The Bigger Picture: Silly Walk, Serious Talk

March 23, 2023 By Sanjay Suchak, Sanjay Suchak,

John Cleese, the actor and comedian who made Monty Python’s “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch famous, strolled across the University of Virginia’s Lawn on Thursday, albeit with a more reserved gait. Cleese was on Grounds to visit with researchers in the School of Medicine’s Division of Perceptual Studies, which is in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences. Cleese has long been interested in and supportive of the division’s research into topics such as the nature of consciousness and the perceptions of those who have had near-death experiences.

Cleese, of course, is known worldwide for his lengthy career in comedy and film, extending back to his Monty Python comedy troupe days in the 1970s. More recently, researchers at the UVA School of Education and Human Development took a closer look at the potential health benefits of emulating the famously lurching silly walk demonstrated by Cleese’s “Mr. Teabag” character in 1971.

Turns out, he was more than just funny – he was right. Taking a silly walk can help meet the real-world recommendations for physical activity.

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