The PJ Tatler

Monty Python Star Reveals Why Comics Won't Lampoon Islam

Because they’ll be killed if they do. Duh.

During his Monty Python days he poked fun at everyone from the Establishment to Christianity.

But thanks to the threat of ‘heavily armed’ fanatics, Michael Palin has admitted there is one comedy taboo he is too scared to break- Islam.

The 70-year-old said religious sensitivities have increased so much since his comedy days it would now be impossible to make 1979 film Life of Brian – which satirised the life of Jesus – let alone laugh at Muslims.

He said: ‘Religion is more difficult to talk about. I don’t think we could do Life of Brian any more. A parody of Islam would be even harder.

‘We all saw what happened to Salman Rushdie and none of us want to get into all that. It’s a pity but that’s the way it is. There are people out there without a sense of humour and they’re heavily armed.’ 

Mocking Christianity is the safe thing for “edgy” comics to do. Has been for decades.

Only one major comic goes anywhere near mocking Islam. Jeff Dunham’s puppet “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” is a failed suicide bomber who has already earned a fatwa of sorts. And he doesn’t really lampoon Islam in the way that Python once took on the Catholic Church’s birth control policies in The Meaning of Life. Achmed is a send-up of suicide bombers who, by definition, aren’t really around to make any fuss about it.

“Silence! I kill you!” Achmed threatens, Python listens.


See also Kathy Shaidle at PJ Lifestyle: “Michael Palin: Monty Python Would Never Mock Islam