In the words of John Cleese’s beautifully disturbed, halfwit character Basil Fawlty, “Listen, don’t mention the War. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it alright.” Then he goose-stepped around some mortified German patrons as a British laugh track acknowledged how funny the whole thing was.
Conor McGregor took a run at some WWII-styled comedy a couple days ago, calling Dennis Siver a Nazi on Twitter. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t offer a laugh track add-on, and Conor hasn’t mastered Cleese’s art of ridiculous walking.
Now, Nick “Sergeant” Hein, the UFC lightweight who happens to be a police officer in Germany, is expressing his displeasure with Conor’s failed jest.
“He overstepped the line there definitely,“ Hein said. “He realized that himself and apologized. But with apologies it is like in a relationship. If you betray somebody once, the mirror is broken forever, even if that somebody forgives you. What Conor said didn’t happen in the heat of the moment, he wrote it on Twitter with enough time to think about it first. I am sure he had history lessons in school, so he should know better. Now Dennis will take him on and who knows, maybe that whole problem will solve itself?“
Of course, the subject matter is no doubt disturbing for a people that prides itself in being far-removed from the oppressive regime that definied its existence for a while in the 1940s. But perhaps the problem here is not so much the subject matter, but the comedic sense of the man telling the joke. After all, esteemed comic John Cleese created the defining episode of one of Britain’s most hilarious shows while holding up a faux Hitler mustache and making a young Fräulein sob.
“Not funny? Not funny? You’re joking!” Cleese yelled, ironically, as the characters on screen became angry and the audience at home cried tears of joy.
“You have absolutely no sense of humor, do you?” he continued.
“This is not funny!” cried the baffled guest.
“Who won the bloody War anyway?” Cleese rebutted.
Unfortunately, McGregor is no John Cleese, he hasn’t displayed any capacity for ironic flair, and he should ultimately heed the advice of Basil Fawlty. Whatever you do, don’t mention the War. At least not until you’ve had some comedy lessons from the British master.
Hein fights TUF veteran James Vick at UFC Fight Night this Saturday.