'The New Yorker' Illustrates Britain's Brexit As A Silly Walk Off A Cliff
The British pound plummeted as markets around the globe tanked, and British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation in the aftermath of Britain's decision to leave the European Union on Thursday. Britain's decision to exit from the EU left much of the country in shock, with voters grappling to imagine the country post-Brexit. With a pinch of reflective humor much needed in times of major change, the New Yorker tackles the Brexit with its latest cover, offering a hilarious interpretation of the referendum's fallout. Britain has silly-walked straight off the cliff, according to the American magazine.
Illustrated by longtime New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt, the cover features Englishmen, bearing a strong resemblance to comedic actor John Cleese (coincidence? I think not), walking their way off a cliff, ministry style.
The concept is a reference to the sketch "The Ministry of Silly Walks" from the famed Mony Python comedy troupe. While the sketch first aired in 1970 as part of the television sketch comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus, it's become something of a fan favorite for those who love physical comedy. In it, Cleese plays a civil servant employed at a fictitious branch of the British government known simply as the Ministry of Silly Walks, which is tasked with the infinitely important job of developing humorous gaits.
"I was stunned when I heard the news this morning and really upset," Blitt said of the Brexit referendum results in the New Yorker's tease of its upcoming cover. "I just sent money to my kid, who's traveling over there — if I had just waited, I'd have saved a bundle now that the pound has collapsed."
The inspiration behind Blitt's cover, however, likely felt differently upon waking up to news of Britain's Brexit on Friday. Cleese, the British comedic actor who first brought us the bowler hat-wearing, silly-walking civil servant character Blitt depicted on the latest New Yorker cover, was a known Leave campaign supporter. Cleese has yet to comment on the New Yorker cover, so it's unclear whether he's a fan or not, but it seems safe to say he'd be fine with helping induce a few chuckles in such an uncertain time.
Blitt, who's been a contributing illustrator for the New Yorker since 1992, has drawn more than 80 covers for the magazine, including one portraying then-President George Bush struggling to conduct business as Hurricane Katrina floods the Oval Office which won Cover of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2006.