John Cleese is co-founded of Monty Python, the comedy troupe behind Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Cleese is known for his use of satire, dark comedy, and surreal humor. It appears that he went too far with his comedy this time, as his microphone was taken away after he made a controversial joke about slavery.

After making a controversial joke about slavery on stage, John Cleese had his microphone taken away. On March 11, the comedian and actor joined comedians Duclé Sloan, Jim Gaffigan, and Ricky Velez at a John Cleese in Conversation event at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Cleese began discussing “competition” between cultures by asking his fellow panelists who was more oppressed by colonization.

“[People] get competitive about this business of being oppressed,” Cleese said. “You do know the British have been slaves twice, right?” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sloan then took away Cleese’s microphone, saying: “I saved a comic whose career I respect”. Cleese continued regardless as he followed it up with, “I want reparations from Italy.” He wasn’t finished with his closer yet.

“And then the Normans came over in 1066… they were horrible people from France and they colonized us for 30 years and we need reparations there too, I’m afraid.”

Making light of the situation, as Cleese continued despite his fellow comedians’ trying to stop him, moderator Dan Pasternack told the audience, “And this is why your phones are locked up.”

Cleese later explained his remarks as he said, “The thing is, I’m going to be dead soon. That’s why I’m in favor of global warming – I don’t want to be cold ever again.”

At the end of last year, John Cleese stated that he intended to file a formal complaint against the BBC regarding the “deception, dishonesty, and tone” of an interview he conducted with journalist Karishma Vaswani.

SXSW continues until 20 March. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.

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Shivangini Rawat

Shivangini is presently pursuing her LLB degree. She has a lot of dreams for the future, and she's working hard to achieve them. Thirstyfornews was one such chance that enabled her to take a step forward. Apart from her ambitions and academics, Shivangini enjoys cooking and baking. She is also a great music fan. Her favorite bands are Alcest, Thy Light, Scorpions, AC/DC, Motorhead. She also loves playing a variety of instruments. Movies, TV shows, and anime are always on her to-do list, especially on weekends.

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