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No Laughing Matter: John Cleese Holds Line Against Calls to Cancel Scene in Life of Brian


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Jonathan Turley

May 29 2023

We have previously discussed how comedians have been objecting that woke activists are killing comedy. The complaint is that a group of perpetually pissed off, humorless people are remaking the world in their own image. It began with college campuses which comedians are now saying are dead as venues since you cannot safely make any joke that insults any group other than white straight males or Christians or conservatives. Others have objected to hate speech laws limiting comedians, particularly after some comedians have been prosecuted for “malicious communications” or insulting groups or religious figures. Six out of ten students view offensive jokes as hate speech. This week, however, activists appear to have met their match in a legend of comedy who has opposed the cutting of  a scene from the movie The Life of Brian. No, activists are not upset with the endless jokes about Italians, Christians, and Jews. It is the scene involving a man who wants to become a women and have a child. John Cleese is refusing to yield.

In The Life of Brian, the scene involves “Stan” who announces that he wants to be a woman named Loretta and have babies.  Activists objected that it made fun of transgender people and demanded that it be cut from the film.

(Snip)

Some reported that Cleese had agreed to cut the scene. However, Cleese tweeted out a correction of the “misreporting.”

(Snip)

They are now set upon by a legion of humorless people who seek to reduce the world to their own narrow range of acceptable levity or irony.  These comedy giants are set upon by an Army of Lilliputians who have contributed little to culture beyond chilling artists and writers into obedient silence or compulsive comedy criteria.

Of course, Cleese could always use the line from Bryan’s mother: “He’s a very naughty boy! Now, piss off!”

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