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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Kevin E G Perry

John Cleese apologises for ‘very bad joke’ about Donald Trump

Conor McCabe/PA

John Cleese has apologised on social media after his joke comparing former US President Donald Trump to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler went viral.

The veteran Monty Python comedian, 84, initially posted his comedic comparison of the two figures on his X/Twitter account on 26 December.

It reads: “Five ways that Hitler was preferable to Trump 1. He fought for his country 2. He never used a teleprompter 3. He was nice to dogs 4. He wrote his own books 5. He never played golf 6. He wasn’t a big fat slob.

“Five ways Trump is preferable to Hitler 1. He doesn’t practice genocide 2. He has nicer hair” - the third, fourth and fifth entries are left blank.

The post quickly went viral, and has now been viewed over 2.9 million times.

Hours later, Cleese posted: “I would like to apologise for my last tweet It was a very bad joke, especially on Boxing Day”.

However, in further follow-up posts Cleese defended his right to make jokes about controversial topics.

To a user who informed him he was walking on thin ice, Cleese replied: “That’s the jester’s job”.

Responding to another who said the joke made it sound like he preferred Hitler to Trump, Cleese wrote: “The literal minded are always with us, It’s a shame, because they miss so much”.

Asked why he wrote the joke, Cleese shot back: “Because I’ve never tried to amuse the simple-minded. There are plenty of comics who do, and you will enjoy them”.

Cleese recently revealed that GB News made him the “best offer” he’d ever received to host a show on the platform.

Cleese launched his 10-part GB News show The Dinosaur Hour in 29 October, where he interviewed a range of people from inside a 12th-century castle.

Speaking about how he came to have a show on GB News, Cleese told The Sunday Times: “[GB] News came to me with the best offer I’ve ever had from a TV company. Normally, you have these executives who think they know more about comedy than you do, who tell you what they think is funny.

“It is like an accountant telling a novelist how to write a plot. But they said, ‘Make ten programmes and you can do exactly what you want,’ which is remarkable.

“I know that a lot of people have it in for GB News and, to be fair, I don’t agree with the opinions of some of its presenters. But I have had carte blanche to say what I want and to be as silly or as serious as I want. We may even do a second series.”

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