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The legendary comedian John Cleese of Monty Python fame is speaking out against wokeness and the devastating impact that he feels it has had on comedy.

Cleese Says Comedians Can’t Be Funny Anymore

While acting as the keynote speaker at the FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas, Cleese was asked if comedians have the freedom to be funny in 2022, and the 82 year-old responded with an emphatic “no.”

“There’s always been limitations on what they’re allowed to say,” Cleese explained, according to Fox News. “Why you go to Molière and Louis XIV. I mean Molière had to be a bit careful. And there will always be limitations. I mean in England, until some ridiculous late date like 1965, all plays had to be submitted to what used to be a part of the palace called the Lord Chamberlain, and he would read it and there were hilarious letters used to go back was saying ‘you may only say f— once,’ this sort of- ‘and you cannot say bugger. But you can say-‘ this sort of ridiculous negotiating letters.”

Related: ‘Monty Python’ Star John Cleese Torches The ‘Emotionally Unstable’ People Behind Cancel Culture

Cleese went on to add: 

“But 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. What you have to be able to do is to build without knowing where you’re going because you’ve never been there before. That’s what creativity is—you have to be allowed to build. And 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.”

“So I would say at the moment, this is a difficult time, particularly for young comedians, but you see, my audience is much older, and they’re simply not interested in most of the woke attitudes. I mean, they just think that you should try and be kind to people and that’s no need to complicate it, you know?”

Cleese Blasts Wokeness 

Not stopping there, Cleese proceeded to double down by saying that wokeness allows the “critical mind” to take over the creative, adding that they’re “definitely in opposition to each other.”

“You can do the creation and then criticize it, but you can’t do them at the same time,” he said. “So if you’re worried about offending people and constantly thinking of that, you are not going to be very creative. So I think it has a disastrous effect.”

Cleese went on to complain that “everything is more politicized now,” even late night television, which has been taken over by radical liberal hosts like Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.

“It wasn’t like this when I first got to America,” Cleese lamented. “When I first got to America in the 60s… two things happened. First of all, I very much admired the cross-the-aisle friendships and thought we don’t have that in England. We have real battles between the Tories and the Labour, but in America there seems to be these- and this was destroyed by Newt Gingrich, quite deliberately, for purposes of power. I think that’s a tragedy.”

Related: Monty Python’s John Cleese Defends J.K. Rowling From ‘Transphobic’ Attacks By PC Mob

Comedians Shouldn’t Be ‘Cancelled’ Over Jokes

Cleese also said that comedians should never be “cancelled” over jokes that they make.

“If you go to a Republican convention and tell anti-Democrat jokes, you’ll get a very good response,” Cleese said. “If you tell anti-Republican jokes, you won’t. So you’ve got to fit your material to some extent to your audience. And that’s part of it… If you go to see your granny and to have tea with her, you don’t start telling her sex jokes. Now that’s not because it’s illegal, it’s just bad manners.”

“So I think you would think what the audiences is and then you might shock them a little bit because that’s fun,” he continued. “And also, as I point out on stage, if you get into areas that are a little bit taboo, you actually get the biggest laughs, which is why sexual humor is often greeted with huge laughs when it’s not particularly funny. It’s to do with anxiety and the release of anxiety when people relax or laugh with spare energy that comes from the fact that they just laughed at something they’ve been anxious about before.”

Cleese Feels ‘Great Sadness’ Over Modern Comedy

Cleese concluded by saying that he feels a “great sadness” about how there are “very, very few really good comedy scripts” these days. 

“What I feel now is that very few people understand how to plot the comedy, so the comedies in America are really aimed at young men because they’re the ones who go to the cinema on Friday night, which means that the box office looks good,” he stated. “And it’s all done ultimately to money because we now have studios that are more interested in money than in making great movies and in the old days, they wanted to make great movies too.”

Most stars would be far too afraid of being “cancelled” themselves to speak this candidly about wokeness, and just how far it has gone. God bless Cleese for having the courage to be this blunt about just how far wokeness has really gone. 

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