John Cleese Clarifies Details of “Fawlty Towers” Return

More specifically, its connection to "wokery"

John Cleese with book
John Cleese poses with his new book "Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide" during a signing at Waterstones Piccadilly on September 10, 2020 in London, England.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Earlier this year, news of a most unexpected sitcom’s return to the airwaves began to circulate. This led to a little more trepidation than normally accompanies such announcements. Why? Because in this case, the series was the much-loved British sitcom Fawlty Towers, starring John Cleese. And while Cleese’s influence on comedy is undeniable, he’s also spent the last few years venting about all things “woke,” which can be frustrating to witness.

It sounds like Cleese is at least somewhat aware of this. As Deadline reports, Cleese addressed the show’s return in an interview with GB News. “The idea that it’s all going to be about wokery hadn’t particularly occurred to me,” Cleese said — in this case, in response to commentary from The Guardian on the tone of the Fawlty Towers revival.

Cleese also explained that the new season of Fawlty Towers would be set at a hotel in the Caribbean. “If you put it in the Caribbean, it becomes very multi-racial,” he said in the interview. “People in the hotel business come from everywhere, so you can bring lots of different people together.”

John Cleese Gets Controversial “Fawlty Towers” Episode Reinstated
Can humor reinforce the kind of thing it was designed to mock?

Cleese also said the series would not air on the BBC over concerns about “freedom.” It sounds like the Fawlty Towers reboot/revival/return is still being written; once it’s aired, we’ll see how accurate Cleese’s commentary on it ended up being.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.