Monty Python's Personal Best (2006) s01e02 Episode Script

Graham Chapman's Personal Best

Good Lord.
I'm on film.
How did that happen? I met Graham, I suppose, on The Frost Report when Terry and I were a writing duo and Cleese and Chapman were a writing duo.
And they were the best sketch writers around.
So I knew Graham, really, as a writer first of all.
I wrote with him in '66.
We wrote sketches for Frost.
Then we started writing sketches for the Frost program and then we wrote them for The '48 Show.
At Last the 1948 Show, which I was a great fan of.
And again, Graham was always the odd man out.
You couldn't see what he was doing.
It was funny, but it wasn't I could never put my finger on what made Graham funny.
When I actually think about it maybe I never met Graham, that's what my secret belief is.
I mean, he sort of came floating through our lives and he's not there anymore, so he may have just been a figment of all our imaginations.
He looked at first glance to be a sort of very professional man.
A doctor, which he was.
A medical student.
You know, tweed-wearing, hard-drinking medical man.
He did have a very special quality.
It was something so completely un-theatrical and un-camp.
A real look of the old sort of slightly distracted British hero to him.
He could do many, sort of, different characters but I suppose, above all, he played the sort of Colonel figure very well because I think his father was a police officer.
That's why Python worked best of all.
Because he could play very establishment figures.
And he played the Colonel extremely well.
"Very silly, extremely silly.
" You know, and yet you believed he was a colonel.
Now, I've noticed a tendency for this program to get rather silly.
Now, I do my best to keep things moving along.
But I'm not having things getting silly.
Those two last sketches I did got very silly indeed.
And that last one about the beds was even sillier.
Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do.
Except perhaps my wife and some of her friends.
Oh, yes.
And Captain Johnson.
Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do.
But that's beside the point.
Now, let's have a good, clean, healthy, outdoor sketch.
Get some air into your lungs.
Ten, nine, eight and all that.
This house is surrounded.
I'm afraid I must not ask anyone to leave the room.
No, I must ask nobody No, I must ask everybody to I must not ask anyone to leave the room No one must be asked by me to leave room.
No, no one must ask the room to leave I ask the room shall by someone be left.
Not.
Ask nobody the room somebody leave shall I.
Shall I leave the room? Everyone must leave the room as it is with them in it.
- Understand? - You don't want anybody to leave the room.
Now, "allduceme" to "intrallow" myself.
I'm sorry.
Excuse me a moment.
Allow me to introduce myself.
I must ask that no one leave the room.
Allow me to introduce myself.
I'm Inspector Tiger.
- Tiger? - Where? Where? In '69, we started writing Monty Python.
And that was a very good experience, because at the beginning we were suddenly doing things that were much more experimental and breaking lots of rules.
And sending up all the clichés of television.
I always say it was like moving into a new field.
Somebody opened a gate, you went in, there were all these flowers to pick.
As we continued, two things happened: One is that we picked the best flowers.
The other thing was that, by that time, Graham was drinking very heavily.
To the point where some afternoons he couldn't remember what we wrote in the morning.
He always blamed his medical training for his drinking.
That's where he learned to drink, he said, at the hospital.
He'd be at Bart's, and they would work very hard all day and the bar would be open till 3:00 every night.
This was the hospital.
Graham would go in there, and he'd just have enormous amounts of drink.
What was real and what wasn't was sometimes very hard to tell.
And how much of it was the booze that worked for or against him It got very confusing.
But when you see the results on film, you would never know any of this.
Good evening.
One of the most prolific of film producers of this age or indeed any age, is Sir Edward Ross.
Back in the country for the first time for five years to open a season of his works at the National Film Theatre.
And we are very fortunate to have him with us here in the studio this evening.
And we are very fortunate to have him with us here in the studio this evening.
- Good evening.
- Edward - You don't mind if I call you Edward? - Not at all.
It does worry people.
I don't know why.
Perhaps they're sensitive.
So I do take the precaution of asking on these occasions.
- No, no, no, that's fine.
- So Edward's all right.
Splendid.
- I'm sorry to have brought it up, only - No, no.
Edward it is.
Well, thank you very much indeed for being so helpful.
Only it's more than my job's worth to - Quite, yes.
- Makes it rather difficult to establish a rapport to put the other person at ease.
- Quite.
- Yes, silly little point but it does seem to matter.
Still, less said the better.
Ted, when you first started in the You don't mind if I call you Ted? No, no, no.
Everyone calls me Ted.
- It's shorter, isn't it? - Yes.
- Yes, and much less formal.
Splendid.
- Yes, Ted, Edward, anything.
Incidentally, call me Tom.
I don't want you playing around with any of this "Thomas" nonsense.
Now, where were we? - Oh, yes.
Eddie-baby, when you first - I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
I don't like being called Eddie-baby.
- I'm sorry? - I don't like being called Eddie-baby.
- Did I call you Eddie-baby? - Yes, you did.
