IF IT wasn't for a divorce worth more than $20 million, John Cleese would be quietly writing his autobiography in London and not in Tasmania meeting his wife's Launceston-based cousins for the first time.
The 74-year-old is in the state for his An Evening with John Cleese tour.
``If you have to earn money, this is a lot better than working down a mine,'' he said.
Cleese performed his second show in Hobart last night and will journey to Launceston tomorrow to perform two shows at the Albert Hall.
Cleese now has a family connection to Launceston through current wife Jennifer Wade.
``Jenny has cousins in Launceston and I will meet them on Sunday,'' he said.
Cleese said he had so far been well recognised in Tasmania, particularly at the Salamanca Market on Saturday.
``A lot of people just say `thank you for making me laugh','' he said.
His observations of Tasmania so far, besides recognising many place names from the Somerset and Devon regions of England, were that the food and crafts were good, and the people were quiet and polite.
The show is a nostalgic conversation with the audience about Cleese's life, from growing up in a small town to entering show business and working with celebrities.
``I would call it a professional autobiography,'' Cleese said.
A lot of the show is dedicated to Monty Python and Fawlty Towers .
``Then in the second half I talk about dark humour - people are interested in the psychology behind it,'' he said. Retirement is not on the cards, with the remaining members of Monty Python rehearsing in June before performing sketch material for a July reunion.
``You see, I've never had a job in the sense of an office that I go to in the morning with a boss,'' he said.
``So I don't think I will stop working, it's just that I will do slightly quirkier things.'' Cleese said his best work was written with a lot of time.
Instead, he takes time out on tour to write his autobiography.
``It's so nice to stop and write because when I write sometimes I make myself laugh and I like making myself laugh,'' Cleese said.
Cleese's Saturday night show is now sold out, but tickets are still available for the Sunday show through Ticketmaster.