John Cleese Fights Back After Twitter Attacks His Unwoke, Traditionalist Comments: 'London Isn't Really English Anymore'

[Screenshot from Big Think,]
[Screenshot from Big Think,]


Are you a fan of the driest humor in the world? Then this story’s for you.


You are, no doubt, partial to Monty Python and free-speech-advocatin’ founder John Cleese.

Just after midnight Wednesday, the 79-year-old recalled his lament of London, originally shared during a 2011 Australian TV appearance:

“Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more. Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation. So there must be some truth in it. I note also that London was the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU.”

During the television spot, he also said this:

“I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King’s Road and say, ‘Where are all the English people?’
… I mean, I love having different cultures around. But when the parent culture kind of dissipates, you’re left thinking, ‘Well, what’s going on?'”

Back to his tweet, you can imagine what happened. Cue the critics, starting here with BBC Radio 4 star Ken Cheng:


A curiosity: When during John Cleese’s lifetime were “darker” people kept from roaming free in London?

Someone responded to Ken with their personal gripe, but he didn’t prefer it:

It should be noted that John’s comment concerned culture, a concept different than race or religion.

BAFTA-winning TV and radio comedy writer James Felton mocked John, calling him, in a word, “ignorant.”

Personally, I’m bummed out by the increasingly epic misuse of the word “ignorant.” It means, of course, “lacking knowledge,” yet it’s come to be employed as “whatever I disagree with.” Which means, sadly, it now has virtually no meaning.

Oh, and in case ya need it:

Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different, or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup.”


Apparently, co-creator of British mockumentary Look Around You, Robert Popper, looked up to John Cleese until Wednesday:

European correspondent for The Independent called John a bigot:

“Bigot,” as you know, means “intolerance for an opposing view.”

John took to Twitter to respond to the attacks:


It seems to me that the conflict here is largely generational.

Another generational notion: John has, in the past, spoken out about the clamp-down on free speech — or, more specifically, political correctness — in comedy. If you can’t be offensive, can you be funny? Watch John explain in the video below.

What do you think of his statements on England?

And if you are a Monty Python fan, what’s your favorite skit or movie? I’d have to go with “Twit of the Year” (“…and Oliver has run himself over”)  and the Parrot sketch.

For three fantastic Cleese movies, I recommend the comedies A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures, and the drama — bear with me — Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

I look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, did you read my Gene Simmons article? It’s about his mom — Holocaust survivor Flora Klein — and the greatness of America. I hope you’ll check it out. And if you missed it, please take a look at Gillette Releases Its First Trans Commercial: A Proud Father Helps His Daughter Shave Her Beard.



See 3 more pieces from me:

Moving Forward From New York’s Infant Murder Law: Teenage Parents In New Jersey Slay Their Baby, Throw Him In A Dumpster

Bill Maher Smacks The Democrats On 2020: If You Make The Election About This, You’ll Get Creamed


Admirable: Actors Chris Pratt & John Krasinski Thank Our Veterans And Issue A Memorial Day Challenge

Find all my RedState work here.

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