Now I would like to take issue with this. What's the problem with the odd pun or two?
I must admit that I've never felt totally comfortable with John Cleese's comedy with the exception of the shining nugget of comedy classic gold that is Fawlty Towers. The Python stuff always seemed a bit laboured and mannered and I never quite took to the posh chartered accountant persona which Cleese adopted for so much of his career. I absolutely hated Clockwise which made me feel stressed out for weeks and a Fish Called Wanda still makes me terribly uncomfortable about Michael Palin having chips stuck up his nose.
I suppose even brilliant comedy exponents have their off days (see "Horne & Corden" and "Sunshine" for details). However, Fawlty Towers was, and still is, brilliant - a terrific ensemble cast and highly original and inventive writing by Cleese and his first wife Connie Booth.
One has to feel a bit sorry for Cleese now that he has been taken to the cleaners in Heather Mills fashion by his third wife Alyce Faye, a psychotherapist. Connie Booth keeps a commendably low profile and if Wikipedia is to be believed is also working as a psychotherapist in London and married to John Larr ( son of Bert Larr who played the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz.
New research may be proving John Cleese's comedy rules are correct. The University of New Dworkin in Southern California has recently completed an experiment in which 10,000 students were measured for laughter responses against a standard set of 10 pun based jokes to see, on average, how many from the list provided a laugh.
No pun in ten did.