Now get on with it.
- I don't think I did call you Eddie-baby.
- You did.
- Did I call him Eddie-baby? - Yes.
- No.
- No.
Didn't really call you Eddie-baby, did I, sweetie? - Don't call me a sweetie! - Can I call you sugarplum? - No! - Pussycat? - No.
- Angel-drawers? No, you may not! Now get on with it! - Frank? Can I call you Frank? - What? - Why Frank? - It's a nice name.
Robin Day's got a hedgehog called Frank.
- Now, Frank - What's going on? - Little Frannie, Frannie Knickers - No.
I'm leaving.
I'm leaving.
I'm off.
- Tell us about your film, Sir Edward.
- What? Tell us about your latest film if you'd be so kind, Sir Edward.
None of this "pussycat" nonsense.
Promise.
Please, Sir Edward.
- My latest film? - Yes, Sir Edward.
Well, the idea, funnily enough, came from an idea I had when I first joined the industry in 1919.
Of course, in those days, I was only a tea boy Oh, shut up.
The late Graham, you know, was always famous for being late.
That's why we called him "The late Graham Chapman.
" I picked Graham up at morning.
I was deputed because I lived near him, to pick him up to bring him in to the shows.
And I'd wait outside his house, and I'd blast the horn.
- Let him know I'm there.
- Michael would sit, fuming.
A window would open and say, "He'll be out in a minute!" Then we'd wait and another voice said: "He won't be long, he'll be right down.
" All these different heads would come and you'd be trying to imagine what on earth had been going on upstairs.
Eventually, Graham would turn up very apologetic but he'd just met some young person the night before who was from a very interesting part of the world.
But anyway, he smelled rather strange and I thought this smells like sort of vodka-flavoured toothpaste.
It was the most odd thing.
Later, he admitted to me that he couldn't start the day without a couple vodkas, and that was indeed vodka with toothpaste overlaid.
He was also a good stage performer if he remembered not to drink.
He could his wrestling, his solo wrestling was fantastic.
A five-round heavyweight contest.
Three falls, two submissions or a knockout to decide the winner.
Between, in the red corner, Colin "Bomber" Harris! And in the red corner, Colin "Bomber" Harris.
Here comes Bomber now.
Circling round, looking for an opening.
He's wrestled himself in the past.
So he knows practically all his own moves by now.
And he's going for the double handlock.
He's got it.
Here's the head squeeze.
And the Albanian headlock.
Going for the throw.
And he's got it.
Now he's working on that left leg, this is a weakness of his.
But he caught himself beautifully there with the flying Welshman.
Now it's the half nelson.
He can twist out of this.
He's twisted beautifully into the Finnish leglock.
But he didn't like that one little bit.
Referee's not interested, he's waving him on.
Bomber's angry now.
Bomber is really angry with himself now.
There's a forearm chop.
He's gone for the overhead nostril.
This is painful.
He caught himself beautifully.
A lovely move there.
Now he's going for the fall.
The shoulders have to be on the mat for three seconds.
No, he's twisting out of it, no problem here.
He's caught himself with the double overhead.
I don't think he can get out of this.
- One.
Two.
Three.
- One.
Two.
Three.
That's the first fall to Bomber.
Well, what a surprise there.
Bomber has to come back at himself pretty fast before he gets on top.
There's the forearm smash.
Hammer to the head.
He's groggy now, and there's the flying Welshman again, and another.
And a half Egyptian.
He's a little stunned, but he's got the half crab.
And this looks nasty.
This looks very nasty indeed.
I think Bomber's gonna make the ropes.
Is he gonna make the ropes? Yes, he made them.
I think he was a little lucky there.
He was in a tricky situation, He's gone straight to the neck pin! He's got a neck pin there.
He's in a little trouble, he twists out of it.
He looks And he's caught himself with forearm smashes and he's out.
- I think Bomber's out.
- The winner.
Yes, he's won! Yes, he's won! I have with me tonight, Anne Elk.
Mrs.
Anne Elk.
- Miss.
- You have a new theory about the brontosaurus.
Well, can I just say here, Chris, for one moment that I have a new theory about the brontosaurus.
Exactly.
What is it? Where? No, no.
Your new theory.
- Oh, what is my theory? - Yes.
Oh, what is my theory, that it is.
Well, Chris, you may well ask me what is my theory.
- I am asking.
- Good for you.
My word, yes.
Well, Chris, what is it, that it is, this theory of mine.
Well, this is what it is.
My theory that I have that is to say, which is mine, is mine.
Yes, now, I know it's yours.
What is it? Where? - Your theory.
- Oh, what is my? This is it.
My theory, that belongs to me, is as follows.
This is how it goes.
The next thing I'm going to say is my theory.
Ready? My Theory, by A.
Elk.
Brackets, Miss, brackets.
This theory goes as follows and begins now: All brontosauruses are thin at one end much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.
That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too.
