JOHN CLEESE’S LETTER TO AMERICA

A friend just sent me this. Not sure if John wrote this or not but it is funny.
 
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To the citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium," and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour’, ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise." You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’; you may elect to respell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you find you simply can’t cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up "vocabulary"). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of "-ize."

3. You will relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will be called "Come-Uppance Day."

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric immediately and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

8. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling "gasoline") -roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with mayonnaise but with vinegar.

10. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." American brands will be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine," so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American "football." There is only one kind of proper football; you call it "soccer." Those of you brave enough will, in time, will be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the "World Series" for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due backdated to 1776.

Thank you for your co-operation.

John Cleese

  • jason moore
    July 1, 2006 at 10:53 am

    Hello john,
    my name is jason moore and i am 9 years old and i find that you are a funny person!!! i like it when you say: DONT MENTION THE WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha! ha! that was funny. i hope you E-mail me back and you are one of my most funny’st person.
    from jason (in england)

  • Paul Spresser
    July 1, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    What can I say except that I agree with the comments of whoever wrote this.
    John Cleese it may not have been, but I am sure that he could deliver it with some humour and give us all a laugh. And people say the poms take themselves too seriously.
    Yanks – GD!
    Something like this was surely overdue. And you guys crticise the Muslims for having no sense of humour.

  • john
    July 10, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Dearest in Christ,
    Calvary greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.I am Pastor
    john smithkleen a member of Redeem ministry, basically a prayer and
    deliverance ministry.
    During a Prayer and fasting session in my Minstry, I asked our Lord
    Jesus Christ to give me the oppotunity to redeem my life and purify what
    remains of my wealth.God deliverly revealed to me to Invest in His
    Kingdom through you and your Ministry/organisation and also give to the
    needies,orphanages,widows and charites.
    You should immediately send a reply to me so that i can go ahead to
    send you/your organisation funds according to the will of God so that you
    can distribute to the needys and hence further the works of the lord.
    Remain blessed.you can mail me john_smithkleen005@yahoo.com
    Pastor (Mr)john smithkleen.

  • JERRY MOORE
    October 30, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    Hello
    i implore you to provide me the email address and the conatct address of the pastor /general overseer or the superintedent of this church ,i wolud like to have a colse contact with the pastor i have some issues and problems,i would have to discuss with the pastor and which are spiritual problems which i know,
    contacting the pastor would be the best for me,i would be glad if my request is accepted and granted,
    thank you so much

  • Bonnie Chaney
    November 26, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    This coming from a man who became VERY RICH making movies and doing television ………in America……..! If he thinks England is so perfect, why doesn’t he just stay there. First the Monarchy needs to work on the scandals in their own backyard!
    Speaking of, they’re wondering who killed JFK, we’re still wondering if we know the truth behind Princess Diana’s death.
    Chips? Hmm, they put mayonnaise on everything. Where did he get his info?
    I agree with the vegetable peeler, lol.
    Pronunciation of words, he has ALOT of work ahead! Considering America is a melting pot and is overrun with nationalities who speak in many different dialects, accents, and Languages!
    Changing our customs? All the nationalities who have already moved here are beating him to it. Do you know down Rodeo Drive in California they cannot display a pictures of Santa Claus, because it was offensive to a certain religion who does not recognize Santa?
    If football is soccer because soccer is they only appropriate FORM of football, call it football – not soccer! Obviously, there is a difference.
    Beer, as any other type of food, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. Is a matter of personal taste and preference. Eat and drink wherever you want to. Don’t tell someone what they can eat or drink.
    And he’s right, Americans do not understand or appreciate a lot of the British’s sense of humor. So why make jokes where they are not appreciated. Stick to mocking his own, and make them laugh since it’s not working here.
    Etc, etc, etc. Wish I could send some of my thoughts to him!

  • Ariel Cinii
    November 28, 2006 at 3:58 pm

    I agree with Mr. Cleese and would urge immediate adherence to everything except for paragraph 9. I won’t eat mayonnaise for anybody.

