Monty Python legend and icon John Cleese thinks wokeness is destroying comedians’ abilities to be creative. At the recent FreedomFest in Las Vegas, the comedy genius was one of many keynote speakers who got to talk about what freedom means to them.
John Cleese said that creativity operates from a point of flow and improvisation. But when a person is trying to create a joke or funny moment and has to stop and analyze whether or not they’ll get canceled because they might accidentally offend someone, that hinders the creative process.
Sitting down with Fox News Digital, Cleese elaborated on this point. He said that comedians today don’t have the freedom to be funny.
“You can only create in an atmosphere of freedom.” — John Cleese
“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,” Cleese told Fox New Digital.
“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 explained that the analytical mind takes over when wokeness takes over.
“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.”
Cleese also said that he thinks older generations are less concerned about being “woke” and more concerned about just being kind and using common sense.
“If you go to a Republican convention and tell anti-Democrat jokes, you’ll get a very good response,” said Cleese. “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… it’s just bad manners.”