The “Monty Python” star is appearing in a comedic live-stream and Q&A from London next month in an effort to experiment with new platforms as social distancing guidelines remain in place to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to Reuters, the British actor discussed the show, titled “Why There is No Hope” and spoke out against cancel culture as he prepares to entertain a smaller at-home audience.
The actor explained that cancel culture “misunderstands the main purposes of life, which is to have fun.”
“Everything humorous is critical. If you have someone who is perfectly kind and intelligent and flexible and who always behaves appropriately, they’re not funny. Funniness is about people who don’t do that, like Trump,” he told the outlet.
He explains that comedians have to touch on sensitive subjects or else their comedy is somewhat toothless. He notes that comedians specifically, “have to set the bar according to what we are told by the most touchy, most emotionally unstable and fragile and least stoic people in the country.”
The outlet reports that Cleese previously spoke out against the BBC, calling the organization “cowardly and gutless” for its decision to take down two episodes of the show he was on, “Fawlty Towers,” which made fun of Germans in World War II and featured a character using a racial slur.
As for his upcoming show, which takes place via livestream on Aug. 2 from London’s Cadogan Hall, he calls it part lecture, part comedy standup. He is excited for a more intimate performing experience, saying he believes he will be playing to roughly 50 people in total.