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John Cleese makes a Wonderfully Silly Robot in this 1980’s Sony Commercial
This commercial is wonderful. Not only is it filled with the promise of technology that is now retro, but it combines the talents of Monty Python’s John Cleese and Star Wars legend and R2-D2 builder Tony Dyson. Set in a mid-eighties modern home, the film begins with a stereo or box or some sort of tech, rolling out on the floor and transforming into a robot that not only sounds like John Cleese, but implies through reenacting Cleese’s famous “silly walk” that it actually IS John Cleese.
After reminding us who he is, without saying who he is, Robot Cleese then begins to extol the virtues of using a laser to play music on the new Sony CD player. While doing so, some jokes are made and the whole production is wonderful, which is pretty amazing considering that they had to build a robot to appear in the commercial and according to Dyson:
For this project we were given only seven weeks to design and construct a robot look-a-like of the famous English actor-comedian John Cleese…
The ad campaign was so popular in the UK that the robot would appear in four commercials. Unfortunately, I do not remember seeing these ads jump across the Atlantic. As a Python fan, I could only imagine how a daily dose of silly walking Cleesebot would have sent me prancing around the house attempting my best impersonation.
They would release four of these commercials. all themed around different products with different fun effects. Sadly, only one is currently available to view online.