That's it, is it? Spot on, Chris.
Well, this theory of yours appears to have hit the nail on the head.
- And it's mine.
- Yes.
Thank you very much for coming along to the studio.
- Thank you.
- My pleasure, Chris.
- Next week, Britain - It's been fun - Thank you very much.
saying what my theory is.
- Yes, thank you.
- And whose it is.
Yes, thank you.
That's all, thank you.
- Next week - I have another theory.
- Called my second theory.
- Thanks.
- Theory number two.
- Britain's new Which I could expound without doubt.
This second theory, which with the one that I said forms the brace of theories I own - I'm trying which belong to me - Nine and a half, wide fitting.
- Goes like this: - Nine and a half, wide fitting.
- Goes like this: Balleys of Bond Street.
What? - No, sort of brogue.
- This is what it is.
This is what it is.
- This is it.
- Eight and a half Graham was a doctor manqué.
I mean, he'd studied medicine, he was That's what he was gonna do.
It was a big decision for him when he decided between doing medicine and going into comedy.
Graham was very interesting because he had a very good mind.
I mean, I think he passed his medical exams, which are not easy.
He had quite a, sort of, knowledgeable, scientific side to him.
He took science very seriously.
Before we went to Tunisia to shoot Life Of Brian Graham took me into his room and showed me this huge suitcase he'd got of medicines.
I mean, it must have been thousands of pounds worth of medicine.
And I was sort of taken aback really.
And Graham said, "I'll look after everybody.
" Then, of course, when he actually got onto the When we got out to Tunisia, it was an absolute godsend.
And at the end of every day's filming, Graham would hold a surgery.
And there'd be queues of extras and our crew, camera crew and people queuing up for Dr.
Graham to see them.
And I think that was Graham fulfilling himself there.
I think you'll be all right to be in the open air.
So just some more pills then, I think, for the next 24 hours.
Then you should be fine.
David? - Want some more pills.
- Just a minute.
Yes, that's right.
- Four of those.
- Intense.
Sorry.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
He's a treasure.
- He is qualified, is he? - Oh, yes.
It was always Graham who would do sort of the the surprising and shocking things in you know, after filming.
I think the alcoholism probably gave him the courage to behave as badly as he did.
At BBC cocktail parties, he would crawl around on all fours.
People would not be aware of him till they'd find a strange sensation and Graham would be down there nibbling their ankles, you see.
Licking the woman's feet.
And, of course, her husband didn't know what How to deal with this thing.
Well, there was Graham.
I think he only ever behaved sort of properly and well once.
Which was when he met the Queen Mother.
When he was still a student at Bart's Hospital.
He actually asked the Queen Mother for advice about whether he should come to America with the rest of the crowd that had done Cambridge Circus.
The Queen Mother said, "Oh, you must go.
Yes, of course.
" So Graham was very happy about that.
My congratulations, Wilde.
Your latest play is a great success.
All of London's talking about you.
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.
Very, very witty.
Very, very witty.
There is only one thing in the world worse than being witty and that is not being witty.
I wish I had said that.
You will, Oscar, you will.
Your Majesty, have you met James McNeill Whistler? Yes, we play squash together.
There is only one thing worse than playing squash together and that is playing it by yourself.
- I wish I hadn't said that.
- You did, Oscar, you did.
Excuse me, I've got to get back up the palace.
Your Majesty is like a big jam doughnut with cream on the top.
I beg your pardon? - It was one of Whistler's.
- I never said that.
You did, James, you did.
Well, Your Highness, what I meant was like a doughnut, your arrival gives us pleasure and your departure only makes us hungrier for more.
Your Highness, you are also like a stream of bat's piss.
- What? - It was one of Wilde's.
- One of Wilde's.
- It sodding was not! It was Shaw! I merely meant, Your Majesty, that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.
Right.
Right? Your Majesty is like a dose of clap.
Before you arrive is pleasure and after is a pain in the dong.
- What? - One of Shaw's, one of Shaw's.
You bastards.
What I meant, Your Majesty, what I meant - We got him, Jim.
- Come on, Shaw-y.
- Come on, Shaw-y.
- I merely meant Come on, Shaw-y.
Let's have a bit of wit then, man.
Come on, Shaw-y.
Well, I didn't know a great deal about, sort of gays at that time.
Despite having been to a British public school where there were shirt-lifters.
When it turned out he was gay, I don't think anyone minded but we were very surprised.
Because, after all, he had put on this ultra-butch show.
He liked to resist stereotypes.
He didn't like to be the stereotype gay.
He hated people who were queen-y and fluffed around.
He hated all that.
I remember, we were on one of our tours.
We were in Scotland and David Bowie was staying in the same hotel.
He was on tour there.
And Graham just went attacking Bowie.
He hated him because, again, he thought he was playing at being gay.
And he wasn't.
And gay was And Graham was the real thing.
