The decade's most triggering comedy
In “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” a filthy peasant who is being throttled by King Arthur at the time, yells: “Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”
So it is with another of the British comedy troupe’s movies, “Monty Python’s Life of Brian.”
Comedian John Cleese revealed last week that a scene for his revival of the irreverent stage show, during which “Stan” declares he wants to be a woman named “Loretta” and have babies, is set to be cut from the play — for woke reasons.
“According to Cleese, the ‘Loretta’ scene, in which a male member of the People’s Front of Judea demands his right to have babies, raised eyebrows at a read-through in New York last year,” Spiked reported on Wednesday. “‘We love the script, but you can’t do that stuff about Loretta nowadays,’ the Americans told Cleese.”
The scene is a brilliant bit of surreal comedy in which Stan declares “it’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.”
In the scene, Stan and three others do a rat-a-tat-tat exchange that made Monty Python famous. For the record, Cleese plays Reg, Michael Palin is Francis, Sue Jones-Davies plays Judith, and Eric Idle plays Stan. Just enjoy the timing:
Judith: I do feel, Reg, that any anti-imperialist group like ours must reflect such a divergence of interests within its power base.
Reg: Agree. Francis?
Francis: Yeah, I think Judith’s point of view is very valid, Reg. Provided the movement never forgets that it is the unalienable right of every man —
Stan: Or woman.
Francis: Or woman to rid himself —
Stan: Or herself.
Francis: Or herself.
Francis: Thank you, brother.
Stan: Or sister.
Francis: Or sister. Where was I?
Reg: I think you finished.
Francis: Oh, all right.
Reg: Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man —
Stan: Or woman.
Reg: Why don’t you shut up about women, Stan, you’re putting us off.
Stan: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
Francis: Why you always on about women, Stan?
Stan: I want to be one.
Stan: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me Loretta.
Stan: It’s my right as a man.
Judith: Why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
Stan: I want to have babies.
Reg: You want to have babies?!
Stan: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
Reg: But you can’t have babies!
Stan: Don’t you oppress me.
Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb. Where’s the fetus going to gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?
Judith: Here, I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans, but that he can have the right to have babies.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother — sister. Sorry.
Reg: What’s the point? What’s the point of fighting his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.
When “Life of Brian” — listed in the IMDB’s top 250 movies — came out in 1979, it faced an onslaught from the Catholic Church. But that might be a simple foe when weighed against the LGBTQ+ community.
Cleese has grumbled before about the plight of the modern comedian. When asked in July of 2022 if they still have the unfettered freedom to be funny, he said, “No. I think it’s particularly worrying at the moment because you can only create in an atmosphere of freedom where you’re not checking everything you say critically before you move on.”
“A lot of comedians now are sitting there and when they think of something, they say something like, ‘Can I get away with it? I don’t think so. So and so got into trouble, and he said that, oh, she said that.’ You see what I mean? And that’s the death of creativity,” Cleese said.
This new onslaught will be tantamount to the Spanish Inquisition. And as the boys of Monty Python have always said: “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.