Jazz Biggest Fan Might Be Monty Python Legend John Cleese
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The separate industries of sports and entertainment regularly cross over one another — athletes often appear in movies and TV shows while actors and musicians are commonly found sitting courtside at sporting events. But even in a world where the two industries regularly cross paths, the Utah Jazz finding one of their biggest fans in former Monty Python star John Cleese feels oddly unique.
Over the weekend, the Engish star of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers had a series of exchanges with the Jazz Twitter page where he expressed his support for the team.
Cleese, who has over 5.7 million followers on the site began the interaction by proclaiming his love for the team in his typical absurdist fashion.
After criticizing the United States political system and impeachment trial against former president Donald Trump, Cleese acknowledged his love for the Jazz.
The tweet received over 300 retweets and 3000 likes before Cleese doubled-down his adoration for the team in later posts.
Allan Broce, a former executive at ESPN tweeted at Cleese, pointing out the Jazz team-first approach to basketball.
The BAFTA Award winner proved his above-average knowledge of the team by mentioning the Jazz recent win over the Milwaukee Bucks when four players on the roster scored at least 25 points in the game.
The interactions eventually found their way to the Jazz official Twitter account which reached out to Cleese during his celebration of the franchise.
In honor of the holiday weekend, the account asked Cleese if he’d consider being their valentine, an invitation he gladly accepted.
“Yes!” Cleese tweeted. “I love you all to Venus and back.”
Though the team regularly celebrates having celebrities in attendance at games, including recently hosting actor Michael Peña and local PGA tour member Tony Finau, even the team’s employees recognized the unique opportunity to talk to the comedy legend.
“Tweeting back and forth with John Cleese is a 10/10 life experience,” Jazz social media manager Angie Treasure said. “Would recommend.”
Cleese Has Long Been A Jazz Fan
It’s fitting that Cleese’s love for the Jazz has once again taken center stage as the team owns the best record in the NBA.
The legendary actor first found his fondness for the Jazz the last time they held one of the league’s best rosters. With Cleese’s daughter living in Chicago in the late 1990s, Cleese began to root for the Jazz in their Finals matchups against the Chicago Bulls to take a contrarian stance against his daughter.
Cleese revealed the origin story of his interest in the team to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Sean Means in 2017.
“We used to watch together that great series when the [Bulls] beat the Jazz,” Cleese told Means. “She was supporting the Bulls, and I thought I’d support the Jazz to make it more interesting.”
While appearing at FanX at the Salt Palace Convention center in 2019, the actor said he’s also a fan of the team’s Monty Pythonesque name.
“I love silly names,” Cleese told fans. “And there has never, ever been a sillier name than the Utah Jazz.”
Regardless of Cleese’s sardonic approach to his fanship, the team appeared to appreciate his support.
After accepting their Valentine’s Day invitation, the Jazz responded to the star with a puppy dog eyed emoji, showing their adoration for the comedy genius.