John Cleese and his fellow Monty Pythons became comedy legends with their dark, subversive and gleefully inappropriate humor. Nevertheless, fans of Cleese are now taking issue with a "too soon" tweet he posted yesterday.
On the same day news broke that "blade runner" Oscar Pistorius was being charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, Cleese tweeted:
Oscar’s defence will be that he was absolutely legless at the time.
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) February 14, 2013
At last count, the tweet had received 2,488 retweets and 585 favorites, but not everyone seemed to enjoy it.
The Mirror quotes several outraged replies, including @LevParikian who said: "John Cleese broke a twitter silence to make a Pistorius joke. My 11-year-old self, the one who fell in love with Fawlty Towers, is crying."
Another, presumably former Cleese follower, @rayascott tweeted: "Again, comedians on Twitter: so NOT funny."
So far, Cleese's only response to the mini-uproar has been to follow up his initial tweet with this:
Sorry if the last tweet was a bit naughty
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) February 15, 2013
We're sure that settles it then.
UPDATE: Several of our commenters have clarified that the phrase, "absolutely legless", is an English expression meaning "drunk". We thought it useful to point that out, given that it's not a common American phrase. Obviously, the joke is a pun.
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