A Bit of Fry & Laurie s04e06 Episode Script

Series 4, Episode 6

(CLOCKS TICKING) FRY: Interesting.
He seems to be trying to develop some pressure on the b-file.
I must say, I don't like the look of those double rooks at all.
LAURIE: I think I might have a slight positional advantage after the coming exchange, but then again, it's hard to say.
-Oh, hello.
We're on.
Stephen? -Oh, yes.
(FRY CLEARS THROAT) FRY: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
-Thanks for stopping by.
-LAURIE: Thanks, indeed.
We've got a neatly packed show for you tonight, with all the sketches on the top, so they don't get creased.
FRY: We're also hoping that Michael Heseltine might drop in for a mug of cocoa, but as we haven't invited him, I fear our hoping may be in vain.
LAURIE: Oh, that is so much pettifogging detail.
Our real message is, get loose, get comfortable, kick off those corduroy hats and enjoy the show.
(SINGING) FRY: (WHISPERING) Between desire and reality.
LAURIE: A bit.
FRY: Between fact and breakfast, madness lies, lies, lies LAURIE: A bit.
FRY: I hate you, I hate you and yet I hate you (SOBBING) As love, rage and aches of the ear.
Pretension by Fry and Laurie.
(APPLAUSE) Thank you.
Thank you, thank you.
Thank you.
Well, good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
2 3, 24, 25 Oh.
Oh dear, oh dear! Uh, my colleague, Hugh Laurie, appears to be doing something rather odd and eccentric, which, on the face of it, at least, has absolutely nothing, whatever, to do with the show.
30, 31 I think, on your behalf, I'd better look into things.
32 My colleague, what are you doing? -None of your business.
34 -Huh! -''Curiouser and curiouser!'' said Alice.
-35 No, seriously, Hugh, what are you doing? I said, it's none of your business.
Yes, well, actually, it is my business! Since we're both paid to be performing a comedy show, and what you are doing is neither comic, nor showy, I think that gives me the right to ask you what you're doing, and for you to give me a straight answer! I am counting out money.
I warn you, Mr Bond, my patience is not inexhaustible.
Tell me why you are counting out money, or my pretty little piranha fish can expect a substantial meal this evening.
Well, I'm counting out money that I've stolen during the course of today.
-I beg your pardon? -That's right, I took up mugging, recently.
Um, well, yesterday, actually.
And at the end of the day, I like to count out how much I've earned for tax purposes.
You You took this money from people by mugging them? That's right.
Two old ladies on the Finchley High Road, and a busker at Baker Street Tube.
You stole this from them, forcibly, and without permission? Yep.
What a brilliant idea! It is fantastic, isn't it? It really is incredibly easy.
You just walk up to them, wave a knife under their nose, bob's your uncle.
That is remarkable! Um, sort of morality-wise, what do you Oh! Isn't that just typical of the chattering classes? Chatter, chatter, chatter You know, imposing your views on people.
Oh! He's absolutely right, I'm very ashamed.
Um, now, ladies and gentlemen, we've arrived at that part of the evening where, all things being equal, we would introduce some guests onto the show.
There would be amusement, merriment, applause and jovial backslapping, as we affectionately swapped stories about what it was really like working with Keith Barron.
But sadly, all things are not equal.
That's right.
Take, for example, the number of people who like Libby Purves, and compare it to the number of people who have to listen to her every day on the radio.
-Definitely not equal.
And so it is with this show, we cried and we moaned, we begged and we pleaded, we borrowed and we invested wisely, but to no avail.
Not a single person answered our advertisement for guests in last month's edition of the Watchtower.
And so, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time, my colleague and I are going to attempt And the key word there is ''foreskin''.
We will attempt to complete a show in which there are virtually no guests.
In a virtually guest-free environment.
I've chosen, in place of my guest, a pair of old trousers that my grandfather used to wear while he was gardening.
And I've selected an old tin of Humbrol paint.
So, let the good times, if not exactly roll, at least have a seat at the negotiating table.
