John Cleese 'isn't funny'

Clunes blasts Python star

Martin Clunes has blasted John Cleese’s criticisms of British comedy – claiming the Fawlty Towers star hasn’t been funny for more than 20 years.

Last week, Cleese said TV humour had long passed its golden age of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, claiming: ‘I don't think the writers work as hard as they used to.’

But in an interview with today’s Sun, Clunes said the criticism could apply to Cleese, too.

‘John Cleese certainly hasn’t made any good comedy since the Eighties,’ he said. ‘Isn’t it curious how successful people only think there’s only success in their day? There’s a lot of it about, unfortunately.

‘There’s been loads of good comedy. There’s even loads at the moment. What about Lead Balloon, Outnumbered, Pulling and Free Agents?’

Clunes has been stung by criticism of his current revival of the Reggie Perrin character, prompting unflattering comparisons with the Seventies originals.

But he insisted it is not a remake of the classic sitcom, but of David Nobbs’s original book, saying: ‘The idea we’re tampering with what Leonard Rossiter did goes nowhere as an argument.’

However, no one seems to have told the BBC, which launched the series by saying it would ‘revive the classic British sitcom The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin’.

Published: 13 May 2009

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