I remember him telling some people who didn't want to know in a pub in Oban, about the then Prime Minister Edward Heath was gay.
He stood in this Scottish pub where no one really knew the word gay, and said that he knew he was gay because he'd slept with him.
And there was a bit of "Well, thank you very much.
" So there were moments when it was kind of quite Quite a risky ride, being with Graham.
He was thrown out of a hotel in Germany for having too many men in his room.
There was this poor little German hausfrau running this sort of private little hotel was shocked to find all these men.
He ended up at this place called the Deutsche Eiche.
The German Oak.
Which was a hotel for dancers, and it was a pretty gay place.
And, of course, every morning, he'd come back with stories of his previous night's escapades which usually ended with a black eye or some horrible things.
After a while, I just I mean, it was all entertaining and I never wanted to dig too deep.
When we weren't filming anywhere, Graham would have a friend.
Quite amazing, you turn up doing a bit of filming in Littlehampton underneath the cliffs at Dover.
And we'd only been there about 20 minutes and we're all looking around, and then a guy with a motorbike comes up and parks and sit next to Graham.
Oh, Graham says, "Oh, this was This is thingy What is your name? This is Derek, this is John and these are the boys who are going to do some very silly things.
" And And that would be him sorted out for the day.
Enough of this gay banter.
And now, Mr.
Anchovy you asked us to advise you which job in life you were best suited for.
- That is correct.
- I have the results here of the interviews and the tests that you took last week.
From them, we've built up a pretty clear picture of the person you are.
And I think I can say, without fear of contradiction that the ideal job for you is chartered accountancy.
- But I am a chartered accountant.
- Jolly good.
- Well, back to the office with you then.
- No, no, no.
You don't understand.
I've been an accountant the last 20 years.
I want a new job.
Something exciting that will let me live.
Chartered accountancy is rather exciting, isn't it? No, it's not.
It's dull.
Dull.
Dull.
My God, it's dull.
It's so desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and desperately dull.
Well, yes, Mr.
Anchovy, but you see your report here says that you are an extremely dull person.
You see, our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful.
And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks in chartered accountancy, they are a positive boon.
Don't you see, I came here to find a new job.
A new life, a new meaning to my existence.
- Can't you help me? - Well, do you have any idea of what you want to do? - Yes, yes, I have.
- What? - Lion-taming! Yes.
Yes.
Of course, it's a bit of a jump isn't it? I mean, chartered accountancy to lion-taming in one go.
Might it be better if you worked your way towards lion-taming via banking? No, no, no.
I don't want to wait.
At 9:00 tomorrow I want to be in there taming.
At 9:00 tomorrow I want to be in there taming.
Fine, fine.
But do you? Do you have any qualifications? Yes, I've got a hat.
- A hat? - Yes, a hat.
A lion-taming hat.
A hat with "lion-tamer" on it.
I got it at Harrods.
And it lights up saying "lion-tamer" in great big neon letters so you tame them after dark when they're less stroppy.
I see.
You can switch it off during the daytime, claim wear and tear as allowable work expenses under paragraph Yes, yes, I do follow, Mr.
Anchovy, but you see the snag is if I now call Mr.
Chipperfield and say to him: "Look, I've got a 45-year-old chartered accountant with me who wants to become a lion-tamer," his first question is not going to be: "Does he have his own hat?" He's going to ask what sort of experience you've had with lions.
Well, I've seen them at the zoo.
- Good, good, good.
- Yes, brown furry things with short, stumpy legs and great long noses.
And these These lions, how high are they? Well, they're about so high, you know.
They don't frighten me at all.
Really.
And do these lions eat ants? Yes, that's right.
Well, Mr.
Anchovy, I'm afraid what you've got hold of there is an anteater.
- A what? - An anteater.
Not a lion.
You see, a lion is a huge, savage beast, about five feet high 10 feet long, weighing about 400 pounds running 40 miles an hour, with masses of sharp, pointed teeth and nasty, long razor-sharp claws that could rip your belly open before you can say Eric Robinson.
And they look like this: The 9:00 news which was to have followed has been cancelled so we can bring you the quarterfinals of the All Essex Badminton Championship.
Your commentator as usual is Edna O'Brien.
Hello, fans.
Begorra, and to be sure there's some fine badminton down here in Essex this afternoon.
We really - George.
- Yes, Gladys.
- A man at the door with a moustache.
- Tell him I already got one.
All right, all right.
What does he want then? He says do we want a documentary on molluscs.
- Molluscs? - Yes.
What does he mean, molluscs? Molluscs! Gastropods, lamellibranches, cephalopods! Oh, molluscs.
I thought you said bacon.
All right, all right, all right.
- What does he charge then? - It's free.
- Where does he want us to sit? - He says yes.
Good evening.
Tonight, molluscs.
The mollusc is a soft-bodied, unsegmented, invertebrate animal usually protected by a large shell.
One of the most numerous groups of invertebrates it is exceeded in number of species only by the arthropods.