So, what was Keith Barron really like? Hello, and three dozen welcomes, to the national finals of the Young Tory of the Year, here, in Daily Mail Hall, Horrorgate, in front of an invited audience of local businessmen, and their slightly awkward teenage children in ponytails and annoying ties.
With me is one of the judges, Brent Wheeler.
He'll be giving us the benefit of his expert advice, and telling us what to look out for.
-Good evening, Brent.
-Quite right.
Brent, last year, the standard was extraordinarily high.
Do you think we can look forward to something similar this year? Yeah, uh, Susan, I think we probably can.
Yes, I have been a judge in some of the local heats, and let me tell you that the talent this year is as awesome as it's ever been.
Of course, this being the national finals, candidates will be concentrating largely on keynote speeches, and general displays of ignorance and prejudice, is that right? That's correct.
Right, yes.
Although, this year they have introduced a new round, a ''getting shiny-faced in a t-shirt'' round.
-''T-shirts''? That doesn't sound very -It doesn't No, but you see, this is the way that young Toryism is being developed, you see.
T-shirts show that this is not just an art for the middle classes.
Uh, it gives it a general, American street fashion-wise appeal for the young and hip, trendy.
Well, the lights are going down behind us, as you can probably hear.
And I think our first competitor, Andrew Tredgold, is ready to go on.
SUSAN: Andrew is in his second year at Exeter reading human bigotry and libertarian nonsense.
He counts, amongst his inspirations, the Family Values Theme by John Patten, the Further Cuts and Public Expenditure Suite by Kenneth Clarke, arranged by Portillo, and the endless variations in J Major.
(ORCHESTRA PLAYING JERUSALEM) So, Andrew Tredgold, Southwest regional winner.
Conference! Core values, real punishment for offenders, family standards, opportunity for individual enterprise, roll back the frontiers of the state, Michael's bold and imaginative initiative, and yes, why not corporal punishment? Really crack down, young offenders, rule of law, and yes, I make no apologies, respect for ordinary, decent, vast majority, welfare spongers.
As Norman said, so clearly, individual-enterprise culture, opportunity, attack on trendy, liberal, education initiatives.
I pick up on John's wonderfully forceful point, sloppy thinking, '60s, media knockers.
In Michael's bold and imaginative values, standards, decency, family, law, yes, I make no apology, and why not? Even, perhaps, God, and pride in country, decent, ordinary, sloppy people, vast majority of bold new initiatives, decent family values, standards, core values, return to '50s, responsibility, individual respect, standards, values, and yes, why not? Values, respect, standards, working, a decent apology.
I make no standards, vast, family, law, why not? Sloppy corporal law punishment, individual decent spongers, wishy-washy, trendy family, crime, Michael, values.
Thank you.
(APPLAUSE) Well, as you can hear, the audience absolutely loving that.
But what will the judges make of it, I wonder.
Brent? It was wonderfully confident and assured, wasn't it? Original, though, I'm not sure how the judges are going to like that.
You may have noticed that in one of the early passages, he opted for ''family standards'' instead of the more classically correct ''family values''.
But the technique was astounding, in one so young.
Uh, every bit as insulting as a Tory twice his age.
-But no actual mistakes.
-Not real mistakes, no, no.
I thought, at one point, he was gonna say something which made sense.
Yes, he just avoided it.
Uh, it was a tense moment, but no.
Very assured, very ghastly, completely sucked dry of youth, energy, ideals, imagination, love, passion, or intelligence.
Well, while the audience throws quietly up, we'll return you to the shop where we bought you.
Well, you know, men Men are just so fragile, aren't they? You know, you've only got to say something like, ''You've got an absolutely tiny one, and you're hopeless in bed,'' and they get all sort of hurt.
I always say women are like eggs, best not keep them in the fridge.
Yes, I like to do (GASPING) Like to do about 30 lengths every day, before I go to work.
You know, it really It really makes me feel, you know, shagged.
When I was growing up, back then, in the, oh, so 1 960s and '70s, television entertainment could be described in just six words, and those six words were ''variety''.
