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GB News
GB News
18 Nov 2023


NextImg:John Cleese reveals how a man DIED laughing at 1980s film 'A Fish Called Wanda'

John Cleese has revealed that a man once "died" whilst laughing at his 1988 film, A Fish Called Wanda.

The blockbuster starring Cleese alongside Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin was a comedy hit released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the 80s.

The film follows the four characters as they team up for a diamond heist, but then try to double-cross one another for the goods.

The picture grossed over $188 million worldwide and received three nominations at the 61st Academy Awards.

John Cleese and Jamie Lee Curtis star in A Fish Called Wanda

John Cleese starred alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in 1988 film A Fish Called Wanda

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

As the film was released in cinemas, it was reported that 56-year-old Danish audiologist named Ole Bentzen "laughed himself to death" whilst watching it.

Bentzen reportedly suffered a heart attack during the screening of the movie and had to be carried out by emergency services.

Following the incident, a coroner’s report estimated that Bentzen’s heart rate had rocketed to between 250 to 500 beats per minute during his fit of laughter, triggering a fatal cardiac arrest.

Speaking on his GB News show The Dinosaur Hour, John Cleese told the story to guest Rob Schneider.

John revealed: "Did I tell you that Kevin Kline and I killed a man in Denmark? He was a dentist.

"He had a huge laugh, famous laugh, very popular. He's an audiologist and not a big time, but everybody knew him.

"And he went to see Wanda and he started laughing about two minutes in and never stopped. They carried him out dead. He had a heart attack."

Schneider was in disbelief as John then admitted: "I told Kevin this and Kevin said 'exactly which scene?'", to which Schneider laughed and said "I do love that!"

John Cleese presents on GB News

John Cleese revealed a Danish audiologist died whilst watching A Fish Called Wanda

GB News

Cleese then shared advice he received about creating a farcical comedy, saying: "Somebody once said many, many years ago, they said if you're doing a farce, you should have no laughs in the fist 20 minutes. It should all be absolutely dead serious.

"But if you do that, people get uncomfortable. So you have to put a few little jokes in with the main.

"If you're doing that kind of farcical comedy right at the start, you've got to make absolutely sure that all the premises, all the fundamental ideas of the movie are established and then you can run, because you never have to to establish anything else again.

"So nothing ever holds up the pace. Suddenly a description of the plot in the middle or explanation is not very good, that kills it."