John Cleese's Letter to America



  • To the citizens of the United States of America:

    In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus
    to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your
    independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth
    II, will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other
    territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

    Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America
    without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be
    disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether
    any of you noticed.

    To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules
    are introduced with immediate effect:

    1. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then
    look up “aluminium,” and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed
    at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter ‘U’ will be
    reinstated in words such as ‘colour’, ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise,
    you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and
    the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise.” You will learn that
    the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’; you may elect to respell
    Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you find you simply can’t cope with correct
    pronunciation. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to
    acceptable levels (look up “vocabulary”). Using the same twenty-seven words
    interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an
    unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

    2. There is no such thing as “US English.” We will let Microsoft know on
    your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account
    of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of “-ize.”

    3. You will relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”,
    but only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).

    4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd will
    be a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will
    be called “Come-Uppance Day.”

    5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or
    therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows
    that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be
    handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without
    suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to
    handle a gun.

    6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more
    dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to
    carry a vegetable peeler in public.

    7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your
    own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
    All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start
    driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go
    metric immediately and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both
    roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of
    humour.

    8. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
    calling “gasoline”) -roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

    9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries
    are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are
    properly called “crisps.” Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat,
    and dressed not with mayonnaise but with vinegar.

    10. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with
    customers.

    11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually
    beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as
    “beer,” and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be
    referred to as “Lager.” American brands will be referred to as “Near-Frozen
    Gnat’s Urine,” so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

    12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good
    guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play
    English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in
    “Four Weddings and a Funeral” was an experience akin to having one’s ears
    removed with a cheese grater.

    13. You will cease playing American “football.” There is only one kind of
    proper football; you call it “soccer.” Those of you brave enough will, in
    time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American
    “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds
    or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
    Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an
    event called the “World Series” for a game which is not played outside of
    America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your
    borders, your error is understandable.

    14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

    15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s
    Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies
    due backdated to 1776.

    Thank you for your co-operation.

    John Cleese



  • @cystic:

    Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an
    event called the “World Series” for a game which is not played outside of
    America.

    This must come as a shock to the Toronto Blue Jays.  All along they thought they were playing in Canada 😉


  • Moderator

    12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good
    guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play
    English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in
    “Four Weddings and a Funeral” was an experience akin to having one’s ears
    removed with a cheese grater.

    Well, thats good news for Gweneth Paltrow.

    What???…she’s an American???  Oh, nevermind.



  • @221B:

    @cystic:

    Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an
    event called the “World Series” for a game which is not played outside of
    America.

    This must come as a shock to the Toronto Blue Jays.  All along they thought they were playing in Canada 😉

    I really miss the inequality sign .
    🙂
    USA NOT= America



  • To the citizens of the United States of America:

    John Cleese seems to think so…
    :roll:



  • Janus, i can’t follow your reasoning takes you to this conclusion.

    CC seems to think so though, or he used “America” in the title so that USamericans would feel addressed and take notice of this message from “somewhere that is the thing outside the borders …. must be Mexico” 😉 🙂 😉



    1. that was the subject of the email i received
    2. Canadians do not typically refer to themselves as “Americans” aside to (occasionally) call ourselves “North Americans”.
    3. US-type Americans have used the term so liberally in applying it to themselves that the label seems to have simply been relegated to them by default.  It is like applying the term “Kleenex” to any kind of tissue paper, or “fridge” to any brand of refrigerator.


  • Falk- the letter is “to America”
    and Cleese directs it to the citizens of the united states of america. so he, like most people, is conflating the two. you are technically right that americans refers to all americans, not just the US. but common usage refers to US citizens as Americans, and not just by Americans.



  • Janus, read CC’s point (1).
    The subject of an email does not mean that John Cleese equates the USA with America, especially when his first line of the text is using the full name.
    And just because commonly USamericans are called ignorant and arrogant doesn’t mean they are that. Same goes for “american” 😉



  • Falk, reread the initial reason i posted about this. you were responding to 221B about baseball, and the toronto bluejays. i was referring to the fact that John Cleese is speaking to Americans (from the US), not canadians, so 221B’s point was valid, and yours was not.



  • @Janus1:

    Falk, reread the initial reason i posted about this. you were responding to 221B about baseball, and the toronto bluejays. i was referring to the fact that John Cleese is speaking to Americans (from the US), not canadians, so 221B’s point was valid, and yours was not.

