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John Cleese Says South Not Ready for ‘Life of Brian’

Don’t expect John Cleese to show up on a college campus anytime soon. Or, for that matter, the Deep South.

The Monty Python co-founder, known for his off-kilter and sometimes irreverent wit, shuns the politically correct climate of today’s university settings. He said he’s spoken with fellow funnymen Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Barry who have warned him away from the co-eds.

“You have to be very careful with your words these days,” Cleese told an audience at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall Sept. 29.

For example, Cleese worried that he wouldn’t be able to show “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” – which satirizes Jesus’ story – in the American South.

With civil wars brewing, madmen running nuclear-armed countries and Putin threatening Western lifestyle, people seem to be missing the big picture, Cleese said. “And people are worried that someone said the wrong word?”

All humor, he said, is basically inappropriate. The trick is not to be cruel or make fun of tragedy.

“Laughter is a kind of extreme reaction suggesting that certain behavior that can be improved upon,” Cleese said.

For example, the British comedian poked fun at everyone’s favorite target – the French. “Why do the French have so many civil wars? So they can win one every one in a while.”

Cleese has been hammering away at political correct forces for some time. Last month he told Vulture his rationale for savaging the PC mindset:

“…the thing about political correctness is that it starts as a good idea and then gets taken ad absurdum. And one of the reasons it gets taken ad absurdum is that a lot of the politically correct people have no sense of humor.”

Three years earlier he struck on similar arguments via “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Other tidbits from Cleese’s Pittsburgh appearance:

  • On Trump: “I love him. He’s just terrific. Everyone knows how ignorant he is. He’s never read a book. You know that.”
  • On his clueless character Basil Fawlty meeting Trump: “I could imagine Basil saying, `Who the hell do you think you are?”
  • On his religious journey. He grew up Church of England but became an atheist. He embraced agnosticism next. Now, in his 70s, he’s not so sure. He’s pretty convinced there’s something after life, though he’s not sure what it is.
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12 Comments

  1. So, his assault on political correctness included a joke about the French that’s older than he is, yet another “Trump is dumb” comment, and a gratuitous slam at the South, where I’m sure he could tell a Jesus joke without worry of being beheaded. What a rebel!

    Got a problem with political correctness? Go tell some Caitlyn Jenner jokes in Greenwich Village, then tell a couple of jokes about religious intolerance while in Saudi Arabia. If you survive, then come back and tell us about your courage. Until then, stuff it coward.

        1. You can’t refute my point so you all you have respond with is an attempt to challenge my intellect. Sad but keep on trying.

          1. Well, first you might want to actually make an argument. An ad hominem attack isn’t an argument.

            Oh sorry, that means that simply calling a person names isn’t the same as advocating a position.

            Oh sorry, advocating means taking a side and making statements in support of that side.

            Oh sorry, making statements means using words to back your opinions.

            P.S. “opinions” and “feelings” aren’t synonyms.

            Oh crap, ok synonyms are words that mean the same thing or are functionally the same.

            English to moron is exhausting!

          2. That’s the best you can do? All that just to say I am mentally deficient because I find you humorless? The sadness continues

  2. Fake NEWS LIAR you dig the deep south but then the article never shows Cleese saying a thing about it.

    FAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWSFAKE NEWS

  3. I was a fan of his predecessors such as Dudley Moore (RIP). One of their funniest bits was about the “Great British Train Robery”. In his case, apparently, there has now been a brain robbery.

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