John Cleese on Creativity – Video

In this video, John Cleese — who, as part of Monty Python, is one of the 20th century’s most innovative, creative people — speaks for about 35 minutes about creativity.

This is a somewhat older video, but Cleese makes some very good points.  Sure, he’s a little silly, excessively political and downright pompous at times.   However, I like it when he says things like:

Creativity is not a talent. It is not a talent. It is a way of operating.

…It’s not an ability that you either have or you do not have… it’s an ability to play.”

Thanks to Robert Genn‘s Painters Keys for suggesting this.

Note: If that video is missing, here’s one other locations for it:  (It’s not a clickable link. If it were, the video would auto-embed at this site.) Or, check “John Cleese on Creativity video” at any search engine; that should point you to other copies of it.

OR… if you don’t have 36 minutes for that video, some of the highlights are in the edited version at the foot of this page.

In his related post, Genn said…

“To be creative we need five conditions,” Cleese says. “Space, Time, Time, Confidence and Humour.” Yep, “Time” comes twice.

That’s something I like in this video: Cleese stresses the importance of time… not just productive time, but time that’s necessary to get that open space in your mind.  To someone else, it might look like you’re doing nothing, or nothing of importance.  However, it’s one of the most essential parts of being creative, and allows you to cast off the limiting and distracting thoughts that stand between you and that necessary, open space.


Here’s a shorter, edited version of that same video:

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