Monty Python’s John Cleese Sounds Off on ‘Complete Asshole’ Trump and His ‘Very Stupid’ Voters

Monty Python’s John Cleese Sounds Off on ‘Complete Asshole’ Trump and His ‘Very Stupid’ Voters

When John Cleese tells people that he has a new show called Why There Is No Hope, they assume the title is a joke. 

“A lot of people think that I mean it humorously,” he tells me on an upcoming episode of The Last Laugh podcast, “but of course I don’t.” 

The Monty Python co-founder is talking via Zoom just a few days before he’s set to present the comedy performance-slash-philosophical lecture in his first-ever international live stream event on Sunday, August 2nd from an empty Cadogan Hall in London. 

While the darkly comic title feels especially fitting for this historical moment, Cleese has actually been developing the show for years. He first came up with the idea during one of his many trips to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. “It’s one of the most staggering parts of the world,” he says. “Only trouble is the roads keep disappearing.” Cleese first suggested the title to a group of friends there more than 15 years ago.  

“I thought to myself, are audiences going to like this?” he remembers thinking. A couple of years ago, he performed an early version of the show in Ottawa and Toronto, cities “where you get rather bright audiences,” as he puts it. “And they liked it much better than I expected. So I thought, well, I must be onto something.”

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