Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus - 1972 German Special This 40-minute episode was, I belie

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus - 1972 German Special ====================================================== This 40-minute episode was, I believe, one of two made specially for German television. The captions etc. are in German, but almost all dialogue is in English (it may of course have been dubbed into German when originally transmitted). The Philosophers' football match and Wrestling sketches both appear in Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and a shorter version of Happy Valley is on the Previous Record, but the remaining material is, to the best of my knowledge, `new'. The commentary [in square brackets] and some character designations are mine; the rest is a direct transcription from a recording of the episode as shown on BBC2 in the U.K. in 1993(?). Mr and Mrs and Mrs Zambesi --oOo-- [A woodland scene. To a background of Rossini's "William Tell Overture" we see William Tell (Graham) preparing to shoot an arrow, and his son's head in close-up bearing an apple. Others look on anxiously, tension mounts; the arrow is fired and pierces the apple; the onlookers cheer. Then a wider camera shot reveals the boy riddled with many previous arrows.] [Camera pans over a city, then zooms in on three smartly dressed men.] Reporter (John) Arthur Schmidt, top international economist, government adviser on tariff control, lecturer at Hamburg University, author of the Schmidt Plan for Transport Subsidies, simply can't resist a bit on the side. [Schmidt (Eric) lunges away from the others and chases a young woman.] Half a chance, and he's away. [Shot of another businessman.] Norbert Schultz, chairman of thirty-two companies and a brilliant fiscal theoretician, but one glimpse of a bit of tail and you can forget it. [Schultz (Michael) chases a woman.] You might not see him for weeks. [Two men talking in a stair well, while a woman passes.] Professor Thomas Woitkewitsch lectures on Business Studies at the Wurtemburg Institute. Son of the famous industrialist, he's always slipping into someone. Blonde or brunette, if it goes he'll chase it [Woitkewitsch (Eric) follows her, undoing his trousers.] [A committee room.] These six men have just produced a controversial report for the Iron and Steel Advisory Committee of the Common Market Secretariat, the most vital decision making body in European politics today. [A tea lady enters; all six jump her.] They're always at it. Bang, bang, bang. They're worse than rabbits. [Various shots of buildings, the City etc.] Here in Brussels, headquarters of the Common Market, prices have soared. It now costs ten pounds for half an hour at her flat, and up to twenty pounds for a hotel room with trapeze. In Rome, agricultural experts have spent nearly three weeks having a good time with some ladies, and it's rumoured that when the International Monetary Fund meets next week in London, it'll be pants down and on with the job. Why are so many of these top financial experts so keen to get into bed with young girls, to rub themselves up against bare skin, to put their tongues into other people's mouths, to put their fingers in tight brassieres and to bury their faces in handfuls of underwear? We asked a sociologist. Sociologist (Graham) [dressed very strangely, holding a goat] They're probably just confused. Reporter [to camera] What exactly is it that makes them want to go to bed with these people, and do these apparently irrational things to them? Is it for tax concessions? Is it allowable expenditure against half-yearly profits? Is it something to do with central heating? Do they eat too much citrus fruit? Whatever the reason, in the light of this, should the Common Market now be cancelled? Has it become just a thin excuse for a multi-national orgy, or is it still a serious attempt to aid the rich? And will tariff cuts bring more trade, or just a higher birth rate? Even as I speak to you now, in this famous Munich bank behind me, there are some people who, seventeen or eighteen times a night... [A car screeches to a halt, knocking him over out of shot.] [Animated title sequence: "Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus".] [A discussion program - caption "Schleimer" {Slimes}; a presenter sits between two guests.] Presenter (Eric) Good evening. Tonight, sycophancy. Thromby (Michael) What a super title! Presenter Shh! With me tonight is the well-known Bristol sycophant, Mr Norman Thromby. Thromby Hallo everyone, wherever you are, thanks a million for looking in. Presenter And a man from Glamorgan who is not a sycophant. Man (Graham) Hallo. Nice to be here. Presenter I thought you weren't a sycophant. Thromby That's right, you tell him Mr chairman, you just tell him. Man I'm not a sycophant! But I do try to be polite to people. Thromby Ooh, sounds a bit creepy to me, doesn't it. Man It's not