John Cleese will do a docu-series on how wokeness & cancel culture are bad

Pendulum Summit 2019 - Day Two

You know what older white dudes love? They love to assume an air of unearned grievance and martyrdom, like no one can understand how hard it is for them to exist in a world which was built solely for them. They love to complain about how difficult it is to make space for disenfranchised voices. All of this is summed up by white people’s focus on “cancel culture.” If you watch Fox News or have a lot of older white Republican peeps in your life, I’m sure you’ve heard so much about how cancel culture is the worst thing to ever happen to them. It’s not just in America either – British saltines are having the same conversation. Enter John Cleese:

British comedy legend John Cleese will be exploring cancel culture in a new documentary series for Channel 4. The series – which is to be titled John Cleese: Cancel Me – will see the Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star “explore why a new ‘woke’ generation is trying to rewrite the rules on what can and can’t be said”.

Throughout the series, the comedian will talk to a variety of people – including some famous faces who claim to have been ‘cancelled’ and others who have campaigned against comedians and programmes – to ask if it is possible to create comedy without causing offence.

Speaking about the programme, Cleese said, “I’m delighted to have a chance to find out, on camera, about all the aspects of so-called Political Correctness. There’s so much I really don’t understand, like: how the impeccable idea of ‘Let’s all be kind to people’ has been developed in some cases ad absurdum. I want to bring the various reasonings right out in the open so that people can be clearer in their minds what they agree with, what they don’t agree with, and what they still can’t make their mind up about.”

[From Radio Times]

I had forgotten that Cleese was like this. I’m too young for Monty Python, but I loved him in A Fish Called Wanda, that was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. He’s a comedy legend and I acknowledge that fully. But good god, can someone sit him down and explain that this is not the fight? Again, these people complaining about cancel culture are actually worried about accountability culture. They’re worried that they’re racist, sexist assdouches, and people might (MIGHT) hold them accountable. Cleese should have just sat there and stayed quiet and people would have forgotten all of the dumb sh-t and just canonized him as a comedy legend. But here we are.

John Cleese Pink Flamingo

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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38 Responses to “John Cleese will do a docu-series on how wokeness & cancel culture are bad”

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  1. Oh_Hey says:

    Ugh – what is with the monty python crew retroactively destroying themselves. Its like the old tory-ness and oxbridge posh finally broke free and they can no longer contain themselves.
    Shutting up is free.

    • Fortuona says:

      He is a Lib Dem and has been since the 70′s ,they even tried to give a peerage so could sit in the Lords but he said no

  2. Amy Bee says:

    This is going to be a bunch of right wingers complaining that can’t be racist and sexist anymore. Nevermind that in the UK these people never lose their jobs for being racist, xenophobic or sexist. In fact most often they are lauded for being so “outspoken”.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Not only that, but they don’t lose their jobs even for bullying.. first-hand experience unfortunately.

    • Julia K says:

      Actor Laurence Fox lost his agent and acting career for these same beliefs: cancel culture , sexism and racism, according to British papers. Think he also ran for political office and lost badly, also reported in British papers.

      • ccsays says:

        Tbf what ‘acting career’ has he had since Lewis? The closest he’s been to a great acting career was being married to Billy Piper.

  3. AlpineWitch says:

    He should be part of the retirement culture, I think it’s time John….

  4. Rapunzel says:

    If you are afraid of “cancel culture” it’s because you know you’re doing things that deserve canceling. End of.

  5. Lizzie says:

    Great, another old man to lecture woman. Cancel culture is alive and I cancel JOHN CLEESE.

  6. Charfromdarock says:

    My brother gave me tickets to a John Cleese show a couple of years ago for Xmas. I have no idea why, I have never ever expressed any interest in him. I’ve never even seen Monty Python. I really only know him from Will & Grace.

    It was SO tedious and boring. It really was an old white man complaining for two hours.

    Plus, there was a woman who got up to go to the bathroom. In a stadium full of people he put a spotlight on her and asked where she was going. Made fun of her while she was gone and then continued to shame her for going to the bathroom after she returned.

    I highly doubt it was a plant or a routine. She looked genuinely mortified. He was such an a** hole.

    Edited to add:
    So yeah, I cancelled that idiot.

    • Larisa says:

      Actually, that seems to be their thing? I don’t go to comedy shows often, but a couple of time I did, they always found an audience member to pick on. I wonder if it is part of the routine in a way? As in – they actively look for an audience member to pick on, hoping for something to come up more or less organically, so that they look like brilliant improv masters?

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      My ex’s cousin worked in Ireland giving driving tours. Cleese was a customer. She told us he was the absolute worst with a terrible attitude. Since hearing that I’ve noticed I’ve only heard bad stories about him.