Whatever happened to variety? They tell us variety is dead.
Well, I happen to know a young man who may just yet prove those cynics wrong.
I wouldn't be embarrassed to call this talented youngster Mr Variety himself.
He sings, he dances, he tells jokes, he's a remarkable impressionist and a world-class ventriloquist.
He tears paper, he rides a monocycle, he walks the high wire, he performs magic, he reads minds, he plays the piano, the harpsichord and the sackbut.
He writes all the material that he wears.
He lifts impossible weights, he throws knives, he grows chameleons to an international standard, he forecasts the weather, he trains seals, he seals trains, he draws lightning portraits, he speaks over 30 languages, and is capable of sustaining an erection for over four hours.
To top it all, he was just 20 years of age when he died in 1 934.
Please welcome Tommy McPherson.
(RAGTIME MUSIC PLAYING) LAURIE: And now we present Dame Victoria Bennett in Alan Wood's acclaimed prestige dramatic monologue, Well I Never Did.
Oh, well.
Oh, yes, I'll never forget that one.
That was taken before they pulled down the gasworks and built that Netto superstore.
Oh, he looks good in his Littlewoods keynote cardie, does our Alan.
I said at the time, I said, ''Alan, ''if you want to get on in the world, you'd be wise to write down everything I say, ''because it's gold, is what I say.
''And don't hog the Peak Freans, lad, pass them round.
'' Lovely boy, he was.
Teeth weren't his strong feature, of course, and his hair was never what you might call Leslie Howard.
But I always say, teeth is teeth, what does it matter? So long as you've got your wealth.
He said, ''I can't wait to get out of here, Aunty Ivy, ''and make my fortune down south.
'' I said, ''Alan'', I said, ''I may not be as cabbage-looking as my tongue is a fisherman's doily, ''but what's London got that you won't find in the Arndale Centre in Todmorden?'' Well, he was stuck for a reply.
I said, ''You want sophistication, you stick with us up here, love.
'' He knew I was right, bless him.
I mean, we've got a Body Shop in the parade now.
You can't move for Volvos in the autumn months.
But then he's always had his head in the clouds, has our Alan.
Caught him trying to scour a milk pan with a tea bag once.
I said, ''It's all very well knowing long words, ''but if you can't tell the difference between a box of Brillo pads ''and a packet of Typhoo One Cup, you'll never get on.
'' I'll go to the back of our fridge.
(MELANCHOLY CELLO PLAYING) He did leave, though, got a scholarship to Oxford.
I said, ''You make sure there's somewhere you can buy Kendal Mint Cake, ''and a good bar of Wright's Coal Tar Soap, ''because they've no idea down there.
'' Well, I mean, fancy ideas and tropical mixed croutons are all very well, but they don't get the Vimto buttered, do they? For all your fine Italian red lettuce, which to my mind tastes as bitter as a Skipton wind.
(SNIFFS) He said, ''Aunty, I'll be fine.
'' Well, of course, I didn't know him when he came back, green corduroy jacket, duffel coat, horn-rimmed spectacles he could eat parsley out of, and a head crammed with I don't know what.
And books, you've never seen so many, some of them that dirty, I blushed to the roots of my Playtex.
I said ''Those books are going straight into the Hotpoint, and no buts.
'' Came up lovely, they did.
Amazing what a bit of Lenor can do, if you've a mind.
No, but that Oxford, and his smart friends, they've changed him.
Ideas, that's what it is.
I said, ''What use is ideas when you've a capon to baste ''and the telly man's due any minute?'' ''Name an idea,'' I said, ''that can get the front steps scrubbed, ''the sausages pricked, and the navel oranges squeezed ''in time for a meat tea and finger buffet.
'' He didn't know which way to look.
These Oxford types, they're all apricot facial scrub, and yesterday's suet turnover.
To look at them, you'd think a packet of Batchelor's Savoury Rice wouldn't melt in their Vosene Medicated, but they've no savvy.
