learning company founded in 1972 by John Cleese and other "television professionals". In this particular clip, Cleese delivers a lecture on creativity, infused with his own brand of humour.

"So, the prospect of settling down for quite serious study of creative for the purpose of tonight's gossip, was delightful," states Cleese in the introduction, "and having spent several weeks on it, I can state categorically that what I have to tell you tonight about how you can all become more creative is a complete waste of time."

From there, you'd think the talk would descend into non-stop comedy. Not so — Cleese provides some genuinely helpful advice on getting your mind into its creative "open mode", interspersed with a great deal of "how to screw in a lightbulb" jokes.

[YouTube, thanks Aaron]


    I wonder how much of what he's saying is now out of date. I'm confident what he's saying was cutting edge at the time, but it's a long time ago and surely theories have been debunked and others have been reinforced since then

    You're having trouble dating the video even though the copyright card at the end pegs it explicitly as being from 1991?

    Yeah, I'm not so sure.... I think he is spot on a number of things.

    Wooo this will kick on my week long Cleese fest which ends with me sitting in a theater listening to him talk live for a couple of hours on Sunday! WoooO!

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