creepy! Reporter [Appearing from left, bandaged.] This famous TV personality has it off... [He is dragged off camera.] Presenter Well I think we'll come back on this point in a few minutes. Thromby Oh yes, by far the best idea. Absolutely right, absoloutely right again. Presenter First of all, let's see some sycophants on film. [Stock film of seals on a rocky shore.] Voice-Over (Terry J) The sycophants are one of the largest of marine carnivores. Their soft, furry underbellies made them a favourite target for hunters. Now, on this island, the sycophants come to breed every summer, protected by law. But they're not the only breed which has been saved by a small body of men determined to preserve the dying species of the world. [Shots of wooded mountain scenery.] Here, in his four thousand acre nature reserve in Southern Bavaria, Frank Tutankhamun has dedicated his life to preserving mice. We spoke to his nearby neighbour, Mrs Betty Weiss. Mrs Weiss [a Germanic pepperpot] Hallo. Voice-Over Hallo. Mr Tutankhamun claims that his eight white mice roam in these mountains and hills. Tutankhamun (Terry J) Well, there's one over there, there's two of the little fellows on this plateau here, and I think "Old Squeaky" is up on that mountain there. Voice-Over Many wildlife preservationists have questioned the need for preserving eight mice on these four thousand acres, when there are over sixty million of them in nearby Stuttgart alone. Presenter [back in studio] Just be another few minutes. Voice-Over [A Land Rover drives along a country track.] But Mr Tutankhamun is undaunted by criticism, and has recently opened a National Fish Park - six hundred acres of pasture and woodland, [we can see dead fish suspended from trees] where cod and herring can wander freely. Visitors can drive through the reserve and look at the fish [a passenger in the Land Rover takes a photo] - provided of course they don't leave their cars. The fish wardens work hard, [a man in scuba gear steps out of undergrowth near a "FISCHPARK" sign] but so far this year the Fish Park has only had six visitors, less than most other zoos; indeed, less than most private houses. We asked the Peruvian Minister of Pensions why this was. Minister (Eric) [In a yucca-laden office. Caption "PERUANISCHER PENSIONSMINISTER".] Er, well... I suppose it may be... [caption "LIVE AUS LIMA"] er... because... Voice-Over He hadn't a clue. But it's mice that are the big business here. [Three cowboys (mouseboys) ride out of "BIG PIEPS RANCH".] And every Monday, Frank Tutankhamun rides out to count his herd. He takes with him three of his most tough and hardened mouseboys. This is mouse country, where a man can ride for days and days without seeing his aunty. But, suddenly they're in luck. Frank has spotted a mouse and the chase is on. [One of the mouseboys (Terry G) throws a lasso. We see a lassoed mouse. The mouseboy is pulled from his horse by the rope.] If it's a mouse Frank hasn't seen before, it's taken back to the ranch, broken in by a mouseboy, and branded with a big "S". [Two mouseboys hold down a mouse. A third approaches with a brand, obviously several times the size of the mouse, and applies it.] [Exterior of "DER SCHNUCKELIGE PLUESCHTIER SALOON" {The Cute Cuddly Toy Saloon}; honky-tonk piano music. A mouseboy is ejected, dusts himself down, takes a saddle from the rail, places it over one of three tethered mice and straddles it. He looks up; we hear a thunder of hooves (paws?) approaching. He runs back into the saloon.] Mouseboy (Terry J) Hey, mouseboys! There's a mouse stampede! [All run out side and stare in horror.] [Animation of mouse stampede.] Voice-Over Whilst the mouse herds trample their way south, up in the hills there are solitary men seeking the even greater rewards that lie in these mountains. [A prospector examines the contents of his pan.] The single magic word that has tantalised man since the dawn of history: "Chickens!" [We see the delighted face of the prospector, then the pan in which a live chicken now sits.] Gabby has spent fifty years panning for chicken. He, like many other prospectors, remembers the Great Chicken Rush of '49, when this whole river ran with chickens. [Gabby is dancing and cheering.] Then they were defeated by primitive methods. [Interior shot of mine workings.] Now they are defeated by progress. Miner (Michael) Chicken bones! We've struck chickens! [A geologist stands in front of a diagram showing geological strata, titled "HUEHNERMINEN von NORD-DAKOTA" {Chicken Mines of North Dakota}.] Geologist (John) [with a strange voice and manner] Die Huehnerminen von Nord-Dakota... [He runs away, chased by two men in white coats pushing a dustbin on wheels.] Second geologist (Michael) I'm sorry. The big chicken mines of North Dakota are located in this particular geological strata. As you can see, volcanic activity has caused these igneous rocks to expand up through the alluvial shales revealing these