John Cleese hates ‘woke’ people who 'think they invented kindness'

BANG - Entertainment NewsBang Showbiz
John Cleese
Camera IconJohn Cleese Credit: BANG - Entertainment News

John Cleese is annoyed by “woke” people who “think they have invented kindness”.

The 84-year-old Monty Python star has reflected on his time working on GB News show The Dinosaur Hour, which ran for 10 episodes last year and featured interviews with Stephen Fry, Caitlyn Jenner and more.

He told The Oldie magazine: “I was allowed to say what I wanted and enjoyed that. On one programme, we had three academics and discussed this whole woke business.

“What annoys me is how some people think they have invented kindness, but kindness has always been there.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“Kindness is everywhere, and much of my comedy is about teasing people with affection.”

He also still has affection for the UK, although it doesn’t always shine through — but he dismissed the idea that he’s entirely the same as his grumpy Fawlty Towers creation Basil Fawlty.

He explained: “I am not Basil and never was — but I can feel for him when I am under a lot of stress.

“When Connie and I were writing the script, we used to think that Basil actually existed. He became such an important part of our lives.”

The character is being revived at the Apollo Theatre in London for the ongoing production of ‘Fawlty Towers: The Play’, and John has high hopes for the live show as the run keeps rolling.

He said: “I think it will get better as it goes on, because in comedy the audience becomes part of the show.

“There could be a pause while people are launching and then the actors might have to ad-lib.

“It’s those extra messages that can be devastatingly funny. I just hope it works, because it’s been a joy pulling it together.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails