John Cleese is hilarious, except when he makes jokes about a South African Olympic/Paralympic sprinter who may have murdered his girlfriend.
The joke in question regarded the shocking and much-publicized shooting death of model Reeva Steenkamp, who prosecutors say was murdered by her boyfriend, Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius.
The Monty Python alumnus sent out a very “naughty” tweet on Valentine’s Day about the Pistorius (known popularly as “Blade Runner”) girlfriend killing, which is already pretty sketchy territory for anyone to be tweeting about.
In his tweet, Cleese wrote: “Oscar’s defence will be that he was absolutely legless at the time.”
For the uninitiated, “legless” is British slang for “drunk,” so there’s a rather clever double meaning there, despite the controversial subject matter.
The tweet has 2,576 retweets and 626 favorite so far, but NBC News says that’s only because Cleese has some 2.4 million followers, and most of them like him.
However, a lot of Twitter users didn’t find the joke very funny, and a handful of publications have also lambasted him for it. MSN Now noted that “jokes about murders” are “not funny,” and opined that Cleese probably tweeted such because he fancies himself a “clever bloke.”
Other tweeps were not so kind.
“@johncleese: Oscar’s defence will be that he was absolutely legless at the time.” – Jesus! Once the funniest man in England! Not any more!
— Phil Gould (@bongosaloon) February 14, 2013
Afterwards, Cleese offered an apology (sort of):
Sorry if the last tweet was a bit naughty
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) February 15, 2013
Do you think that John Cleese’s Oscar Pistorius tweet was “a bit naughty?”