John Cleese has argued that political correctness is ‘condescending’ as it only allows jokes to be made about certain groups while implying others need to be protected.
Speaking to Bill Maher on HBO, the legendary comedian said he used to make race jokes about nationalities such as the French and Australians – but if he mentioned Mexicans it was deemed unacceptable.
‘It’s so awful isn’t it? he said. ‘It starts out as a halfway decent idea, and then it goes completely wrong.
Try that,’ he adds. ‘See what your Twitter feed says.’
A laughing Cleese responds: ‘That’s not saying that you can’t, it just means that they’ll kill you. Theoretically you could.’
The comedian added: ‘The problem is if you make jokes about people who are going to kill you, there is a sort of tendency to hold back a little isn’t there?’
Clease, 75, described writing his memoir ‘So, Anyway’ as ‘the most fun I have had in 10 years’
Speaking on Real Time with Bill Maher, Cleese went on to say that he finds any type of fundamentalism ‘terribly funny’.
He said: ‘Because the thing about fundamentalism is that it’s taking whatever the book is – the book Qur’an or the bible – absolutely literally.
‘I’ve met some pretty smart people in life and you know not a single one of them was literal-minded.’
Cleese, 75, took British audiences by storm in the 1970s as a member of the famous comedy team Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He went on to make several movies, including Life of Brian and A Fish Called Wanda.
He recently released a memoir titled ‘So, Anyway …’, in which he describes how being a lonely child who did not fit in helped forge his career in comedy because he learned the value of making people laugh.
The comedian told Reuters that now he is ‘the happiest I have ever been in my life’, living in London with his wife and three cats. He said that writing the book was ‘the most fun I have had in 10 years’.
Cleese also revealed that with age has come the realization of the importance of comedy.
‘Making people happy for an evening is a rather useful thing to do in this world,’ he said. ‘I think I rather downplayed it in the past.’
Political correctness works in precisely the same way, except that instead of the implied threat of physical death, the fascists who would control speech, and therefore thought, threaten derision and scorn instead.
Either way, the end result is the same: lessened liberty and lessened debate over concepts that matter.