John Cleese: ‘Fawlty Towers’ Revival Not About ‘Wokery’

The “Monty Python” star isn’t expecting his controversial political views to be incorporated into the new season of his classic sitcom.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: In this handout photo, Fawlty Towers creator and co-writer John Cleese introduced to the media Stephen Hall, who will play Basil Fawlty and Blazey Best as Sybil Fawlty in the world premiere tour.  Fawlty Towers - Live on stage at the Park Hyatt Hotel on March 21, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  Full cast details will be announced soon.  (Photo by James Morgan/Getty Images)

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Fans of British comedy got some unexpected good news this week when John Cleese announced that he would be returning to star in the third season of his beloved comedy ‘Fawlty Towers’. The revival, produced by Matthew George and Rob Reiner through the latter’s Castle Rock Entertainment banner, sees Cleese’s troubled hotel manager Basil Fawlty run a new inn with his daughter.

Cleese and Reiner’s initial statements when announcing the project contained more generalities than specifics. But new information about the show’s content is starting to emerge. In an interview with the British news agency GB News (via Deadline), Cleese explained that the new season will be set in a “little bijou hotel” on a Caribbean island. He explained that the Caribbean setting would allow the show to feature a more diverse cast if the story picks up 40 years after the end of Season 2.

“If you put it in the Caribbean, it’s going to be very diverse,” Cleese said. “People come from all over the hotel industry, so you can bring a lot of different people together. “Fawlty Towers” was characterized by the pressure cooker atmosphere in the hotel.”

While the Fawlty Towers revival will be Cleese’s most high-profile acting role in decades, it’s not as if the comedian has shied away from the spotlight in recent years. Cleese has been increasingly outspoken about his grievances against what he sees as the “abandoning culture” and how it has created a hostile environment for comedians. He was also an outspoken supporter of the 2016 Brexit referendum. Some fans have wondered if his worldview will make it into the new “Fawlty Towers” episodes, but Cleese says critics speculating about the new season’s content don’t know what they’re talking about.

“They obviously know better than I do what will be in it. Maybe they’ll write me an episode that they find acceptable. It might not be very funny, but I’m sure some of their readers will really enjoy it,” he said. “It didn’t particularly occur to me that it would all be about awakening.”

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