Aww, poor John Cleese

Monty Python? Brilliant! A Fish Called Wanda? I larfed and larfed. But this is an accurate portrayal of what John Cleese has come to now.

Yes, John. Learn to be at ease with your own privileged place in society, and stop whining. It’s ruining my enjoyment of your past — I emphasize, past — work.

Take heart in the fact that the Daily Mail will continue to publish your opinions.


  1. fergl says

    Miriam Margolyes in her autobiography describes Cleese as a total shit when she knew him at Cambridge. Another hero of mine bites the dust.

  2. Susan Montgomery says

    I’m willing to bet that if you looked at his past work that you love so much you’d see that this was always there.

    “But it was all sadistic and vulgar” you wail. “Of course he was one of us!” Maybe you should set a higher standard for determining who is one of us?

  3. naturalistguy says

    Cancelling yourself is rather silly.

    John Cleese cancels Cambridge University appearance over debate sparked by a Hitler impersonation

    (JTA) — An impression of Adolf Hitler at Cambridge University has touched off a fight over the limits of free speech and has drawn Monty Python comedian John Cleese into the fray.

    The impersonation was delivered at a debate recently on whether there’s such a thing as “good taste.” Andrew Graham-Dixon, an art historian, impersonated Hitler as an example of bad taste, in order to argue that good and bad taste do exist.

    At the time, Keir Bradwell, the president of the Cambridge Union, a debating society, jokingly thanked Graham-Dixon for the impersonation.

    The impersonation came as British universities have faced criticism, including from the government, allegedly for not acting tough enough on expressions of antisemitism. And since then, Bradwell has reversed course and published an apology for not cutting Graham-Dixon off.

    That condemnation has led Cleese, a champion of free speech, to cancel his attendance at an upcoming event at the Cambridge Union. He said he made the decision in protest of the university’s treatment of Graham-Dixon.

    “I was looking forward to talking to students at the Cambridge Union this Friday, but I hear that someone there has been blacklisted for doing an impersonation of Hitler,” Cleese wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “I regret that I did the same on a Monty Python show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does.”

    Cleese was scheduled to appear in Cambridge as a guest of the debating society as part of his new documentary series, “Cancel Me,” in which Cleese interviews people who are perceived to have been penalized or silenced for making offensive statements.

    In the debate, Graham-Dixon spoke as Hitler, putting on a German accent while making a Nazi salute.

    “Culture struggle through taste, my struggle, my struggle, Adolf Hitler’s struggle, I was a watercolor painter, I was rejected, my German art, my purity, it was rejected,” Graham-Dixon said in a German accent before about 400 listeners, as shown in footage of the debate obtained by the Varsity news site. “The romantic tradition of German art was rejected by this modern art, this modern, horrible art that was promoted by the Jews.”

    The audience of 400 people voted in favor of Graham-Dixon in the debate. At the event, Bradwell commended Graham-Dixon for “perhaps the longest Hitler impression this chamber has ever received, a remarkable accomplishment for tonight.”

    But days later, Bradwell apologized for not interrupting Graham-Dixon.

    Well, someone was offended and we can’t have that, can we Basil?

  4. birgerjohansson says

    FYI Scathing Atheist 455 has arrived; “GAM mini: Why God is a He” .
    Dennis Prager says dumb stuff.

  5. fentex says

    I personally think Cleese was correct – in this particular, not the general case.

    What happened was a person was forbidden to speak at Cambridge because they once spoke in a parody of Hitler to make a point against anti-Semitism (ridiculing Nazis and their behaviour) because it has been decided it was wrong in any circumstance to have ever impersonated Hitler regardless of context – which is preposterous.

    Cleese, who has often mocked being ‘woke’, made the point he has parodied Nazis in the past (and Hitler in particular) so should also be banned by such logic so he”d cancel himself rather than wait for others.

    In context he is entirely correct – even though he is often wrong and boorish on the wider topic. The Cambridge Union is being ridiculous in applying a silly rule that disregards important context and deserves itself to be rediculed and parodied for that.

  6. naturalistguy says

    Do you think then that Cleese was correct to cancel himself anyway because he is wrong and boorish on the wider topic of wokeness?