Viz.
Not very interesting, is it? - What? - I was talking to him.
Anyway, the typical mollusc, viz, a snail consists of a prominent muscular portion the head-foot.
- Dreadful, isn't it? - What? - I was talking to him.
Well, anyway in some molluscs, however, viz, slugs the shell is absent or rudimentary.
- Switch him off.
Whereas in others, viz, cephalopods the head-foot is greatly modified and forms tentacles, viz, the squid.
- What are you doing? - Switching you off.
- Don't you like it? - Oh, it's dreadful.
- Embarrassing.
- Is it? Yes, it's perfectly awful.
I don't know how they got the nerve to put it on.
- It's so boring.
- Well, it's not much of a subject, is it? - Be fair.
- What do you think, George? - Well, give him another 20 seconds.
- All right.
The majority of molluscs are included in three large groups the gastropods, lamellibranches and the cephalopods.
- We know that.
- However, what is more interesting is the molluscs' sex life.
is the molluscs' sex life.
Yes, the mollusc is a randy little fellow whose primitive brain scarcely strays from the subject of you-know-what.
- Disgusting.
- Ought not to be allowed.
The randiest of the gastropods is the limpet.
This hot-blooded little beast with its tent-like shell is always on the job.
Its extramarital activities are something startling.
Frankly, I don't know how the female limpet finds time to adhere to the rock face.
- How am I doing? - Disgusting.
- But more interesting.
- Oh, yes.
Another loose-living gastropod is the periwinkle.
This shameless little libertine with its characteristic ventral locomotion is not the marrying kind.
"Anywhere, anytime" is its motto.
Up with the shell and they're at it.
- What about the lamellibranches? - I'm coming to them.
The great scallop.
This tatty, scrofulous old rapist is second in depravity only to the common clam.
This latter is a right whore, a harlot, a trollop, cynical bed-hopping, firm-breasted Rabelaisian bit of seafood that makes Fanny Hill look like a dead pope.
And finally, among the lamellibranches bivalves that most depraved of the whole sub-species: The whelk.
The whelk is nothing but a homosexual of the worst kind.
This gay boy of the gastropods this queer crustacean, this mincing mollusc this screaming, prancing, limp-wristed queen of the deep makes me sick.
- Have you got one? - Here! - Let's kill it.
- Yeah.
- Disgusting.
- Yeah, yeah.
That'll teach it.
Well, thank you for a very interesting program.
Oh, not at all.
Thank you.
- Yes, that was nice.
- Thank you.
Oh, thank you.
Working with Graham was as close to being alone as you could get.
He was, in a way, sort of quite a quiet man deep down.
And I think a lot of the drink was a way of sort of breaking through a rather quiet, respectable middle-class persona in which this mad sort of box of fireworks was sort of trapped.
And he was very happy to listen to you and come up with comments, but he wasn't pushy.
He wasn't selling himself at all.
He once came over to my house and I said to myself, " Right I'm not going to say anything until he starts.
" So he came and we were supposed to have a two-hour session and he came and we sat around and said: "Cup of coffee?" Serve a cup of coffee and we had a cup of coffee and "Shall we walk into the gardens?" So we sat in the gardens and two hours passed and then he left.
And I was like I understand that you want to marry my daughter.
That's right, yeah, yeah.
Yes, you realize, of course, that Rosamund is still rather young? Yes, you realize, of course, that Rosamund is still rather young? Daddy, you make me feel like a child.
Oh yeah, you know, get them when they're young, eh? Know what I mean? Well, I'm sure you know what I mean, Mr Shabby.
Ken Shabby.
Mr.
Shabby, I want to make sure you'll be able to look after my daughter.
Oh, yeah, yeah.
I'll be able to look after her all right, sport.
Know what I mean, eh? And what job do you do? I clean out public lavatories.
Is there a promotion involved? Oh, yeah, yeah.
After five years, they give me a brush.
I'm sorry, squire, I've gobbed on your carpet.
And where are you going to live? Well, around at my gran's.
She trains polecats.
Most of them have suffocated, so there should be spare room in the attic.
Know what I mean? I see.
And when do you expect to get married? Oh, right away, sport.
Right away, you know.
I haven't had it for weeks.
Well, look, I'll phone the bishop and see if we can get the abbey.
Oh, diarrhoea.
Good morning.
I'm sorry to have kept you waiting but I'm afraid my My walk has become rather sillier and so it takes me rather longer to get to work.
Now then, what was it again? Well, sir, I have a silly walk and I'd like to obtain a government grant to help me develop it.
I see.
May I see your silly walk? Yes, certainly, yes.
- That's it, is it? - Yes, that's it, yes.
It's not particularly silly, is it? The right leg isn't silly, and the left leg merely does a forward aerial half-turn every alternate step.
I think that with government backing, I could make it very silly.
Mr.
Pudey, the very real problem is one of money.
I'm afraid that the Ministry of Silly Walks is no longer getting the kind of support it needs.
You see, there's Defence, Social Security, Health, Housing Education, Silly Walks.
They're all supposed to get the same.
But last year, the government spent less on the Ministry of Silly Walks than it did on National Defence.
Now, we get £348 million a year which is supposed to be spent on all our available products.
- Coffee? - Yes, please.
Mrs.
Two-Lumps, would you bring us two coffees? Yes, Mr.
Teabag.
Out of her mind.
Now, the Japanese have a man who can bend his leg back over his head and back again with every single step.
While the Israelis have f Here's the coffee.
He was able to lob in strange, wonderful off-the-wall ideas that would suddenly give the piece that you were working on a completely different direction or some brand new idea that would suddenly land in the middle and explode with new possibilities.
Albatross! Albatross! - Albatross? - Two choc-ices, please.
I haven't got choc-ices.
I only got the albatross.
- Albatross! - What flavour is it? It's a bird, isn't it? It's a bloody sea bird.
It's not any bloody flavour.
It's a bloody sea bird.
It's not any bloody flavour.
Albatross! Do you get wafers with it? Course you don't get bloody wafers with it.
Albatross! These weird leaps that Graham provided were really essential to some of the things that, you know, developed.
It's like, you know, he dropped the pebble in the pond and the ripples would go out, and we all: And something would happen.
Oh, Pantomime Horse, that was wonderful.
Would you like another glass? No, no, I mustn't.
It makes me throw up.
Oh, I'm so bleeding happy.
- Simone.
- Oh, Pantomime Horse.
Then The English pantomime horse has nearly caught up with the Russian horse.
I think he's gonna take him now.
What is this? What is this? Yes, it's the pantomime Princess Margaret and the pantomime goose they're attacking the English pantomime horse.
The Russian horse got away.
Who is this? My goodness me, it's the Duke of Kent to the rescue Whereas John wrote the bulk of their output Graham would be the one who'd come in with the completely off-the-wall non sequitur.
You know, I mean, they might have thought of a parrot but I'm sure it was Gra who thought it should be a Norwegian Blue parrot.
Hello, I wish to register a complaint.
- Hello, miss? - What do you mean, miss? Oh, I'm sorry, I have a cold.
I wish to make a complaint.
- We're closing for lunch.
- Never mind that.
I wish to complain about this parrot I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Norwegian Blue.
What's wrong with it? I'll tell you what's wrong with it.
It's dead, that's what's wrong with it.
No, no, it's resting, look.
Look, my lad, I know a dead parrot when I see one and I'm looking at one right now.
- No, no sir.
It's not dead.
It's resting.
- Resting? Yeah, remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, beautiful plumage, isn't it? The plumage don't enter into it.
It's stone dead.
No, no, it's resting.
All right then, if it's resting, I'll wake it up.
Hello, Polly.
I've got a nice cuttlefish for you when you wake up, Polly Parrot.
- There, it moved.
- No, he didn't.
- That was you pushing the cage.
- I did not.
Yes, you did.
Hello, Polly.
Hello, Polly.
Polly! Polly Parrot, wake up.
Polly! Now, that's what I call a dead parrot.
That was episode two of The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Adapted for the radio by Bernard Hollowood and Brian London.
And now, Radio Four will explode.
- We'll have to watch the telly then.
- Yes.
Well, what's on the television then? Looks like a penguin.
No, no, no.
I didn't mean what's on the television set I meant what program.
It's funny, that penguin being there, isn't it? What's it doing there? - Standing.
- I can see that.
If it lays an egg it will fall down the back of the television set.
We'll have to watch that.
- Unless it's a male.
- I never thought of that.
Yes, looks fairly butch.
Perhaps it comes from next door.
Penguins don't come from next door, they come from the Antarctic.
Burma.
- Why did you say Burma? - I panicked.
Perhaps it's from the zoo.
- Which zoo? - How should I know which zoo? I'm not Dr.
Bloody Bernowski.
How does Dr.
Bernowski know which zoo it came from? - He knows everything.
- Oh, I wouldn't like that it'd take the mystery out of life.
Anyway, if it came from the zoo it'd have "Property of the zoo" stamped on it.
No, it wouldn't.
They don't stamp animals "Property of the zoo.
" You couldn't stamp a huge lion.
They stamp them when they're small.
What happens when they moult? - Lions don't moult.
- No, but penguins do.
There, I've run rings around you logically.
Oh, intercourse the penguin.
It's just gone 8:00 and time for the penguin on top of your television set to explode.
on top of your television set to explode.
How did he know that was going to happen? It was an inspired guess.
And now I think Graham came into his own when he was doing the leads in The Holy Grail as King Arthur.
And in The Life Of Brian as Brian.
At first it seemed like an odd idea, Graham being the lead in the films but it was It was really the only idea.
He was He had There was a solidity about him.
