Speed Reads

Don't call it a cat fight

Watch Taylor Swift and Monty Python's John Cleese fight about their cats

How are British talk shows different that their American counterparts? Let us count the ways: Alcohol, un-bleeped f-bombs, and blinding pink sets, for starters — at least on the BBC's Graham Norton Show. Also, it apparently makes sense to pair Monty Python alumnus John Cleese, pop star Taylor Swift, and cricket player Kevin Pietersen as guests. And have them talk about cats. Cleese and Swift are both cat people — according to Saturday night's program, Swift has two, Cleese, 17 — and Pietersen is allergic and "not a massive fan."

Pietersen's impolitic dislike of felines initially caused an alliance between Cleese and Swift, but Cleese seemed intent to sink it. "How did it have its accident?" he asked after Norton showed a photo of Swift's undamaged Scottish Fold cat. Swift looked stunned, so Norton retaliated with a photo of one of Cleese's abnormally large felines. Cleese wasn't done, though. After Pietersen started off a discussion about the difference between dogs and cats, Cleese interjected: "I much prefer cats. They're unpredictable, and cussed — like women," he added, turning suddenly to look at Swift.

"Ooooh, we don't want to do that!" Swift retorted, defusing the situation and making Cleese crack up. Before you watch, be warned that Cleese dropped one choice NSFW word in the bizarre exchange. --Peter Weber