  • Tim Frazier
    January 30, 2007 at 12:20 am

    By Tim Frazier
    To the citizens of Great Britain,
    I obviously got your letter long after it was written. The last incompetent leader elected in the United States of America was Bill Clinton, and we did it as a joke. It was obviously a mistake and got quite out of hand. We apologize and will do our best to not let it happen again.
    In a successful attempt to rectify that mistake, we have twice now elected George W. Bush, who has done a fine job of clearing up the missunderstandings which resulted from the Benny Hill type antics of his predecessor. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is welcome to exercise the same amount of political power over these United States as she does anywhere else. We really don’t think it will hurt anything and doubt that any of our citizens will actually notice.
    The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP is welcome to come visit and give advice. We like him just fine, even if he is a labor—sorry, labour—party leader. People can be as liberal as they want as long as they jump in with us and start kicking butts when some back-woods mountain pirate in the middle east crosses the line. Here are our responses to the list of rules you sent us:
    We looked up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. We don’t care. We checked “aluminium” in the pronunciation guide. We are amazed at the fact that we use this material than anyone else in the world yet you want to tell us how to pronounce it. We are working on a language efficiency guide for you, to demonstrate how additional unnecessary letters like “u” in many words wastes valuable computer hard drive space. I agree we took these efficiencies a little too far in the decade or two prior to Y2K but we have learned our lesson and will restrict our tendency to abbreviate to common words, not date and time stamps. We recommend you obtain a copy of the “Blue Collar TV” “Redneck Dictionary”. We agree that using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. That (and many other reasons) is why we wholeheartedly support your immediate aquisition of the state of California. We won’t lift a finger to stop you and only request that in return you put a very high, impenetrable fence between them and us.
    You’re right, there is no such thing as “U.S. English.” Let us know when you plan to assimilate California and we will make sure we have moved the contents of Redmond to Silicon Valley prior to the aquisition. The software company you mentioned (I’m afraid to put their name in writing due to the proliferation of lawyers you pointed out) headquarted in Redmond could do with a little British intervention.
    We don’t need to learn to distinguish between English and Austrailian accents. Why would we bother when we don’t listen to anything either of you say anyway?
    Regarding your request for us to learn the words to “God Save the Queen”, we have never understood why the Queen needs to be saved. Hasn’t she been saved yet? It seems some Brittish gentleman should get off his keister (look up “keister” in the “Redneck Dictionary) and save her, because you’ve been asking God to do it for a long time and it doesn’t appear He feels it’s an urgent matter (neither do we, we tend to be on His side—look up “Abraham Lincoln”).
    We’ll just have to agree to disagree. You mentioned “American” football. We also believe it should just be plain ol’ “football”. The kevlar body armor—sorry, armour since that’s what you prefer—see how inefficient that is???—is a result of the proliferation of insurance companies and lawyers. We’re working on it. We have rugby, but it is played at secret locations and times to avoid insurance auditors and lawyers. We have successfully disguised it as Hockey…don’t get me started on why we didn’t have a hockey/American Rugby season last year, it’s a whole different topic…
    Regarding your demand for us to stop playing baseball, the baseball team in my area shows up on game day, but apparently has stopped playing baseball, so you win that one.
    Sure thing on the guns, just come on over and start taking them from us. You might want to bring some of that American Football kevlar body armor and a whole lot of Australian army buddies with you. And plan on it taking a looooong time (look up “infinity”).
    Regarding your demand we carry nothing more dangerous than a vegetable peeler in public: like I said, we’ll comply with this a soon as you’ve successfully achieved your goal of taking away our guns (look up “cold, dead fingers”, “NRA”, and “Charlton Heston”).
    We agreed with the American Car problem a long time ago. Thats why the American car companies now own most of the Europeon car companies (look up “Jaguar is now owned by Ford”. We do need help with our traffic system. We can’t even get people to walk on the right side in the mall here. I think we’ll outsource our traffic problems to Sweden. They have Volvos (look up “Ford owns Volvo”) so they are used to designing traffic flows for heavy, powerful vehicles, not dinky underpowered British horseless carriages.
    Belgium is a country??? I thought it was a chocalate manufacturer.
    I can’t speak to the opinions of other Americans, but you have valid points regarding beer. Guiness, however, licks anything else you have hollow. Imagine what the Irish could do if you guys got out of their business!
    US gas prices syncronized with UK: This is apparently already in progress. My Dodge Magnum burns $300.00 worth a month (Look up “Daimler-Chrysler” and “American Muscle Car”)
    In regards to learning to resolve problems without guns, lawyers, etc. you should become familiar with our continuim of force policies. We’re working on getting rid of the lawyers and therapists and escalating straight to the guns every time in order to make the dispute processes less time consuming.
    Who killed JFK? It’s driving you crazy??? So THAT’S what happened to you guys!
    Regarding your desire to collect taxes here back-dated to 1776, you are welcome to do that as soon as you complete your project to confiscate all our guns. You might want to get those vegetable peelers banned as well. We’re funny about higher taxes and have been trained to dispatch tax collectors with common houshold items such as bananas and whiffle balls. You’d be amazed at how much damage we could do with a peeler.
    Sincerely,
    Tim Frazier
    President of Fraziertopia
    Grapevine, Texas
    These United States (Except California)

