Eric Idle Quote

“At least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters, that nothing be excused the searching light of comedy. If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.”

~ Eric Idle

Ratings and Comments

  • Reply
Anonymous    5/2/05

When life ceases to be funny, something is very wrong.

john-douglas, nassau

In Zimbabwe, they have ceased to make jokes about Robert Mugabe, the president. He has plunged that once-prosperous country into bankruptcy, starvation, and arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.

  • Reply
Anonymous    2/29/12

Eric Idle is a legend!

  • Reply
anonymous    1/8/14

Hitler in a tutu in The Producers - Springtime for Hitler - it's a good way to get back. No, strike that, it's the best way to get back. No one can withstand being laughed at.

Mike, Norwalk

A lot of truth to the statement. Today, Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin is plunging a once-prosperous country into an immoral oblivion. To make light of, or otherwise expose current anti-law despotism and tyranny in any way, is to be called disrespectful, racist or worse, be subjected to forced suicide; such as certain gay lovers or go the way of Breitbart or, the more traditional, after killing oneself, wrap yourself in a carpet, then fly to, and deposit yourself in a public place.

Mike, Norwalk
  • Reply
Mike, Norwalk Mike, Norwalk 11/4/21

After Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin, the Trumpette years saw an escalation of a death grip censorship on anything that was contrary (in any way) to the Woke Progressive's theocratic dogmas. The current CCP's criminal puppet that would be king/god, along with the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land (inclusive of ecclesiastical seminaries/government schools, the forth branch of tyranny — the MSM, sacerdotal officiates/government stooges, etc.) denounce humor for being hurtful. A lack of humor is FAR more hurtful than the alternative.

A license is "A personal privilege to do some particular act or series of acts ⋯ by competent authority ⋯, without such permission would be illegal, a trespass, a tort, or otherwise not allowable." (Blacks' Law Dictionary 6th Edition)

I think "license" and "privilege" was used here to emphasize the current state of affairs. When individual sovereignty, inalienable rights, liberty and "the laws of nature and of nature's God" (Declaration of Independence) are in practice denied (beyond any shallow word to the contrary) license is a legalism that harmonizes with — a person can not do a thing unless he is given privilege to do so; as is averse to, an individual is free do anything that complies with the justice associated to natural law.

cal, Lewisville, tx

True John-Douglas. Funny that the US said it would be better afterwards. Biggest comic act ever.

J Carlton, Calgary

George Carlin used the stage as a pulpit to bring awareness to people. He was very good at it too.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Mark Twain and Mencken were great at satire.

Mike, Nevada

"This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters..."
If you must be "licensed" to do anything, the government now controls it. The FCC, corporate cronyism, and PC self censorship is alive and well.

watchman 13, USA

The royal feast was done; the King sought some new sport to banish care, And to his jester cried : " Sir Fool, kneel now, and make for us a prayer ! " The jester doffed his cap and bells, and stood the mocking court before; They could not see the bitter smile behind the painted grin he wore.
He bowed his head, and bent his knee upon the silken stool;
His pleading voice arose : O Lord , Be merciful to me, a fool !
" No pity, Lord could change the heart from red with wrong to white as wool; The rod must heal the sin : but, Lord, be merciful to me, a fool ! Tis not by guilt the onward sweep of truth and right, O Lord we stay; Tis by our follies that so long we hold the earth from heaven away. " These clumsy feet, still in the mire, go crushing blossoms with out end; These hard, well meaning hands we thrust among the heart strings of a friend.
The ill-timed truth we might have kept- who knows how sharp it pierced and stung ? The word we had not sense to say- Who knows how grandly it had rung ? Our faults no tenderness should ask, the chastening strips must cleanse them all; But for our blunders- oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.
Earth bears no balsam for mistakes; Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool that did his will ; but Thou , O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool.
The room was hushed; in silence rose the King, and sought his gardens cool, And walked apart, and murmured low,
Be merciful to me , a fool !

E Archer, NYC

"Licensed jestors?" Maybe in the UK, I guess. This has got to be some sort of contradiction in terms. Politically correct 'satire' is on its face repressed.


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.