rich veins of chicken here. [The first geologist runs past, chased by the two men in white coats.] Voice-Over [Shot of pit-head.] The men who mine these chickens work at the chicken face for long and hard hours, [five miners emerge, covered in feathers] in appallingly noisy conditions, sometimes going for weeks without seeing their aunties. [Gilliam picture of oil wells.] Nowadays, every possible means is being used to tap the world's hen resources. [Oil gushes from a well; chickens rain from the sky.] [Gabby enters assay office and takes chicken from box.] Gabby (Terry G) Here y'are, pure chicken, from up the creek. [Assayer weighs chicken and examines it with magnifying glass.] Assayer (Graham) I'm sorry, Gabby, that ain't no chicken at all. Gabby What?! Assayer It's a fake, Gabby. Voice-Over Yes, the first forged chickens had appeared. Expert (Michael) [Describing a sequence of sepia montages.] This Rhode Island Red was a cleverly reconstructed rabbit. This Suffolk bantam was a hollowed-out eagle, stuffed with lizards and badgers. This Kentish poullet turned out to be a Mr S.P. Stebbins. This herd of broilers was made out of a single camel. A most interesting development, but not nearly as interesting as this man, [Pull out to a Gilliam cartoon face.] who makes his living... Face Get out of here, I'm busy. Expert Oh, sorry. [Animation continues.] Yes, Heinrich Bonner is a professional flea-buster, capturing, breaking and training wild fleas for Europe's leading flea circuses. This year, he's also one of Germany's big hopes in the Olympic three-day flea dressage event, and looks a sure bet to come away with a medal. Good luck, Heinrich! [Aerial view of Muenchen Olympic stadium.] Football Commentator (Michael) Good afternoon, and welcome to a packed Olympic stadium, Muenchen [caption "INTERNATIONALE PHILOSOPHIE - Rueckspiel" {International Philospohy - Return match}] for the second leg of this exciting final. [German philosophers jog out of the dressing room.] And here come the Germans now, led by their skipper, "Nobby" Hegel. They must surely start favourites this afternoon; they've certainly attracted the most attention from the press with their team problems. And let's now see their line-up. [Caption "DEUTSCHLAND" {Germany} "1 LEIBNITZ 2 I. KANT 3 HEGEL 4 SCHOPENHAUER 5 SCHELLING 6 BECKENBAUER 7 JASPERS 8 SCHLEGEL 9 WITTGENSTEIN 10 NIETZSCHE 11 HEIDEGGER"] [High shot of Germans jogging onto pitch.] The Germans playing 4-2-4, Leibnitz in goal, back four Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Schelling, front-runners Schlegel, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche and Heidegger, and the mid-field duo of Beckenbauer and Jaspers. Beckenbauer obviously a bit of a surprise there. [Greek philosophers, all in togas, jog from the dressing room.] And here come the Greeks, led out by their veteran centre-half, Heraclitus. [Caption "GRIECHENLAND" {Greece} "1 PLATO 2 EPIKTET 3 ARISTOTELES 4 SOPHOKLES 5 EMPEDOKLES VON ACRAGA 6 PLOTIN 7 EPIKUR 8 HERAKLIT 9 DEMOKRIT 10 SOKRATES 11 ARCHIMEDES"] [High shot of Greeks jogging onto pitch, kicking balls about etc.] Let's look at their team. As you'd expect, it's a much more defensive line-up. Plato's in goal, Socrates a front- runner there, and Aristotle as sweeper, Aristotle very much the man in form. One surprise is the inclusion of Archimedes. [An oriental referee, holding a large sandglass, walks down the centre line, flanked by two linesmen with haloes.] Well here comes the referee, Kung Fu Tsu Confucius, and his two linesmen, St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. [Referee spots the ball and the captains shake hands.] And as the two skippers come together to shake hands, we're ready for the start of this very exciting final. The referee Mr Confucius checks his sand and... [referee blows his whistle] they're off! [The Germans immediately turn away from the ball, hands on chins in deep contemplation.] Nietzsche and Hegel there. Karl Jaspers number seven on the outside, Wittgenstein there with him. There's Beckenbauer. Schelling's in there, Heidegger covering. Schopenhauer. [Pan to the other end, the Greeks also thinking deeply, occasionally gesticulating.] And now it's the Greeks, Epicurus, Plotinus number six. Aristotle. Empedocles of Acragus and Democratus with him. There's Archimedes. Socrates, there he is, Socrates. Socrates there, going through. [The camera follows Socrates past the ball, still on the centre spot.] There's the ball! There's the ball. And Nietzsche there. Nietzsche, number ten in this German side. [Caption "DEUTSCHLAND - GRIECHENLAND 0 : 0"] Kant moving up on the outside. Schlegel's on the left, the Germans moving very well in these opening moments. Anchorman (John) [in the studio] Well, there you are. And we'll be returning to the match some time in the second half, but right now it's time for wrestling. [Cut to a wrestling ring containing a Master of Ceremonies.] Emcee (Michael) A five round heavyweight contest, three falls, two submissions or a knock-out to decide the winner, between, in the red corner, Colin "Bomber" Harris [Bomber (Graham) climbs into the ring] and, in the red corner, Colin "Bomber" Harris. [The bell rings. Graham begins his stunningly beautiful, but mainly visual, self-wrestling routine.] Wrestling Commentator (John) Here comes Bomber now, circling round, looking for an opening. He's wrestled himself many times in the past, this boy, so he knows practically all his own moves by now. And he's going for the double hand lock. He's got it. Here's the head squeeze. And the Albanian head lock. He's going for the throw. He's got the throw. And now he's working on the left leg, this is an old weakness of his. Oh, but he caught himself beautifully there, with the, er, the flying Welshman, and now it's the half Nelson. And he can twist out of this. And he's twisted beautifully into the Finnish leg lock. But he didn't like that! He did not like that one little bit. But the referee's not interested, he's waving him on, and Bomber's angry now. Bomber is really angry with himself now. And there's a forearm chop and he's gone for the double overhead nostril. Now this is painful, but he caught himself beautifully, a really 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 that, no problem here. Oh, but he's caught himself beautifully there, with the double overhead. He's got the double overhead on, I don't think he can get out of this. Referee (Terry J) [echoed by commentator] One!... Two!... Three! Wrestling Commentator And that's the first fall to Bomber. Well, what a surprise there. I think Bomber will have to come back at himself pretty fast now, before he gets on top. And there's the forearm smash, and the hammer to the head and he's groggy now, and there's the flying Welshman again, and another flying Welshman. And a half-Egyptian. And he's a little stunned there, but he's got the half-crab, and he's got the half-crab, and this looks very nasty. This looks very nasty indeed. But I think Bomber's going to make the ropes. Is he going to make the ropes? [Bomber inches across and touches the rope.] Yes, he made them. Well, I think he was a little lucky there, he was in a tricky situation, and he's gone straight into the neck pin, he's got a neck pin there. He's in a little trouble, he twists out of it. He looks groggy, and he's caught himself with two beautiful forearm smashes and he's out. I think Bomber's out! Referee [raising the arm of the inert Bomber] The winner! Wrestling Commentator Yes, he's won. He has won. Anchorman Well what a match. And he'll be going on next week to meet himself in the final. Well right now we're going back to the Olympic stadium for the closing minutes of the Philosophy Final, and I understand that there's still no score. [On the pitch, a German is remonstrating with the referee.] Football Commentator Well there may be no score, but there's certainly no lack of excitement here. As you can see, Nietzsche has just been booked for arguing with the referee. He accused Confucius of having no free will, and Confucius he say, "Name go in book". And this is Nietzsche's third booking in four games. [We see a bearded figure in a track-suit is warming up on the touch-line.] And who's that? It's Karl Marx, Karl Marx is warming up. It looks as though there's going to be a substitution in the German side. [Marx removes the track-suit, under which he is wearing a suit.] Obviously the manager Martin Luther has decided on all- out attack, as indeed he must with only two minutes of the match to go. And the big question is, who is he going to replace, who's going to come off. It could be Jaspers, Hegel or Schopenhauer, but it's Wittgenstein! Wittgenstein, who saw his aunty only last week, and here's Marx. [Marx begins some energetic knees-up running about.] Let's see it he can put some life into this German attack. [The referee blows his whistle; Marx stops and begins contemplating like the rest.] Evidently not. What a shame. Well now, with just over a minute left, a replay on Tuesday looks absolutely vital. There's Archimedes, and I think he's had an idea. Archimedes (John) Eureka! [He runs towards the ball and kicks it.] Football Commentator Archimedes out to Socrates, Socrates back to Archimedes, Archimedes out to Heraclitus, he beats Hegel [who, like all the Germans, is still thinking]. Heraclitus a little flick, here he comes on the far post, Socrates is there, Socrates heads it in! Socrates has scored! The Greeks are going mad, the Greeks are going mad. Socrates scores, got a beautiful cross from Archimedes. The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside. But Confucius has answered them with the final whistle! It's all over! Germany, having trounced England's famous midfield trio of Bentham, Locke and Hobbes in the semi-final, have been beaten by the odd goal, and let's see it again. [Replay