Palmerston North, NZ can not take a joke
Recently John Cleese performed in the New Zealand city of Palmerston North and he found the crowd there less than welcoming. So much so, that in an interview afterwards he took a couple of shots at the city by saying it was the suicide capital of the country. In retaliation, residents of Palmerston North have erected a sign in front of a landfill that says Mt. Cleese.
Let's all pause while we enjoy the hilarity.
As a comedian, I have done way too many shows that I was unhappy with. Most of the time, I will take the blame for the bad show or just chalk it up to some unavoidable occurrence. However, every once in a while, I am forced to point the finger at the audience. Now, when I do it, it's generally in the privacy of my car on the way home with no one else in attendance. John Cleese, being the legend that he is, took a different tactic.
Don't get me wrong, it's a risky move to blame an entire town for your bad show but Cleese is a comedian. Moreover, anyone who knows anything about Monty Python is well aware that Cleese is probably the nastiest Python member (excluding Terry Gilliam). It should be no surprise that he took a couple shots at the people in town and it should be noted that he did it by making a joke.
I am constantly amazed by the lack of ability to take a joke that has permeated the world. John Cleese is known for one thing: making jokes. But, for some reason, the folks in the "city" of Palmerston North have decided that they and their precious hometown are off limits. When are people going to get over themselves and realize that when it comes to comedy, we are all a target (some bigger than others)?
Look at it this way, if comedians stopped making fun of people, there would be no Don Rickles and more Jay Leno. Do you really want that?