I could take a Black and Decker nose drill to the pack of them, and still have change left over for a bag of peanut brittle.
Left home, of course, got involved with the BBC, all party eggs and tomato chutney.
Next thing I know, he's got a damehood, and a brand new Hostess Trolley to show for it.
They'll fall for anything, them Londoners.
Well, I'm off down to Morrisons for a jar of melon lip balm, and four pack of inter-uterine devices.
I've got that Pat Routledge round for elocution lessons at 1 2:00.
Yeah, I'll always remember this, my father's advice to me was, ''Neither a borrower, nor a git be.
'' Well, if people wanna be right-wing and nationalistic and bigoted, then let them go and live in Russia.
That's what I say.
Okay, so, you know, you say get rid of the Queen.
You say get rid of the royal family.
But, I mean, what are they gonna put on the stamps, hmm? Desmond Lynam? Mike Smith? You know, I mean I'm gonna have to turn Mike Smith over and give him a licking every time I want to send a letter? People don't think these things through, do they? Ladies and gentlemen, a bit of a shadow has been cast over the show this evening.
My colleague, Hugh, has received a death threat.
That's right, it arrived this morning, and it's addressed to ''Dear Sir or Madam''.
It goes like this: ''You are a cow son, bastard-sucking mental.
''You die heavily in wet throat-ripping, everywhere.
''Don't like the Queen, this country.
'' Spelt wrong.
''For tear-out lungs, and replace with portable clothes.
'' Brackets, ''Yes, please'', brackets.
''National service, who is she? ''Stripping scrotum through eerie, leery pastures of deep smell.
'' Pretty upsetting, as you can imagine.
I've tried to persuade my colleague to take this threat seriously, but he insists on carrying on as if nothing has happened.
Yeah, well, you see, I take the view that if you give in to these people, then, then you've given in, you know.
Yes, but at the very least, my colleague, I don't think it's safe for you to do your song this evening.
Well, you see, if I don't do my song, then he's won, and democracy might as well just take an early shower.
Yes, but whoever he is, this ''M Pontillo'', I mean, he might, I don't know He might be in the audience now, armed.
Oh, but, you see, someone's got to take a stand.
Look, my colleague, I think we would all understand if you didn't do your song.
You know, this Pontillo could be in the piano with a mobile rocket launcher for all we know.
My colleague, you must not sing tonight! What a What a sweet man.
My colleague, I appreciate what you're trying to do, you know, and I'm really touched by it, but my face is made up.
For evil For evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men to spout clichés.
I'm going on.
(SIGHS) Well, ladies and, in a broader sense, gentlemen, as you've heard, my colleague has bravely decided to do his song this evening.
That's 30 pence postage and package down the bloody drain, isn't it? (LIGHT ROCK MUSIC PLAYING) # Well, I don't mind being lonely # I don't mind being poor # What I mind is being misunderstood # I can't take it any more # You may say that I'm a loser #And I won't say that that ain't true # But if you say once more that I'm a Hoover # Then, baby, I'm gonna have to disagree with you # Too many times I've been called a garage # More than once, I've been termed a hat # For more than a year I lived in your pocket # While you thought I was the key to your flat # Now I'm saying that that's all over # I got to stand up for what I am # So from now on I want you to call me #Just call me # Whenever you can # (APPLAUSE) My wife was pulled down the other day, and rebuilt, just north of Leicester.
Road-widening scheme? (DERISIVE LAUGHTER) Road-widening scheme? I said, ''Country-narrowing scheme, more like.
'' Country-narrowing scheme, think about it, yeah.
Well, bit of a surprise piece of news here, we don't normally do news stories, but this one does seem fairly major, it'd be silly to ignore it.
According to a Reuters newsflash, the British Government has apparently just been bought by Honda.
The deal went through in the early hours of this morning.
According to Reuters, Honda fought off rival bids from Unilever and the John Lewis group, and is believed to have paid upwards of 400 million for the troubled democracy giant.
I think, in fact, we can go over.
