John Cleese, one of Britain's favourite comedians, has been taken to task by a US magazine after shooting a commercial for Israeli television in which he appears to inadvertently launch an attack on Iran.
Adweek magazine asks ," Will John Cleese will do anything for money when it comes to shooting ads?
In the Israeli commercial, Cleese plays a Western general who, at the behest of Israel, accidentally orders a military strike on a foe, presumably Iran.
"I promise you we will be in and out in 33 minutes," one of the Israelis tells Cleese. "We have the right to defend ourselves!"
The former Python star , "ever the bumbling idiot" says Adweek, ignores the Israeli speaker. Instead he tastes some Sababa Eguzim, a chocolate-hazelnut spread like Nutella, that happens to be sitting nearby.
Impressed, he mumbles the brand name , which apparently translates to something like, "Let's get nuts." The Israelis hug each other, taking this as official approval for a strike, and the order is "Send" is given .
Adweek calls the commercial "weird" comparing it with his Faulty Showers ad for the AA although conceding that his recent DirecTV spot was "amusing".
The mag refers to a well-known US star Ed McMahon (the Tonight show comedian,now dead) who spent the last few years of his lifes "slumming in crappy ads to pay the bills."
"Now the beloved and brilliant Brit comic Cleese appears to be headed the same way."
Says Adweek, "What would the young, rebellious Cleese, at the height of his powers in the early 1970s, say if he could see the depths to which his septuagenarian self has sunk?