The following follows the line of Python skits that have been (often badly)
transcribed on the net recently. This is a skit that appeared on the BBC show
"Not the Nine O'Clock News" that makes reference to the trouble the Python
lads got into with religious leaders about Life Of Brian.
Intro: One of the most controversial, and some would say, scurrilous films of
the last year has been the box-office blockbuster, The General Synod's
LifeofChrist. Sarah Gould talked to Lawrence Vironconium-Bishop
of Wroxeter, the director of the film, and Alexander Walker, one of its
The film deals with the story of the rise of a simple carpenter's son,
one Jesus Christ, to fame and greatness, but many people have seen in
the film a thinly disguised and blasphemous attack on the life of
Monty Python. Python worshippers say that it sets out to ridicule by
parody the actual members of Monty Python who even today, of course,
are worshipped and revered throughout the Western World.
Interviewer: Alexander Walker, can I ask you first, What did you think of the
Walker: It appalled me. I find it deeply offensive that, in what is still,
after all, basically a Python-worshipping country, fourteen-year-old
children can get to see this film. They get little enough proper
Python these days, without having this distorted garbage paraded about.
Int.: Bishop, you directed this film. Did you expect this kind of reaction?
Bishop: Well, I certainly didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition! Yes. Yes, I
did direct the film. And what I feel I *must* emphasize at once, is
that it is not an attack on Python. I'm not a Pythonist myself, but
obviously I have enourmous respect for people, like Alexander, who are.
Walker: Oh, come now bishop. The central figure in this film...this...er...
Bishop: Jesus Christ.
Walker: ...thank you, this "Jesus Christ" is quite clearly a lampoon of the
comic messiah himself, Our Lord John Cleese. I mean, look, even the
initials are the same!
Bishop: No. No, absolutely not. If I may try and explain. The Christ figure
is not meant to *be* Cleese, he's just an ordinary person who happens
to have been in Weston-super-Mare at the same *time* as Mr. Cleese.
Walker: No. No, really Lawrence, that's too...
Bishop: And...and, if I may finish...he is *mistaken* for the comic messiah
by credulous people of the sort who can see something "completely
different" in anything, and who follow him around in vast crowds...
ah...doing silly walks, and chanting "No, no, not the comfy chair",
and other slogans from the good Bok itself.
Int.: Alexander Walker--your comments on that?
Walker: No, I'm sorry, whatever the bishop may say, this is a highly
distasteful film. Have people forgotten how Monty Python suffered
for us? How often the sketches failed? I mean these men died for us.
Int.: Bishop, turning back to you, do you not agree that the film may affect
the position of Monty Python in our spiritual life?
Bishop: No, I hardly think so. If Python is immortal (as Pythonists believe),
I'm sure a mere film...
Walker: A tenth-rate film.
Bishop: ...I'm sure a mere film is not going to stop believers. Remember the
words of John Cleese: "When two or three are gathered together in my
name, the shall perform the Parrot Sketch..."
Int.: Indeed. "It is an ex-parrot..."
All: "...it has Ceased to Be."
Int.: Well the final scene in the film has perhaps attracted the most
attention of all. Alexander Walker, a last word from you.
Walker: Yes, well, the last scene is...is the ultimate blasphemy. It..it is
set in a hotel, in Torquay, where literally hundreds of Spanish waiters
are being clipped about the ear by this Jesus Christ bloke in a ghastly
cartoon of the Comic Messiah's Greatest Half-Hour.
Int.: Alexander Walker, thank you.
Walker: Thank you.
Int.: Bishop, thank you.
Bishop: Thank you. Actaully it's not Torquay, it's Torbay.
Walker: Oh, Torquay, Torbay, whatever. I don't really see...
Int.: Alexander Walker, Bishop, thanks you.
Both: Thank you.
NEXT WEEK: THE ISLAMIC NEW WAVE
Not the Nine O'Clock News goes on location with "47 Brides for 7 Brothers."