  • Sadie
    January 31, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I do belive that some americans including myself have the same views…

  • Happy American
    February 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Dear Mr. Cleese,
    We would be happy to have you Brits take over because frankly we’re pretty sick of everyone bitching about us and liked it just fine when people were bitching about you instead.
    However we have a few conditions of our own:
    1.) We will get rid of french fries but get to keep everything else, especially Tex Mex. No offense, but your food really sucks.
    2.) We will cast a wide variety of English actors but we will continue to have more than 4 channels on the “tube”. Though we probably wouldn’t mind if you exported some of your naughty channels – we usually have to pay for those over here.
    3.) We will happily drink your beer so long as we don’t have to pay $5 a bottle for it. I mean, come on, we just want to get drunk. That’s something YA’LL can definitely understand.
    4.) We change all of our words to fit your pompous, superfluous vocabulary, but we get to keep YA’LL which is a perfectly good word that everyone who speaks English should adopt.
    5.) About the taxes, that’s fine, we all cheat anyway and we’ve been meaning to get around to free health care.
    Looking forward to seeing you!
    ps – we still get to be more attractive than you, right?

  • Wolf
    February 19, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Haha! I love the American comments! they just dont get it!
    (No im not from Britain)

  • Brent W
    April 8, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    ho ho ho 🙂
    I could see him doing something like this. Who knows. Funny though.
    I wish he would have gone more into how rule would be like under the British. I mean, we all know the shortcomings of Americans. I don’t need a list to tell me. An equally hilarious list could be made about almost any country.
    Here are three he should he add.
    1. All tea will be packaged in fire-proof air-sealed containers. We will never again have any of our tea becoming engorged or water-logged.
    2. The Stamp Act will be reapplied to cover the cost of such containers. Also glass and paint will taxed again according to the provisions of the Townshend Act.
    3. All horse riding after 11:59 is strictly prohibited. This will prevent anyone thinking of going on a Midnight Run.

  • James
    August 20, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Haha, Its funny because all of the american comments just prove John Cleeses, and infact every british citizens view that the Americans cant take a joke. Im English (and no i dont have a Butler by the way) And i can laugh at my self and my country. There are plenty of stupid things over here, and i look forward to reading something genuinely funny pointing out these flaws. Until then, we’ll continue to laugh at you instead. 🙂

  • Bertil Bengtstedt
    August 22, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Americans, despite their lack of humour and even though they view themselves as the most important country in the world, are about as much of a joke as this letter was in the first place.
    It’s hilarious, because people don’t really care how much you screw up your own country back in the US, but it’s when you start messing up the international politics that things start to get tiresome.
    But yay, even though the brits sit on their island as they have been doing for some time now, Russia and China are finally giving a proper buttkick soon enough! \o/

