Monty Python and the Holy Sale: Cleese Hands Ex UES Fawlty Tower

Monty Python’s John Cleese recently sold his Upper East Side apartment at 196 East 75th Street to ex-wife Alyce Faye Eichelberger Cleese (yes, all four names were listed in city records). Mr. Cleese sold the former Mrs. Cleese the apartment for $1.492 million, but the Cleeses bought the two-bedroom in June of 2007 for $1.4 million—both of their names appeared on the deed.


“It’s really a great apartment. A really nice two-bedroom, sunny and light,” the listing agent, Samantha Kleier of Gumley Haft Kleier, told The Observer. Mr. Cleese, most famous for his brilliant sitcom Fawlty Towers and his role in Monty Python, married psychotherapist Alyce Faye Eichelberger in 1992, but when the couple divorced in early 2008, a shared apartment became the least of the former couple’s worries. A bitter divorce ensued, and it was reported that Mr. Cleese paid $20.6 million in cash and assets to Ms. Faye during divorce settlings.

Ms. Kleier remembers the couple in happier times, when they bought the apartment together in 2007. “The building was so excited when he moved in, it was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to the building! They were lovely people. Lovely and easy, easy to deal with. They presented a great board package, good reccommendation letters, everything.”

Mr. Cleese is currently touring his one-man show “How to Finance Your Divorce.” (Follow him on Twitter!) In the tour’s opening in Oslo last October, he told the sold-out audience, “I’m here, my friends, because frankly I need the money. I’ve fallen on hard times. I’m having to pay $20 million to a woman who I believe is the special love child of Bernie Madoff and Heather Mills.”