We've got some Yes, that's right, that's, um (CLAMOURING) LAURIE: That's Nigel Pargetter there.
No relation.
Deputy Director of the Board of Trade, I think he's about to -We believe that this was a fair price -Yes.
and that the British tax payer has got a good deal, here.
-Honda, had -MAN: Yeah, but does this mean If you'll just let me finish.
Honda have given us satisfactory undertakings, to the effect that they will make no massive changes to the structure of government, for at least six months, and that their only real social alterations involve converting Wales into a seven-million-hole golf course and the replacement of all houses and flats in Great Britain with Perspex living pods.
-MAN: Have you tried -Yes, I have tried one of the pods myself, -and believe me, they are extremely -MAN 2: What about unemployment? Oh, what about unemployment! You people are obsessed, aren't you, hmm? Every time a new idea comes along, some change, which might do this country a bit of good, it's always, ''What about unemployment?'' Change the bleeding record, can't you.
Yes, there will be some unemployment.
Honda have pointed out, for example, that we do not, perhaps, necessarily need up to 625 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.
They are investing in a new laser-operated governing system.
MAN: So, this country will have no elected Oh, just rejoice, can't you? This is good news for Britain.
Hmm? This is a vote of confidence in our country.
It just proves what this government has maintained all along, that we are an attractive proposition for our customers.
This is a good deal for Britain, a good deal.
A good deal.
This is a good deal for Britain.
This is a good deal.
This is good G-O-O-D, D-E-A-L, for Britain.
This is a good deal.
Good deal for Britain.
This is a good deal.
Good deal.
Yes, well, I think I ought to say at this point, that that was all made up.
Honda haven't really bought the British Government.
It's a completely silly idea.
(SHOUTING) Or is it? Yes, I suppose in many ways, people might consider us lucky.
You know, they think we have rather a privileged lifestyle here.
But you see, actually, Hartington Castle isn't mine, doesn't belong to me.
MAN: Yes, it does.
Uh, yes, it does.
I mean, it does.
It does belong to me, in that sense.
Yes, I own it.
But actually I prefer to think that I borrowed it.
-MAN: Who from? -From my children.
That's rather lovely.
You see, really, it's just a trust, it's a sacred trust.
I'm just a bloody caretaker, really, just a bloody old caretaker.
Well, you see, that's the challenge, isn't it? You see, one's descendents See, the way I look at it is, if my ancestors, my bloody old ancestors, mostly a load of old crooks, if the truth be told, if they could, you know, keep this thing going, then it's the least The least I can do.
Now this is what I was going to show you, this is very interesting.
This bed, I think, was laid out by, I think it was the third duke.
These things were very much the thing then, of course.
Now, what he discovered, was that this was all the wrong kind of soil, apparently.
So, what he did, well, you see, they thought big in those days, was that he transported 400-weight of the right type of soil, from all the way over there.
Got a lot of locals in to do it, the whole village turned up.
He stood them cider and badger cakes afterwards.
Ah, but you see, they had vision in those days.
If I tried to do something like that now, well, they'd probably call me crackers, and have me locked up and sowing potatoes, as soon as look at me.
But it's rather fun.
Rather fun.
Well, yes, a certain amount of pressure is brought to bear in the matter of children.
Obviously, I've got to provide an heir to take over this lot when I'm dead and gone, and buried, and No longer alive.
Mary does most of the work there, actually.
It's something of a tradition in our family, that the wife actually carries the child in her stomach before it's born.
I let Mary look after that side of things, and absolutely wonderful she is at it, too.
Can't stand most of the children, in fact, great ugly things.
You know, take up an enormous amount of room, and cost a devil of an amount to heat and keep free from damp.
But, you know, it's all part of the job.
You don't get a grant for it, or anything.
You know, I call it ''the job''.
You know, most people probably imagine being a duke is just one long run of parties and fête openings, and so on.
I mean, to me it is just a job, like any other.
You know, like everyone else, I have to get up at 1 0.
;00, I have to put on my own clothes, as they've been laid out.