viewed from behind the goal.] There it is, Socrates, Socrates heads in and Leibnitz doesn't have a chance. And just look at those delighted Greeks. [The Greeks jog delightedly, holding a cup aloft.] There they are, "Chopper" Sophocles, Empedocles of Acragus, what a game he had. And Epicurus is there, and Socrates the captain who scored what was probably the most important goal of his career. [Aerial view of stadium; segue into Gilliam animation] Presenter And now for ten seconds of sex. [Totally blank screen for ten seconds; sound of clock ticking.] Presenter Okay, you can stop now. Reporter Why do they go on about it? Isn't there anything else of interest to these people? [A customer enters an optician/hearing aid shop.] Customer (Eric) Good evening. I'm interested in buying a hearing aid. Rogers (John) I'm sorry? Customer I'm interested in buying a hearing aid. Rogers I didn't quite catch it. Customer I want to buy a hearing aid. Rogers Ah, um, er, hang on just one moment sir, I'll just switch the radio off. [He switches it on; music blares forth.] Right, now what was it again? Customer What? Rogers What was it again? Customer I can't hear. Rogers What? Customer The radio's too loud. Rogers Yes, very nice, isn't it. [The customer turns off the radio.] Customer I'm sorry, I couldn't hear, the radio was too loud. Rogers Ah. Pardon? I'm sorry, I don't think my hearing aid's working properly. I've only had it a couple of days. Hang on. [He takes it from his pocket and adjusts it.] Yes, there we are, it's working now. Customer Is it good? About fourteen pounds. Customer Yes, but is it good? Rogers No, no, it fits in the pocket here. Customer Can you hear me? Rogers What? Customer [louder] Can you hear me? Rogers Oh! Contact lenses! Customer What? Rogers You want contact lenses. Customer No. Rogers Oh, well I'll get Dr Waring then, he does contact lenses. I only do the hearing aids. [Waring emerges through a curtain from a back room and bumps into a display case.] Waring (Michael) [to Rogers] Ah, good morning sir, you want some contact lenses do you? Rogers What? Waring You want some contact lenses, do you? Rogers Er, I can't hear what you're saying, Dr Waring. Waring I think you need a hearing aid, not contact lenses. Customer No, I want the hearing aid. Waring Who said that? Is there someone else in here? Rogers What? Waring I think there's someone else in here. Customer Yes. it's me. [He waves his hand.] Here. Waring Ah! You wanted the contact lenses did you? Customer No, I want a hearing aid. Waring Ah, Mr Rogers will see to you about that. [calling] Someone to see you, Mr Rogers. He'll be down in a minute. [to Rogers] Now, you wanted the contact lenses, did you, sir? Would you come this way, please. Rogers Er, What? Waring This way, please. Rogers Er, I don't understand, Dr Waring. Waring Just in here. [Waring guides him through into the back room. After a pause they both emerge.] Waring Why didn't you say you were Rogers? You know my lenses play me up sometimes. Rogers What? Waring [to empty space] Ah, I do apologise most sincerely for the inconvenience, sir. Now, you wanted the contact lenses, did you? Customer No, I wanted a hearing aid. Waring Mr Rogers will deal with you, sir. I'm dealing with this gentleman here. [to empty space] Now would you like to come this way, sir, we'll try the contact lenses. Come on sir. [He guides an invisible customer into the back room.] Customer Now, Dr Rogers, I want a hearing aid. Rogers Pardon? I'm sorry, look, I'm worried about Dr Waring. I think he thinks he's with someone. Waring [from back room] Hallo! Hallo! Customer Well, had you better go and tell him? Rogers No, no, I'd better go and tell him. [He goes to the back room.] Er, Dr Waring! Waring Ah, there you are. I thought I'd lost you. Rogers Er, no, no. Dr Waring, you're not with anybody. Waring Well, who's that talking to me then. Don't be silly, sit down. Rogers What? [Waring takes him into the back room. After a moment they emerge.] Waring Why didn't you say you were Rogers? Rogers [looking at his watch] About quarter to six. Waring Ah, sorry. [to empty space] Now then you wanted the contact lenses, did you sir? Customer No, I wanted a hearing aid! Waring Ah. [He turns through three quarters of a circle towards the customer.] So you must be the gentleman who wanted the contact lenses? Customer No, I want a hearing aid. Waring Ah, er, Mr Rogers! Two gentlemen here would like hearing aids! Rogers What? I can't hear you, Dr Waring, I think it must be my hearing aid. Hang on a moment. [He adjusts it.] Aaaah! Too loud, it hurts! [He hits the side of his head repeatedly.] Ah, that's better. Wait a moment, I've knocked my contacts out. [He begins searching on the floor. An angry man storms in and addresses a display stand next to the customer.] Complainant (Terry J) I've come to complain about my contact lenses! Rogers What? Complainant I've come to complain about my contact