He knew that by playing Arthur and Brian as he did he was really holding up all the subsidiary performances in the film.
The best actor amongst us in terms of his breadth because he could do very zany, strange things but he could also do marvellous, strong characters.
He hated the sort of The "Look at me, I'm funny" kind of cliché, idea of the sort of The comic who liked his own jokes.
He had little time for celebrity kind of stardom kind of things and tantrums.
He was always very funny about it and mocked it.
I remember we were here in Hollywood once for The Life Of Brian.
There was a party for Life Of Brian, and it was at Graham's house and his mother and dad were there, and the Rolling Stones came over.
All the Stones were there and we were having cake and tea, a bit of drink and then they said, "Well, time to go now," and they threw out the Stones.
It was late, it was like 10:00, and they all And they all behaved very nicely.
"Sorry, Mum.
Yeah, okay, we're going now.
" - Morning, boys.
- Morning, Mr.
Saltzberg.
Sit down, sit down, sit down.
Boys, I want you to know I think you're the best six writers in movies today.
I want you to know I've had an idea for the next movie I'm gonna produce and I want you boys to write it.
Oh, sit down! Sit down! Sit down! There'll be plenty of time for that later on.
Now, here's my idea - It's great.
- You like it, huh? - Yeah, great! - Really great.
- Terrific.
- Yeah.
- Do you like it? - Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
What do you like best about it? - You haven't told us what it is yet.
- What? - I like what he likes.
- What do you like? - What he likes.
- What he likes.
- I like what he likes.
- Crazy about what he likes.
- What do you like about it? - I agree with them.
Good.
Now we're getting somewhere.
Now, here's the start of the movie.
I see snow.
- White snow.
- Think of the colours.
And in the snow, I see a tree.
- Yes.
- Wait, wait I haven't finished yet.
- Yes.
- Wait, wait I haven't finished yet.
- There's more? - And by this tree, gentlemen I see a dog.
- Olé! And, gentlemen, this dog goes up to the tree and he piddles on it.
Hallelujah! Sir, I don't know how to say this, but I've got to be perfectly frank.
I really and truly believe this story of yours is the greatest story in motion-picture history.
Get out! If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a yes man! Get out! I'll see you never work again! - What do you think? - Well, I Just because I have an idea doesn't mean it's great.
It could be lousy.
- It could? - Yeah.
- What do you think? - It's lousy.
You see, he spoke his mind.
He said my idea was lousy.
Just so happens my idea isn't lousy so get out, you goddamn pinko subversive, get out! You! - Well, I think it's an excellent idea.
- Are you a yes man? No, no, no, I mean there may be things against it.
- You think it's lousy, huh? - No, no, I mean, it takes time.
- Are you being indecisive? - "Yo.
" "Nes.
" Perhaps.
You! Has he had a heart attack? If there's a thing I can't stand, it's people who have heart attacks! - I feel fine now.
- Well, what do you think? - Didn't ask me, you asked him.
- Didn't ask me, you asked him.
- Him.
- I've changed my mind.
I'm asking you, the one in the middle.
- The one in the middle? - Yes, the one in the middle.
Hello? Yes, Dimitri.
No, it's all right.
Go on, it's all right.
- What the hell are you doing? - I'm thinking.
Get back in those seats immediately! Yes, sure, sure, sure.
Right! You! The one in the middle, what do you think? - Come on! - Splunge! - Did he say "splunge"? - Yep.
What does "splunge" mean? It means it's a great idea, but possibly not.
- And I'm not being indecisive.
- Good! Right! What do you think? - Splunge? - Okay? Yeah, yeah.
Splunge for me too, yeah.
So all three of you think splunge? - Yes.
- Well, now we're getting somewhere.
No, wait.
A new angle.
In the snow, instead of the tree, I see Rock Hudson.
And instead of the dog, I see Doris Day.
And, gentlemen, Doris Day goes up to Rock Hudson and she kisses him.
It's a love story.
Intercourse Italian style.
David Hemmings as a hippie Gestapo officer.
Frontal nudity.
A family picture.
A comedy.
And then when Doris Day's kissed Rock Hudson she says something funny, like? Good evening? Doris Day's a comedienne, not a newsreader.
Get out! She says something funny, like? - Splunge? - That's the stupidest idea I ever heard.
Get out! Doris Dog kisses Rock Tree and she says? - I can't take it anymore! - I like that! I like that.
The characters he did in Python were just fantastic.
I mean, they just seemed to be so solid, so believable.
Gra was almost, sort of like, he did comedy like he did medicine.
It was like he was observing a sort of certain strange situation and looking into it, and yet he could be serious when you absolutely had to be serious, better than anyone I know.
But he was capable of being very, very silly.
I mean, every time he played Mrs.
Premise or Mrs.
Conclusion you know, those squawking housewives I mean, he was hysterical, and he used to get sillier and sillier.
So he could do it all.
Hello, Mrs.
Premise.
Hello, Mrs.
