John Cleese Explains Why the Truly Stupid Lack the Capacity to Realize How Stupid They Are

John Cleese, best known for his work with the comedy group Monty Python, explains the idea that truly stupid people lack the capacity to realize just how stupid they are. Cleese’s statements are based on research by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University into the so-called Dunning-Kruger effect.

The excerpt was pulled from the 2012 video “John Cleese Considers Your Futile Comments” where Cleese responds to a series of YouTube comments left on Monty Python videos. The answer was in response to comments that mention Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Christine O’Donnell left on the Monty Python sketch “Upperclass Twit of the Year”.

In order to know how good you are at something requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place. Which means, and this is terribly funny, that if you are absolutely no good at something at all, then you lack exactly the skills you need to know that you are absolutely no good at it.

Glen Tickle
Glen Tickle

Amelia's dad. Steph's husband. Writer, comedian, gentleman. Good at juggling, bad at chess.