lenses! They're terrible. They've ruined my eyesight. Waring But I haven't given you any. Complainant You're a liar! Rogers What? Complainant You swindler! You money-grabbing quack, sir! Waring Don't talk to me like that! Complainant I'll talk to you any way I... [He knocks the display stand]. Oh, fisticuffs! Right! Oh! [He punches the display stand and throws it to the floor. Waring attacks a seat amid much shouting. The complainant is meanwhile wrestling the display stand out of the door.] Waring Oh! To big for you eh? Ah! Break up my shop, would you? [He steps back, trips over Rogers and grabs him.] I've got him! Rogers Help! Help! I'm being attacked! Help me, Dr Waring, I'm being attacked. [They grapple with each other.] Waring It's all right, Rogers, I've got him. Rogers Quick, I've got him! Grab his arms. Waring I can't, he's got me round the waist. Never mind, get him to the door, we'll throw him out. Rogers I'm going to throw him out! Waring Attack Mr Rogers, would you? Well, we're more than a match for you. Rogers Help, he's got me by the throat! Waring Go ahead, I've got him by the throat. Rogers We're by the door. Waring Let's throw him out. One! Rogers and Waring together Two! Three! [They throw each other out of the door.] Customer [to camera] You should see them when they've had a couple of drinks. [He takes out a cigar and brandishes it in Groucho Marx fashion.] Goodnight, folks. Just a fairy tale. Storyteller (John) Once upon a time, long, long ago, there lay in a valley far, far away in the mountains the most contented kingdom the world has ever known. It was called Happy Valley, and it was ruled over by a wise old king called Otto. And all his subjects flourished and were happy, and there were no discontents or grumblers, because wise King Otto had had them all put to death, along with the trade union leaders, many years before. And all the happy folk of Happy Valley sang and danced all day long, and anyone who was for any reason miserable or unhappy or who had any difficult personal problem was prosecuted under the Happiness Act. Prosecution (Michael) Caspar Schlitz, I put it to you that you were, on February 5th this year, very depressed with malice aforethought, and did moan quietly, contrary to the Cheerful Noises Act. Schlitz (Terry G) I did. Defence (Eric) May I just explain, m'lud, that the reason for my client's behaviour was that his wife had just died that morning. [All except the accused laugh uproariously.] Judge (Graham) Members of the jury, have you reached your verdict? Foreman Guilty. [All laugh again.] Judge [donning red nose] I hereby sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you cheer up. [All laugh.] Storyteller And while the good folk of Happy Valley tenaciously frolicked away, their wise old king, who was a merry old thing, played strange songs on his Hammond organ all day long, up in his castle where he lived with his gracious Queen Syllabub, and their lovely daughter Princess Mitzi Gaynor, who had fabulous tits and an enchanting smile and a fine wit, and wooden teeth which she'd bought in a chemist's in Augsburg, despite the fire risk. She treasured these teeth, which were made of the finest pine and she varnished them after every meal. And next to her teeth, her dearest love was her pet rabbit Herman. She would take Herman for long walks, and pet and fuss over him all day. And she would visit the royal kitchens and steal him tasty tit-bits which he never ate, because, sadly, he was dead, and no one had the heart to tell her because she was so sweet and innocent and new nothing of death or gastro-enteritis, or even plastic hip joints. One day when she was romping with Herman, she suddenly set eyes on the most beautiful young man she had ever seen, and fell deeply in love with him, naturally assuming him to be a prince. Well, fortunately he was a prince, so she found him in the book, which her mother made her always carry, [she opens a bird- spotting book at a page headed "EBERHARD, PRINZ" opposite a photo of him] and learned his name, and went and introduced herself, and the subject of marriage. And he fell deeply in love with her, and in what seemed like the twinkling of an eye, but was in fact a fortnight, they were in her father's lounge, asking his permission to marry. [Otto sits at his organ howling a strange song. He finishes and Mitzi and the prince applaud politely. He starts another. Caption "Spaeter am selben Nachmittag" {Later that afternoon}.] Mitzi (Connie) Daddy. Otto (Terry J) Yes, daughter. Mitzi We have something to ask you. Otto A request! Eberhard (John) Sir, may I have your daughter's hand in marriage? Otto Well, I don't know it, but if you hum it I'll soon pick it up. Eberhard No sir, I really do wish to marry your daughter, sir. Otto Oh. Are you a prince? Prince Yes, sir. Otto Is he in the book? Mitzi Yes, Daddy. Otto Do you really love my daughter? Prince I do. Otto Well in that case, I must