I come down to breakfast, just like any person would.
-Peter Ferris has died.
-Oh, good.
Then I might talk to the estate manager about the farm, discuss the state of the cupboards with my gamekeepers, and Mary and I will run over the events for the day.
Who's coming to dinner, what menus we should arrange with the kitchens, and so on.
It's really no different from being you know, a coal welder, or floor walker at your local ASDA.
Of course, we absolutely must do something about the May Day Claimings.
-Oh, has that come round again? -Mmm.
One rather charming custom around here, in the local neighbourhood that surrounds the immediate environs of this nearby area, locally, in this vicinity, is the May Day Claimings, so called.
Mary and I feel a great responsibility to keep up with these sort of local customs.
-Otherwise, one can so easily lose touch.
-That's right, I When I married Charles, he warned me that what he calls his job does entail a great deal of public duty and responsibility, and I was always very keen to share that with him.
Yes, the idea of the Claimings, is that I have to choose a young girl to lead the Mayday procession through the village.
-She must be no older than -1 6.
1 6, that's right, and no younger than 1 4.
And she's Queen of the May for the day, I have to crown her.
And then, after the maypole dancing, and all that sort of palaver, I have to take her off to the dungeons in the old part of the castle, -and privately violate her.
Yes, we all We always have great fun, don't we, at choosing the girls for the Claimings? It's I suppose, it's one of those silly English customs whose origins are lost in the mists of Of which we get rather a lot, round here.
But it would be a shame to lose contact with history, wouldn't it? That's right.
It derives, I think, from sometime in the '70s, when my father thought that violating a young girl from the village would be rather a good idea.
Though some people think it goes as far back as 1 968.
-'68, yeah.
-That's right, yes.
Can't really be sure.
But it's all great fun, though.
And though I usually dread it when it's upcoming, I always throw myself into the spirit of the thing, and usually end up having a damn good time.
MARY: Mmm.
(LOUNGE MUSIC PLAYING) (FRY SIGHS) Well, my colleague, 1 ,740 seconds have elapsed since first we welcomed the viewing several into our lives for another evening of entertainment and hatred.
My colleague, you've opened your mouth, and a great truth has come out.
I'll save you embarrassment by pretending you never said that, or anything like it.
He's firm, but he's fair.
In the great sandwich of broadcasting, we at A Bit of Fry and Laurie are perhaps but a thin slice of turkey breast.
We nourish, but we don't cause wind.
-I could have put it better myself.
-What's more, he could, too.
He could.
So now, my colleague, we have to sweep up the broken shards and decaying lumps of the evening, gather them into an old towel, and heave them over the side.
Fair breaks your heart, doesn't it? I turn to you, my colleague, and I ask you to gaze down at the drinks menu and fix us a debonair cocktail selection.
Ooh, well, now, this is a difficult choice.
Choose carefully, my colleague, one choice brings certain death, the other freedom.
Well, now, you'd expect me to choose the Silver Prostate, but then you'd know that I'd know that you'd expect that.
So really I should choose the Boiling Idiot, but the Boiling Idiot's got Campari in it, and he knows that I hate Campari, so -So? -So it will be the Silver Prostate.
Ha! You have chosen wisely, little one.
Yoda has taught you well.
The Silver Prostate does indeed bring freedom.
Now, to prepare a Silver Prostate at home, you will need seven of the following: a cocktail shaker, a cocktail-shaker shaker, that's me, a helping of Liquore Strega, an assistance of Parfait Amour, lovely purple, violet liqueur, there, a tit of Maker's Mark Bourbon, a rash of Bailey's Irish Cream to throw away, square lumps of frozen water, sculpted into the shape of ice cubes and a farewell from newsreader Andrew Harvey, digitally recorded off-air.
HARVEY: That's the national and international news tonight, good night.
While I mix these together, I turn to the debonair doyen of the dance, and I ask, as askingly as I might, this ask, please, Mr Music, will you play? (JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING) (IMITATING TRUMPET PLAYING) BOTH: Soupy twist.