    Ok, here is your post, and i underlined the important bit:
    @Janus1:

    To the citizens of the United States of America:

    John Cleese seems to think so…
    :roll:

    Your initial reason that Cleese refered to Americans is just not correct. Cleese addresses you as the USA. Whenever he speaks of America, his use is valid for the whole continent (as he then talks about beer, cars or baseball).  What stands in the subject is a sign that this letter has been passed by a third person.

    So, i still stand by my point. 221B equated American and USA, which is not correct as we agree. Cleese did not equate the two.



  • LOL, thats hilarious! :lol: :lol: :lol: And BTW, I am inlcuding this smilie because it is new. :mrgreen:

    Its always funny when other countries think they can tell us what to do. Whos gonna stop us? LOL its good to be a super power. :lol: :lol: :lol:



  • @marine36:

    LOL, thats hilarious! :lol: :lol: :lol: And BTW, I am inlcuding this smilie because it is new. :mrgreen:

    Its always funny when other countries think they can tell us what to do. Whos gonna stop us? LOL its good to be a super power. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    LOL it’s always funny to see people “not getting it” LOL
    :roll:



  • first of all, hi everybody! sorry i havent been around, i moved from korea to fort lee va. well all i can say is…john cleese is still funny. man, thats good comedy. oh yeah, it is good to be a superpower. the only superpower.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yea that faulty towers episode called “the Germans” is a riot. Not a french riot, but a funny episode nonetheless. The best episode is “building inspector” however. This is what happens to washed up actors who dont want to work anymore… they get political so people dont forget them-



  • @Imperious:

    This is what happens to washed up actors who dont want to work anymore… they get political so people dont forget them-

    riiiiighhhhtttt
    Comedians are never political - they only become this when they stop acting?
    this makes no sense.  How is Cleese any different from any other comedian?  I mean:

    1. he’s funny
    2. he makes fun of the US (and i watch comedy central enough to know that he’s not the only one)
    3. he makes fun of Bush (who tends to make fun of himself often enough).

    I guess the fact that he’s starred in his own sitcom and his movies are infinitely better remembered than most other comedians kind of set him apart.

    😮 OOOOOooooo you didn’t think this was funny - you thought it was a political stance!!  ahhh - nevermind then.



  • Somewhat humorous, but can he take a two-fingered backhand upward shove?

    I’d find these items funnier if they came with matching sets for China, France, Britain, Brazil, Chile, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, etc….
    @cystic:

    To the citizens of the United States of America:

    …Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen ElizabethII, will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

    Well, If she governs us like she governed her son, bonnie  Prince Nancy…
    I guess that leaves us free to do the right thing our way!
    Toto, Dorothy really knew how to keep out the riff-raff.
    @cystic:

    1. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then
    look up “aluminium,” and check the pronunciation guide.

    “like” and “you know” is anunacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

    John, Are you talkin’ ta me?  Look up the term “howitzer” and the phrase "your rectal exam."  After putting the two together, like, I’m sure you’ll reconsider your, you know, unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.  Youknowwhatimean?
    @cystic:

    4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will be called “Come-Uppance Day.”

    Henceforth, be it known, that April the First, or the first of April, will no longer be known or refered to as as April Fool’s Day, but shall hereafter be designated and called Sour Grapes Day, Jealousy Day, I Gotta b**** Cause I’m A Loser Day, Whiny Butt Day or something like that.  All other days are designated as days you will attempt to do something productive with your life.  All Americans and or USans are sorry that your productivity seemed to dwindle after Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
    @cystic:

    5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists.

    6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more
    dangerous than a vegetable peeler.

    John, when you come and personally take my gunS from me I will help remove the extra large potato peeler you have personally inserted horizontally in your a**. 
    I intend to keep my gunS as they help reduce the population of lawyers and therapists.  I also wish to thank your country as well as Germany for the increased populations of therapists and lawyers.  Our jurist system owes much of its woes to powdered wigs and Freud.
    @cystic:

    8. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
    calling “gasoline”) -roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

    After you take the royalties checks you recieved last week and USE ONLY THAT MONEY to drive an American gasoline run car to travel from coast to coast and back again. Lodging, meals and generous gratuities required.
    @cystic:

    12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good
    guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play
    English characters.