set you a task to prove you worthy of her hand in marriage. Eberhard [standing] I accept. Otto You must climb to the highest part of the castle, first thing tomorrow morning, armed only with your sword, and jump out of the window. [A crowd waits expectantly in the street below the castle.] Villager (Terry J?) Hey look, there he is! [The crowd look up, clapping and cheering. Eberhard, up on the castle tower, waves, wets his finger to test the wind, then plummets to his death. The crowd laugh and cheer.] Mitzi Can we get married now, Daddy? Otto No, I'm afraid not, daughter, he wasn't worthy of you. Mitzi Oh Daddy! Will he have to go into the ground like all the others? [Cut to a cemetary where a coffin is being cheerfully lowered into a grave.] Mitzi Come on, Herman. [She walks away, dragging Herman.] Storyteller And so Mitzi and Herman went down to the river bank to see if they could find another prince. Everyone was fishing that day, the carpenter and the candlemaker and the blacksmith and the window-dresser and his friend, and the hangman and all his apprentices, and the secret policeman, and the narcotics salesman and his aunty, but not a prince for miles. Until... Mitzi's eyes suddenly spotted the slightest flash of gold underneath a weeping willow tree and there, sure enough, was a prince. He was rather thin and spotty with a long nose and bandy legs and nasty unpolished plywood teeth but, thought Mitzi, a prince is a prince, and she fell in love with him without another thought. [She leaps on top of him and engages him passionately.] And after a time, or a few times anyway, he too fell in love with her. And very soon they were on their way to ask King Otto's permission to wed, as this prince didn't read the newspapers any more than the others did, [they walk past a news stand on which is written "Die Happy Valley ??? Ein ??? Prinz ??? ??? ???" - sorry, it's too small and unclear on my recording] decadent, dim-witted, parasitic little bastards that they were. [They come across Queen Syllabub romping with a black man.] Syllabub [getting up hurriedly] What! Oh! Ha ha ha! Oh, hello, darling. Mitzi This is my mother the Queen, and, er, this is, er, ... Syllabub This is my new algebra teacher, Dr Erasmus. Erasmus Hello there. Syllabub Don't stare, darling. And who is this? Mitzi Oh, this is Prince Walter. Syllabub Oh. Mitzi We were just going down to Daddy for permission to get married. Syllabub Ah, well I want to talk to him about like that. I'll see you about the binomial theorem in the wood shed at eight o'clock, Dr Erasmus. Erasmus I'll bring the baby oil, Queen. Syllabub Yes. Ahem. Mitzi Does Daddy like Dr Erasmus? Syllabub I wouldn't mention him, darling. He's a bit funny about darker people. Mitzi I know nothing of racial prejudice. Syllabub Good. Well I'll talk to him first. [Syllabub enters the lounge where Otto is at his organ, howling one of his songs.] Syllabub Stop that and listen to me! Now! [She pulls the plug out.] Otto Plug my organ in. Syllabub Ha, that's a joke. Now, listen to me. Otto What! What is it? Syllabub I've got something important to tell you. Mitzi's coming in a moment with another prince. Otto Yeugh. [He begins howling one of his songs.] Syllabub Look, will you stop that again! Otto Huh, princes! Syllabub Well there soon won't be any left, thanks to you. Now just you make sure you make that task nice and easy, otherwise I'll smash your organ. Otto Can I play at the wedding? Syllabub Yes. Otto All right, all right. I could play that one about "Yum de boo ptang..." Syllabub The king agrees to see you now. Mitzi Hallo Daddy! Otto Come in, child. Mitzi This is Prince Walter. Otto Eeeugh! Is he in the book? Mitzi Yes. Otto Oh, hello Walter. Walter (Michael) Prince Walter. Otto [sarcastically] Oh, so sorry! So you want to marry my daughter, do you? Walter Perhaps. Mitzi Oh, say you do, and wing me such joy as I have never tasted before. Walter Yeah, all right. Otto All right. First I must set you a task, so you may prove yourself worthy of my daughter's hand in marriage. Walter Why? Otto Because she's a f[bleep]ing princess, that's why! You must go tomorrow morning to the highest part of the castle... [Syllabub hits him.] You must go, um... [Syllabub threatens him again] er, go down to the shops and get me twenty Rothmans. Walter What, now? Otto Tomorrow morning. Storyteller And so, early next morning, all the happy villagers were gathered to watch Prince Walter set off on his quest. [From a dais outside the castle, on which King, Queen and Princess sit, Prince Walter walks, holding a banknote, past the villagers down the street to the tobacconist. He emerges holding a packet of cigarettes aloft triumphantly to cheers from the crowd. He walks back up the street to the dais, on which Mitzi is jumping up and down excitedly.] Walter Here are your fags. [He tosses them to Otto.] Otto [grudgingly] Thank you, Walter. Walter Prince Walter! Syllabub Well