  • Erik ( Ashengrad )
    October 15, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Personally. I’m American. And I don’t think this is funny! -Goes on a rampage- Anyways, seriously, John Cleese is a genius. I really actually enjoyed that letter back to John Cleese though. Thought it was equally hilarious, even if some parts were to bitter for my taste. And the lager thing in John Cleese letter is a bit off I’d have to say.
    Lagers can be amazing. Try a Corona, Mexican Beer, and it’s a lager. And if anyone says that it’s not as great, learn your history. During Germany control of Mexico, Mexico adopted a great amount of Germany’s traditions (accordion, food types, music, and beer).
    And yeah, we’re catching up on the rest of the world on gas prices already, don’t worry John Cleese ;).
    And which state is it really? I mean, I’ve read some that says Utah, but this one says Kansas. I’m a Kansan, so I’m safe if this one is the right one. Good luck everyone else, all I know is Kansan’s sure fancy their guns madam, so good luck with that. 🙂
    And was talking to a friend of mine slightly before reading the entirity of this page. She’s English and was telling me of how England English is watered down, trying to adopt letters and pronounciations from France. Since America has mainly been isolated for a few hundred of years (except wars, but no one adapts anything from who they are fighting), that American English is actually closer to what England English use to be at one point.
    Anyways cheers! All great letters, even if some can be bitter. Wish more Americans and English could take a joke and laugh at themselves. By the way, we all know our President’s stupidity! Anyone who tries to joke themselves, tell them to go look up how the economy is going, our Eleven Trillion dollar debt, and our Health Care Rating in the World. Cheers people! No need to consider yourself a citizen of your country anyways, we’re all citizens of the world.
    -Erik

  • FU John
    November 25, 2008 at 11:59 am

    It would be a cold day in hell, Their going to have an impossible time getting past me and every other person who does not consider them the so called mother country. There are more dissenters in the US then the UK has citizens. God PLEASE kill the queen! and anyone else in that inbred piece of sh*t family who thinks they are royal

  • Facepalm
    January 30, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    It’s a joke, folks. A joke. Unclench, extract the stick rammed up your posteriors, and let some humor creep in once in a while.
    England is not invading the U.S., you don’t actually have to crack a dictionary (although it would definitely benefit this country as a whole if some of our citizens would do precisely that once in a while), and you can continue to own all of the vegetable peelers you want.
    And people wonder why folks overseas think the U.S. is better entertainment than a sitcom. Give a lighthearted jab, and half the populace puffs up like an offended peacock. You can be proud of your country while still acknowledging its flaws and humorous aspects. I promise.

  • George KIng
    February 1, 2009 at 11:32 am

    He didn’t write the thing silly people. This was
    noted on Snopes.
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/revocation.asp

  • Cecily
    March 21, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Oh c’mon guys! This is supposed to be a joke. If John Cleese did write this letter, then I would sure love to listen to him delivering it to a crowd of Americans and I bet it would be taken in good humor. Anyways, if this is really Cleese’s work. The man has it in for almost everybody. He even calls out his Python co-star, Terry Jones, for being a Welshman – apparently, Cleese thinks the Welsh should be servile to the English. 😀

  • Gary Geck
    August 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I love this article and it’s very well written. But Americans are an easy target…I would like to issue an open letter to the British:
    1. Stop dividing nations by distracting the populace with emotionally charged bipolarized disputes while you quietly step in and take all of their capital/resources. I’m not sure who is behind but, but now someone has used your trick to divide Americans between Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile both parties push the bailouts through and fight over who Dr. Henry Kissinger likes more…much of the points Cleese criticizes are a direct result of Americans falling for this old trick, but sure, it’s our fault for falling for it…
    3. Embrace theory over practice. Science relies just as much on metaphysics for grounding as it does on empiricism. Stop trying to eradicate metaphysics. Don’t be embarrassed by it. In the US we’ve inherited your intellectual tradition because we don’t speak any other languages, so now we’re stuck being just as pragmatic and materialistic as you..meanwhile the Germans (and I agree with you on German cars) lead both of us in math and engineering because they value pure theory over practical real-world application and physicalist thinking. While we’re stuck trying to use geometry to understand math, they are using 10 dimensional tensors.
    4. Isaac Newton was a total dick. Stop calling him “that immortal Saint and God of all Science that ever was and will ever will be”. He was a proven trickster and one of the meanest people in history…not to mention a shoddy alchemist. He hasn’t been right since being hit in the head with an apple…
    5. When Wolfgang Pauli said that “the children need their pictures”, he was talking about you…ouch. If you followed #3 above this wouldn’t be a problem. Stop focusing on geometry and replace it with pure theory and maybe you can catch up to the Germans…
    6. Get rid of Oxford and replace it with Cambridge 2.
    7. Your accents are great but it doesn’t make what you say right. Read Plato’s dialogue “The Sophist”.
    OK, mine isn’t as witty as Cleese’s…but if the British followed those, they’d be the greatest nation on Earth…God save the Queen.

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