Conclusion.
- Busy day? - Busy? I've just spent four hours burying the cat.
Four hours to bury a cat? Yes, it wouldn't keep still, wriggling howling its head off.
- Oh, it wasn't dead then? Well, no, no, but it's not at all a well cat.
So as we were going away for a fortnight's holiday I thought I'd better bury it to be on the safe side.
Quite right.
You don't want to come back from Sorrento to a dead cat.
It'd be so anticlimactic.
- Yes, kill it now, that's what I say.
- Yes.
We're going to have to have our budgie put down.
Really? Is it very old? No.
We just don't like it.
We're going to take it to the vet tomorrow.
Tell me, how do they put budgies down then? Funny you should ask that, I've just been reading a great big book about how to put your budgie down and apparently you can either hit them with a book or you can shoot them just there, just above the beak.
- Just there? - Yes.
Well, well, well.
Of course, Mrs.
Essence flushed hers down the loo.
No, you shouldn't do that.
No, that's dangerous.
Yes, they breed in the sewers.
Yes, eventually you get evil-smelling flocks of huge, soiled budgies flying out of people's lavatories, infringing their personal freedom.
Good morning, Mrs.
Cut-out.
Morning, Mrs.
Cut-out.
- Morning.
- Morning.
- What you got, then? - Well, there's egg and bacon.
Egg, sausage and bacon.
Egg and Spam.
Egg, bacon and Spam.
Egg, bacon, sausage and Spam.
Spam, bacon, sausage and Spam.
Spam, egg, Spam, Spam, bacon and Spam.
Spam, Spam, Spam, egg and Spam.
Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam baked beans, Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam.
Or Lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce garnished with truffle pâte brandy and with a fried egg on top and Spam.
Have you got anything without Spam in it? Well, there's Spam, egg, sausage and Spam that's not got much Spam in it.
I don't want any Spam.
Why can't she have egg, bacon, Spam and sausage? That's got Spam in it.
Not as much as Spam, egg, sausage and Spam.
Look, could I have egg, bacon, Spam and sausage without the Spam.
What do you mean? I don't like Spam.
Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam Smamety Spam, wonderful Spam Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! You can't have egg, bacon, Spam and sausage without the Spam.
Why not? It wouldn't be egg, bacon, Spam and sausage.
I don't like Spam! Don't make a fuss, dear.
I'll have your Spam.
I love it.
I'm having Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam There's a great deal of wisdom there.
He was a wise, very intelligent man and he liked to give advice, he liked to impart whatever sort of experience he'd learned over years in the biz.
And he did that very generously.
Graham was very complex, I think.
I don't think I don't feel I ever knew him, really.
There were too many layers.
He was many things and that's what was, I suppose, his strength and his weakness.
I actually was at the hospital the night The night he died.
That was my last memory, which is not a particularly happy memory but I was glad I was there.
The most wonderful memorial service held at Bart's that I've ever been to.
It's extraordinary because there was such a sense of camaraderie there that nobody had to watch carefully what they were saying: "Should I be saying that?" The result was people were funny but the emotion, the sense of loss about him, was flowing.
My lasting memory of Graham, I think we were in It was Torquay.
Torquay? Could have been Torquay.
Somewhere south we were filming, I remember sitting in this room at the hotel, this huge dining room.
Graham was talking about his date for the evening.
He'd met somebody the night before, and he was really anticipating it.
We were all talking about it, we were all you know, intrigued what Graham was up to.
And then the call came.
"The guy's at the door.
" So Graham gets up and goes and there's a long pause and, "Where is? And so the door opens and: And it's a guy in a wheelchair.
He had found a paraplegic.
The reality was, I think he had got the wrong number and the guy he was after wasn't that, but as a gentleman he went out on that date and I'm sure they had a good evening.
I mean, he really was completely mad and off-the-wall in this very sort of serious stiff-upper-lip, British pipe-smoking way.
He was the last person you thought was a loony but he was, bless him.
- Yes, sir? - I'd like to have an argument, please.
Certainly, sir.
Have you been here before? - No, this is my first time.
- I see.
Do you want to have the full argument or were you thinking of taking a course? Well, what would be the cost? Yes, it's £1 for a five-minute argument but only £8 for a course of 10.
I think it's best if I start with one and see how it goes from there.
Fine.
I'll see who's free at the moment.
Mr.
Du-Bakey's free, but he's a little bit conciliatory.
Yes, try Mr.
Barnard.
Room 12.
Thank you.
What do you want? - I was told outside - Don't give me that you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings! - What? - Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type makes me puke! You vacuous, toffee-nosed malodorous pervert! You vacuous, toffee-nosed malodorous pervert! Look! I came in here for an argument.
Oh, I'm sorry, this is abuse.
Oh, I see, that explains it.
Yes.
No, you want 12 A, next door.
I see.
Sorry.
Not at all.
No, that's all right.
Stupid git.
I wanted to listen to that.