It may be April Fools’ Day, but FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention is not joking when it comes to the latest guest announcement for its spring 2019 lineup: acclaimed actor and comedian John Cleese.

The announcement was shared through Facebook late Monday afternoon, and caused a flurry of comments referencing not only the actor’s vast career but also some epic enthusiasm for the growing list of celebrity guests pegged for attendance at FanX April 19-20.

“This best not be April Fools cause my heart just dropped out of my chest I’m so excited,” one fan wrote. “If this is April Fools, your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!” another shared in reference to Cleese’s time on Monty Python.

“This is why I have trust issues,” a third commenter wrote, regarding the April 1 announcement, while yet another aptly said, “Holy freaking what??? This is epic.”

Cleese’s vast career includes credits from the late 1960s all the way to films currently announced, filming and in post-production, with some of his most notable projects including a variety of Monty Python hits, a recurring role as King in the “Shrek” series, Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter films, Q and R in “007,” Donald P. Sinclair in “Rat Race” and Archie Leach in “A Fish Called Wanda,” just as a sampling.

Despite his many years in the industry, though, FanX will be serving as his first actual fan event, something that FanX co-founder Bryan Brandenburg said is a real honor for the convention.

“We’ve been looking at John Cleese and his agent is the same agent as Dick Van Dyke and Elijah Wood,” Brandenburg said of two of the event’s alumni guests. “He wanted John to do his first show with us because he loved our show so much. … It’s an honor that his agent had that respect for our event.”

As to the April Fools’ announcement itself, “I’ve had fun today,” Brandenburg joked. “It’s been the best.”

According to Brandenburg, the convention always does something fun on April Fools’ Day, including announcing Nathan Fillion as a guest in 2014.

“There’s still a lot of people saying, ‘Is this April Fools’ again?’ and they can’t really tell,” he said. “We’ll let them know for sure tomorrow.”

With John Cleese actually joining the lineup alongside other big name announcements made recently including Lynda Carter, Alice Cooper, Paul Bettany and Clark Gregg, FanX’s spring 2019 show is gearing up to once again be one of the best yet.

“Some people are saying, ‘Oh my gosh, this feels like the fall show,’ but this is our smaller event,” Brandenburg said, noting that it spans just two days. “We compete with ourselves, and say OK, how are we going to outdo that? That’s the question to ask.”

Even KidCon is getting a boost at the event this time around with a special new photo op in the works.

“We’ve really gone out of our way to make it family-friendly, but two days are going to go by super fast,” he said. “If you look at these iconic people … they’re just legends in the industry and their panels are going to be great.”

The best news yet for fans is the announcements aren’t done. Friday marked the news that “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi will be making his way to Salt Lake for the show, with the promise of yet another epic “Shazam!” guest announcement heading toward fans later this week.

To catch the announcement and find tickets to FanX, set for April 19-20 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, visit fanxsaltlake.com. You can also follow event updates at heraldextra.com/comiccon.

Kari Kenner manages and creates digital features and niche content for the Daily Herald.

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