done, Prince Walter. Otto [standing] Loyal subjects, faithful followers, this is indeed a proud moment for the Queen and myself. For this is the moment when Princess Mitzi marries Prince Walter. But first, a little number I've written, entitled "Ya Te Buckety Rum Ting Too". [Everyone sings "Ya Te Buckety Rum Ting Too" accompanied by Otto. But then Prince Charming draws up on a horse.] Charming (Eric) Halt, halt! Halt, I prithee, gentle king. Syllabub Who are you? What do you want? [to Otto] Belt up! Charming I am Prince Charming, from the Kingdom of the Golden Lakes, good Sir King. Page four in the book. And I crave the hand of your most beautiful daughter, Princess Mitzi. Walter You're too late. Charming What? Walter I've got her, Charming, now buzz off. Syllabub Now, wait a minute, Mitzi is not betrothed yet. Walter What? He said, if I went and got him twenty Rothmans I could have her. Charming Got you twenty Rothmans? Walter I had to go down the town. Charming For Princess Mitzi? Otto Yes. Charming For this priceless treasure? For this most perfect of all God's creatures? Mitzi [to Syllabub] I think I'm falling in love again. Charming For this finest and most delicate flower in the whole of this geographical area, I will face in mortal combat that most dreaded of all creatures. Mitzi, Syllabub & Otto A dragon?! Charming And I shall slay it, single-handed, to prove myself worthy of your enchanting daughter, O King. Otto I accept. Walter What? Otto I accept. Tomorrow morning, then. Walter Where's he going to get a dragon from? Charming I provide my own. [The rear of a horse box opens. A dragon, all of 18 inches long, emerges. Prince Charming fights it matador-style, then draws a pistol and shoots it. The crowd cheer.] Otto Loyal subjects, by virtue of Prince Charming's noble deed, I now consent to give him Princess Mitzi's hand in marriage. But first, the B side of my latest single. Walter I'll be revenged on the lot of you! [Otto plays and everybody starts singing "Ya Te Buckety...".] Storyteller Nobody in Happy Valley worried about Prince Walter's threats, and the joyous day soon arrived for the royal wedding. [Interior of cathedral. Otto is up in the organ loft. Everyone sings "Ya Te Buckety, Rum Ting Too, Ni Ni Ni, Yaooo."] Priest (John) Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join together this man, Prince Charming, and this woman, Princess Mitzi Gaynor, in holy matrimony. If there be anyone who knoweth just cause or impediment why these two should not be joined together... [There is a loud boom. A witch enters, followed by Prince Walter.] Witch Yes, 'tis I, the wicked witch, Ya ha ha! Priest Witch, you commit sacrilege here by your very presence. I command you in the name of the Good Book, to leave this holy place forthwith. Witch Shut up! Priest Sorry, sorry. Witch Now, where's the King? Where's the King? Where's the King? [The congregation point upwards.] Otto Oh, me. I'm terribly sorry, I was miles away. Witch I forbid this marriage to take place. Chancellor You forbid it? Witch Who are you? Chancellor I am the Lord Chancellor, you old hag! How dare you speak thus to our... [The witch casts spells, turning him successively into a lampshade, then a dog, a soda syphon, a rabbit, and back into himself.] Aah! Witch Now, watch it! Now, Mitzi marry Prince Walter, or I curse the lot of you, and your aunties. Otto Mitzi marries Prince Charming. Witch I'm warning you! Otto Carry on with the ceremony. Priest Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today... Witch Very well. I hereby change every single person in this cathedral into chickens! [then as a shocked afterthought] Except me! [Everyone is turned into chickens.] Chicken [wearing witch's hat] Oh, bugger. [Cut to Gabby with his mule. He turns and runs excitedly.] [Credits, over a sequence of shots of prospectors shouting "Chickens!", "Yippee!" etc. Captions: "MONTY PYTHON'S FLIEGENDER ZIRKUS von und mit {written and performed by} GRAHAM CHAPMAN JOHN CLEESE TERRY GILLIAM ERIC IDLE TERRY JONES MICHAEL PALIN und als Gast {with guest} CONNY BOOTH Animation: TERRY GILLIAM Szenenbild: {Scenery:} MICHAEL GIRSCHEK Kostueme: {Costumes:} MONIKA ALTMANN-KRIGER Schnitt: {Editing?:} HILWA VON BORO Ton: {Sound:} HEINZ TERWORTH Maske: {Make-up:} GEORG JAUSS JOSEF COESFELD Kamera: {Camera:} JUSTUS PANKAU ERNST SCHMID Produktionsleitung: {Production management?:} PETER STERR Produzent: {Producer:} THOMAS WOITKEWITSCH Regie: {Director:} IAN MACNAUGHTON ENDE" {The End}] [Pull back to reveal a seal in the presenter's chair and the bandaged reported]. Reporter Why do they do it? What do they get out of it? Well, quite frankly, I just don't know. Guten Abend. Come on, Eric, let's go and get a meal. [They both leave.] [Caption: "BAVARIA Eine Produktion der Bavaria Atelier GmbH"] [Caption: "im Auftrag des WDR"] [Caption: (c) Python (Monty) Pictures Limited 1972]

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank