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John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP
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Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions." Simon Mein/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

itoggle caption Simon Mein/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
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Jacqueline Woodson has published 30 books, and won three Newbery honors and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for her young adult book Miracle's Boys. Marty Umans/Courtesy of Penguin Group USA hide caption

itoggle caption Marty Umans/Courtesy of Penguin Group USA
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Comedian Richard Pryor, pictured in 1977, grew up in a brothel, surrounded by violence. "He said once that it's easier for him to talk about his life in front of 2,000 people than it is to do it one on one," says Scott Saul, whose new book is Becoming Richard Pryor. AP hide caption

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Wednesday

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Jacqueline Woodson has published 30 books, and won three Newbery honors and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for her young adult book Miracle's Boys. Marty Umans/Courtesy of Penguin Group USA hide caption

itoggle caption Marty Umans/Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

Geoffrey Nunberg says technology makes it seem as if we're always being watched, which is creepy. Ralf Hirschberger/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ralf Hirschberger/AFP/Getty Images
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Monday

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Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a film about a standup comedian who is trying to reshape his career. Ali Paige Goldstein/Courtesy of Paramount Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Ali Paige Goldstein/Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
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