  7. steph says:

    Seems he’s easily offended.

    • Jenn says:

      Right? Really thin-skinned when it comes to the slightest criticism (which isn’t “cancelation” by a long shot).

  8. paranormalgirl says:

    Please tell me Michael Palin isn’t this way. Please?

    • Scal says:

      Right that will break my heart.

    • Jaded says:

      He’s not, he’s actually a lovely person.

    • Blueskies says:

      Michael remained a steadfast friend and support to fellow Python Terry Jones throughout his illness (he passed away several months ago, and Michael’s grief in at least one tv interview afterwards was heartbreaking). Lovely, intelligent, talented man and possibly the best of the troupe. Certainly together they were lightening in a bottle. They were slightly ahead of my time (I was born in ’71), but grew up knowing a lot about them through reruns of MPFC and my English dad and uncle.

      John Cleese just seems to have this arrogant bafflement about things and yes, he loves to get his opinion out there as some sort of brilliant intellectual, he knows he’s got some number of forever loyal fans. Wasn’t it Piers Morgan (apologies) who once said (in a tv ad?): “It’s my opinion, so therefore it’s a fact”.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I adore Michael Palin. I was just hoping there was noting stealth about him. Michael Palin and Graham Chapman were my favorites.

  9. Michelle Connolly says:

    Old man yells at cloud (Abe Simpson image)

  10. pottymouth pup says:

    Cleese is just cheesed off that people called him out for being such a vocal supporter of BREXIT (claiming there was no xenophobia involved in the campaign as well) and then promptly moved away

  11. rainbowkitty says:

    I’m going to assume when he speaks on cancel culture he’s referring to celebrities.
    Anyone with a public platform who is known to be a racist, bigot, sexist, etc. deserves to and should be cancelled. I mean, there’s nothing else to say. Whether things were said or done 20 years ago or yesterday it’s not ok. Cancel culture is holing people accountable and bringing to light people who should not have a public platform.

    • Fortuona says:

      But he is not though .He is a Liberal and spent a whole bunch of time slagging off Trump and the Republicans . And he started the Secret Policemans Ball to help fund Amnesty International

      He was just upset with the BeeB for cutting The Germans for fear of offending Germans ,bringing it back cut or slapping it with a warning attached .

      • JanetDR says:

        That is without a doubt the episode that gives me the most giggles.

      • Fortuona says:


        And that is what pissed him off . They cut all the stuff about the Major being xenophobic out when it is all about Basil trying not to think that way about the Germans but actually thinking about them that way,then taking a head knock and being a dick to them

        Manuel and his rat he called Basil also gets me

      • JanetDR says:

        Ha! Basil The rat! 😂
        The whole point of his character is how judgemental and horrible Basil is to anyone he perceived as lesser, and then he’s always getting his comeuppance in the end. His character is so unsympathetic!
        But I get why it’s an issue. Different times but have we really made progress?

  12. NiqGee says:

    Tell me you’re r-cist without telling me you’re r-cist. John Cleese will start.

  13. Jenn says:

    Ironically, Monty Python put it best: “Help! Help! I’m being repressed! Do you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn’t you?”

  14. Annetommy says:

    I never found Monty Python or Fawlty Towers funny, and I’ve never found him funny. He seems to have become even less funny with age.

  15. Sel says:

    I think this was the most succinct and final word on the matter..

  16. Premadonna says:

    Good maybe he can bring up the current cancel culture within the Republican party of censoring every party member who challenges tRumpism.

    • Fortuona says:

      well lets see what he had to say about Trump/the Republicans

      Cleese described Trump as “a narcissist, with no attention span, who doesn’t have clear ideas about anything and makes it all up as he goes along”. He had previously described the leadership of the Republican Party as “the most cynical, most disgracefully immoral people I’ve ever come across in a Western civilisation”.

  17. SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

    So over this ongoing collective tantrum from entitled old wealthy white guys who don’t want to learn to share.

    • nomobonmylawn says:

      I think this is more about denouncing mob mentality.

      • Fortuona says:

        Which is the reason he complained in the first place . They took one episode of Fawlty Towers down ,then edited it ,then put it back with the stuff put back in but then put a warning on it because people might complain about suff from a show that was on 40 years ago

  18. heya says:

    I’m tired of people getting paid to be provocative and incendiary, and enjoying the outspoken bad boy persona, then complaining that the intentionally incendiary thing they said/did *gasp* upset some people!

    You get paid to be an @rsehole. Shut up. Cancel culture ain’t real, otherwise we wouldn’t even know who Roman Polanski is.

  19. Emily says:

    While we’re cancelling people, can we talk about the fact that John Cleese was in Epstein’s black book?