John Cleese has been defending Monty Python‘s legacy.
BBC's Head of Comedy puts Monty Python's lack of originality down to a surfeit of education and racist bias
Unfair ! We were remarkably diverse FOR OUR TIME
We had three grammar-school boys, one a poof, and Gilliam, though not actually black, was a Yank. And NO slave-owners
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) June 20, 2018
He was responding to the ludicrous suggestion by the BBC’s Head of Comedy Shane Allen that Monty Python were somehow not “original” because their members were too white, male, and middle class.
“If you’re going to assemble a team now it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.”
“And I think we’ve heard the metropolitan, educated experience. I think it’s about how original a voice you have over what school you went to.”
Because that’s what we’re all craving, all those of us in Britain who have to fork out £150.50 every year for our obligatory BBC licence fee:
“Don’t give us the ‘Knights who say “Ni”‘ or ‘Don’t tell him, Pike!’ or comedy that makes us laugh!”, we are forever yelling at our screens. “Give us stuff made by women, instead. Give us stuff made by ethnic minorities. Gives us disabled comedy. And gay comedy, though preferably gay comedy from gays who aren’t white and who weren’t privately educated and who didn’t go to any of our better universities. Funny is so over. Diversity, that’s the key!”
No, no, I jest. In truth, I don’t think anyone who doesn’t work at the BBC believes in this diversity crap. But that’s OK. I’m perfectly happy with this arrangement. I really don’t mind that my £150.50 goes towards paying people like BBC Head of Comedy Shane Allen to spout politically correct drivel because it helps expose the BBC for what it is: an authoritarian, left-wing propaganda brainwashing machine whose primary purpose is to keep the mob in check and police our lapses into thought crime.
That’s why, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell modelled his totalitarian Ministry of Truth on the BBC. Because even in 1948, when he published the book, the BBC was an agent of state control.
I don’t buy into the nostalgic notion that there was some golden age of the BBC where bright, independently-minded producers and talents worked together to create the best programming imaginable without fear or favour.
Take comedy. Most of the BBC’s classic comedies were made in the teeth of opposition from the nervous BBC bureaucracy which was absolutely petrified of making anything too edgy or interesting or funny.
Dad’s Army, for example, was nearly rejected by the BBC’s director general Hugh Carleton Greene, on the grounds that its gentle mockery of the wartime Home Guard was just too near the knuckle so soon (only 23 years!) after the war was over.
And as John Cleese points out in another of his tweets, the BBC was similarly resistant to Monty Python.
Some Comedy History
When Python started, the Head of Light Entertainment loathed it, and at a Heads of Department meeting, six of them disliked it. Only Desmond Wilcox, out of eight, approved
So Allen is just the latest in a long line who don't really know what they're doing
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) June 20, 2018
The BBC is and always has been the Enemy of Promise: a monstrous state bureaucracy which stifles creativity, crushes individuality, and enforces the politically correct values of the liberal elite.
Any humour or originality or wit or quirkiness that creep into the mix do so largely by accident rather than design.
What has changed over the years is not the BBC itself but the culture in which it operates.
For most of its existence, we watched and listened to the BBC because it was either a monopoly or a quasi monopoly.
In a world where you no longer need either vast sums of money or protected access to the airwaves in order to get out your video and audio content to the masses, the BBC is fast losing its cultural supremacy.
The BBC is desperately trying to make itself more relevant and now with its tiresome diversity directives. But the younger audience it is chasing just isn’t interested: it gave up watching the BBC long ago and gets all its entertainment from the internet.
Which leaves just the mostly older, mostly white people that the BBC despises and insults at every turn by denying them the kind of programming they would prefer to see.
In comedy, this means programmes that are actually funny. Which probably means programmes created by mostly white, educated, middle-class blokes.
If the BBC persists in not getting this point in an age when we are all free to get our entertainment elsewhere then eventually it will wither and die.
Or so we can but dream.