    ACCEPTED  I have always admired English actors.  It had to be the acting that won them their Knight and Ladyhoodships.  They could win a beauty contest if the only other contestant were a pile of …
    Except for you.
    @cystic:

    …American “football.” …baseball. It is not reasonable to host an
    event called the “World Series” for a game which is not played outside of
    America.

    I’ll put up one or a team of American ‘nancies’ agin one or a team of your footbal dandies any day.
    As for baseball… I think that Cuba, El Salvador, Japan and South Korea might object to your characterization…
    and the Olympics.



  • The “intelligent jokes by USans” count still is “0”.

    EJ, you might be as old as Cleese, and Cleese might have gone down in his creativity …. yet he still is funnier than you.

    That reminds me of “First USamerican to discover irony” …



  • The “intelligent jokes by USans” count still is “0”.

    EJ, you might be as old as Cleese, and Cleese might have gone down in his creativity …. yet he still is funnier than you.

    you mean a professional comedian, and veteran of one of the most popular (and hilarious) comedy troupes is funnier than someone who posts on this message board?  😮

    honestly, the joke could probably be “America is a bad place.” and you would probably find it funnier than anything an AMERICAN would say.



  • @Janus1:

    you mean a professional comedian, and veteran of one of the most popular (and hilarious) comedy troupes is funnier than someone who posts on this message board?  😮

    I was as surprised as you when i discovered that… that’s why i felt like sharing these “breaking news” with the world…
    maybe i should have used  this tool to make it look more like breaking news 🙂

    honestly, the joke could probably be “America is a bad place.” and you would probably find it funnier than anything an AMERICAN would say.

    Oh, i usually enjoy the american “Juste pour rire” festival when parts of it are broadcasted. 😉



  • name one person, Falk, one person of prominence, that other people on this board will know of/can find by looking up, who uses the term “USan”, besides yourself (someone on this board is not a person of prominence). please do. I welcome being corrected if you can do so. should i provide a list of people who use the term “American?” what else makes a term correct, but common usage? its even listed as the official nationality on the CIA factbook (you probably dont care though, since its a US government organization). but honestly, Ive never heard anyone other than you use the term. so please, name ONE other person who does.



  • Janus!,
    Drop the USan argument.  F_alk wont listen.

    I previously brought up the subject. He didn’t accept the fact that most Europeans accepted it and called citizens of the USA “Americans” long before before he was born.  Of course, high society Brits called us other things before and after WWII.



  • @El:

    I previously brought up the subject. He didn’t accept the fact that most Europeans accepted it and called citizens of the USA “Americans” long before before he was born.

    Once you accept that the rest of the world calls you arrogant and ignorant, and call yourself that as well ….

    You allow the “everyone does it” in one arguement, but not in the other.

    SUD:
    Point 1 of course with the “big picture” is no point of all. The letter is to the citizen of the USA. Noone disagrees. Nothing in your point 1 supports that he in fact equates the US with America. To think so,  would be like saying he supports the claim that USans are ignorant, as they can’t spell, and give strange names to things.
    Point 2 is something i have waited for, as it is the only use of America that looks like it is equating America with USA. Now, i say he just coined the name of the new colony. And when it comes to their empire, the Brits are not that humble :).

    Point 4 and Janus:
    I wonder why the “Organisation of American States” has made such an effort to sign the “American Convention on Human Rights” … do they not know that as American States they belong to the USA and whit its Constitution there is no need to sign such a convention?



  • Point 4 and Janus:
    I wonder why the “Organisation of American States” has made such an effort to sign the “American Convention on Human Rights” …. do they not know that as American States they belong to the USA and whit its Constitution there is no need to sign such a convention?

    you havent proven anything. all youve done is shown that there exists a context where “american” is used not referring specifically to the United States (although, its not even evidence against my point, since its used in an entirely different context (geographical region vs. nationality), so its really irrelevent). ive never disputed that other countries in the western hemisphere, belonging to north, south, or central america are referred to as “american”. their nationalities, however, are not “american”. the US nationality IS “american”. and youve as yet failed to produce any credible person who does not use it.

    also:
    go back and look at all the times he uses “american”. remove head from ass. then we can talk.



  • @Janus1:

    remove head from a**

    Do you still consider yourself a fascist btw?


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