“Monty Python” alumni John Cleese slammed those he called the “wokes” and talked about the current environment for entertainers with many people sitting in the audience just waiting for the “thrill of being offended.”
During a wide-ranging interview for Reason.com’s January 2023 issue, the 83-year-old comedian talked about political correctness and “wokeism” which he called the enemies of creativity and humor. The “Fawlty Towers” star said that “wokeism” is “the internal interruption” of the creative process.
“You think of an idea and you immediately think: ‘Oooh, is that going to get me into trouble? Well, that person last Thursday got away with it,'” Cleese shared. “But all that stuff immediately stops you being creative.”
“The woke people, I think, miss something quite badly,” he added. “The meaning of a word depends on its context. If I use sarcasm, then what I’m meaning is the opposite of the words I’m actually saying. If you don’t get irony, then if you take it seriously, you completely misunderstand the intention of the writer or speaker.”
Monty Python legend @JohnCleese on giving offense and getting laughs https://t.co/g6ukBw4Yg7
— reason (@reason) December 18, 2022
“There are people sitting there who are deliberately waiting for the thrill of being offended,” Cleese continued.
The “A Fish Called Wanda” star also said he realized decades ago the importance of laughter in helping us heal with the struggles and hardships of our own lives.
“It takes us to a part of our mind where we’re probably healthier than we are at any other time, and it’s this thing about laughing at yourself,” the actor shared. “I’m not so sure that the wokes would ever laugh at themselves, no matter how hilarious they are.”
The famed British comedian has been very outspoken in the past about cancel culture and even announced plans to host a new unnamed show on GB news that he said will tackle it, labeling the “wokes” the new “authoritarians,” as previously reported.
“Like all people who believe that are purer than they actually are, they are authoritarians,” Cleese previously tweeted about his new show. “Which is why all the best comedians make fun of them.”
The comedian will work with political satirist and comedian Andrew Doyle on the show that will hit the air waves in 2023, Variety noted. No title has yet to be released.
Related: ‘Beware The ‘Wokes’’: ‘Monty Python’ Alum Defends New Show Tackling ‘Cancel Culture’ And New ‘Authoritarians’