Comedian John Cleese gets 'dumped' by Palmy
By NICK WILSON - Manawatu Standard | Monday, 21 May 2007
NAMESAKE: Mt Cleese at Awapuni Landfill, named after famous funnyman John Cleese, who infamously called Palmerston North New Zealand's 'suicide capital'.
Some people have a statue made in their honour, others a street named after them, but the Palmerston North City Council has bestowed the honour of a commemorative compost heap on comedian John Cleese.
Cleese achieved infamy in Palmerston North last year when, after a performance at the Regent on Broadway, he said he hated the "town", calling it the "suicide capital of New Zealand".
Palmy-born entertainer John Clarke (aka Fred Dagg) was quick to defend the city, and suggested the local landfill be named the "John Cleese Memorial Tip" with the tagline: "All manner of crap happily recycled".
A few members of the council thought this was a good idea; and as new signage was being organised for the old Awapuni Landfill (now a waste minimisation centre), "Mt Cleese" was born.
"Somebody had the sign made up as a joke," city council waste and water manager Chris Pepper said, adding that it was definitely not an official title.
"It's popped up overnight, and nobody has said to pull it down. People just smile and leave it there."
Contractor Roy Harding admits putting the sign up and says he's received nothing but compliments.
"Most people seem to be quite happy about it," he says with a grin.
"It's just to get back at him."
While the site is relatively tidy at the moment, it's being prepared for a big dumping of compost very soon.