  7. ajbjasus says


    Whenever I saw him playing an upper class twit, he was absolutely taking the piss out of them.

  8. flange says

    @#13 fentex
    I agree with you 100%.
    The malodorous right-wing has for years been taking “Liberal” ideas and expressions and turning them into cudgels to beat down free thought. Cleese was mocking the right’s cynical use of ideas and phrases that meant something positive at one time.
    John Cleese may not be a person I’d like to hang out with, but he has one of the quickest, most brilliant, and funniest minds of any celebrity. I doubt that he would be on the Republican side of anything.

  9. kayden says


    I’m with you on this. I don’t see the problem with someone dressing up as Hitler to deride and mock him and his ideology. I don’t understand how that is a bad thing. Cleese has this one right.

  10. says

    @#16 flange

    ” I doubt that he would be on the Republican side of anything.”

    Well, kinda sorta.

    He’s anti-trans. He’s pro-Brexit. He relocated to a place where the culture/race hierarchy is somewhat more … retrograde than urban UK – he’s perfectly fine with his white privilege. He opposes TFG for the same reasons he famously lampooned upper-class twits, because they’re personally objectionable rather than necessarily what they represent.

    He wouldn’t be one of the horse-dewormer-huffers storming the Capitol, but for someone who was once literally the public face of the non-conservative party he’s backslid quite a bit in the intervening years.

  11. says

    @18 Quite so. People defending Cleese here have no clue about the context, which is the right wing attack on “cancel culture” that Cleese buys into. Fentex says “Cleese, who has often mocked being ‘woke’”, as if that’s a good thing.

    [There is no] exact definition of what constitutes being “canceled” or a victim of “cancel culture.” However, despite their vagueness, you now see conservative activists and Republican politicians constantly using these terms. That’s because that vagueness is a feature, not a bug. Casting a really wide range of ideas and policies as too woke and anyone who is critical of them as being canceled by out-of-control liberals is becoming an important strategy and tool on the right — in fact, this cancel culture/woke discourse could become the organizing idea of the post-Trump-presidency Republican Party.

    Bacon believes anti-wokeness is mostly a repackaged and usefully non-specific version of the GOP’s longstanding efforts to co-opt and promote backlash politics: white backlash to Black political advancement, and conservative backlash to cultural changes sweeping away the patriarchal society many remember and others fantasize to bring back in the guise of “American greatness.” It has the great advantage, he believes, of avoiding the crudeness of Trump’s appeals to racism and nativism, while exploiting Democratic divisions over speech-code excesses and other “woke” practices that aren’t compatible with traditional liberalism.


    Looking into the origin of the term “woke”, one sees that, like so much from the right wing, attacks on it have their roots in racism:

  12. Trickster Goddess says


    Looking into the origin of the term “woke”, one sees that, like so much from the right wing, attacks on it have their roots in racism

    I’ve been noticing so many reviews of shows on IMDB about them being “too woke” which I figured out is code for there not being a majority of white men in the cast.

  13. jacksprocket says

    @18: he’s also conducted a long- term campaign against wind power. Not that he’s in favour of global warming, I’m sure- but please don’t let any solution inconvenience him ion any way.

  14. fentex says

    16. Flange

    [Fentex] agree with you 100%.
    The malodorous right-wing has for years been taking “Liberal” ideas and expressions and turning them into cudgels to beat
    down free thought.
    Cleese was mocking the right’s cynical use of ideas and phrases that meant something positive at one time.

    I don’t know what you think you were agreeing with but I wasn’t making any comment about Cleese’s mocking of anything – just agreeing with his point that if people are to be excluded from Cambridge for ever having impersonated Nazis (even if mocking them to dispute anti-semitism) then his withdrawing himself from visiting as he has mockingly impersonated Nazis in the past is a comprehensible, supportable and pointed objection to a preposterous rule.

    That is a single clear and supportable position – which I don’t think is true of other objections I’ve heard Cleese voice regarding decisions about excluding people for their actions in the past.

  15. KG says

    What’s your source? I don’t know if it’s so in this case, but such stories are often heavily distorted by the “anti-woke” (a few years ago it was “anti-PC”) crowd. On Cleese himself, there’s no real doubt he’s become the kind of reactionary he used to parody.