Cleesey jokes

I’ve been smitten with Iceland since going there last Summer. I spend a lot of time idly dreaming via the internet of where to see when we go back this year. I also like to read the local news, and blogs, some of my favourites have appeared on the blogroll over the last couple of months. It’s become a kind of foster-country.

Via Iceland Weather Report, I found this bewildering advertising campaign fronted by John Cleese for the rebranding of an Icelandic bank.

I’ve never been quite sure Cleese has managed his career all that well. After Python, then A Fish Called Wanda, perhaps he should have taken stock of his life. He’d made his money, had a nice life. Many would retire from public scrutiny at that time. Alice Cooper plays golf, Ozzy spends his time analysing dog faeces, surely there was a hobby for John. Parrot Conservation perhaps?. Other entertainers play the waiting game. Chevy Chase and Steve Martin spent some time away, bided their time and found the perfect time to come back into the public eye.

Cleese has never really had this skill. Maybe he needs a Sharon Osbourne figure to advise him. Fierce Creatures and Rat Race show a figure, once idolised around the world for his amazing skills, relying on cameos that rest purely on a former reputation.

Still, personality aside, the advert illustrates something of what has me captivated about Iceland. It’s a country with 1/30th of the population of London. It’s seen as something of a cute place – small and environmentally minded, with shadows of vikings and geological greatness. People have a fondness for it. Despite the cringeworthy backdrop of ‘Rule Brittania’, there’s something lovely about the line “why don’t you just call everybody?”…

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