Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Argument Sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus

Screen: Blue world revolves with similar background and BBC ONE at the bottom.
Voice Over: And now on BBC one--Six more minutes of Monty Python's
Flying Circus.

A man walks into an office.

Man: Hello, I'd like to buy an argument, please.
Receptionist: Certainly, sir. Have you been here before?
Man: No, I haven't.
Receptionist: I see, Do you want to have a full argument or were you thinking of taking a course?
Man: Well, what would be the cost?
Receptionist: Well, it costs 1P for a 5 minute argument or almost 8P for a course of ten.
Man: Hmmm, Well I think it's probably best if I start with the one and see how it goes from there, o.k.?
Receptionist: Fine, I'll see who's free at the moment. Mr. Debakey's free, but he's a little bit concilliatory. Yes, well, try Mr. Barnard, Room 12.
Man: Thank you.

He enters room 12.

Man: Well, I was told outside that...
Man: What?
A: OH! Oh! I'm sorry! This is abuse!
M: (smiling) Oh! Oh I see! Well, that explains it!
A: Oh no, you want room 12A, next door.
M: I see... Sorry...
A: Not at all! No, that's alright.

M: (leaves room)

A: (under his breath) Stupid git.

The man goes into room 12A. Another man is sitting behind a desk.

Man : (knocks)

Other Man: Come in.
Man: Is this the where I come for an argument?
Other Man:(pause) I've told you once.
Man: No you haven't!
Other Man: Yes I have.
M: When?
O: Just now.
M: No, you didn't!
O: Yes I did!
M: Didn't!
O: Did!
M: Didn't!
O: I'm telling you, I did!
M: You did NOT!
O: Oh I'm sorry, is this a five minute or the full half hour?
M: (Confused) (Pauses) Oh, Just the five minute one. (Closes door and sits down.)
O: Oh, a five. Thank you.
O: Anyway, I did.
M: You most certainly did not!
O: Now let's get one thing perfectly clear: I most definitely told you!
M: You did not.
O: Yes I did.
M: You did not.
O: Yes I did.
M: Didn't!
O: Yes I did!
M: Didn't!
O: Yes I did!
M: Look, this isn't an argument!
O: Yes it is.
M: No it isn't! It's just contradiction!
O: No it isn't!
M: Yes, it is!
O: It is NOT!
M: It IS! You just contradicted me!
O: No, I didn't!
M: Oh, you DID!
O: oh, no, no, nonono!
M: You did just then!
O: No, no, nonsense!
M: (exasperated) Oh, this is futile!!
O: No, it isn't!
M: I came here for a good argument!
O: No, you didn't. You came here for an argument!
M: Well, an argument is not the same thing as contradiction.
O: (Pauses) It CAN be!
M: No, it can't! An argument is a connecting series of statements to establish a
O: No, it isn't!
M: Yes it is! 'tisn't just contradiction.
O: Look, if I *argue* with you, I must take up a contrary position!
M: Yes but it isn't just saying "No it isn't".
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn't! (Pauses and looks away, slightly confused)
M: (Continuing) Arguments are an intellectual process. Contradiction is just an automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
O: (pause) No, it isn't.
M: Yes, it is!
O: Not at all!
M: Now look...

The Other Man hits a bell on his desk and stops.

O: Thank you. Good morning.
M: (stunned) What?
O: That's it. Good morning.
M: I was just getting interested!
O: Sorry, the five minutes is up.
M: That was never five minutes just now!!
O: 'fraid it was.
M: (leading on) No it wasn't.....
(Short Pause)
O: I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to argue any more.
M: What??
O: If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.
M: But that was never five minutes just now! Oh Come on! This is ridiculous!
O: I very sorry, but I told you I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid.
M: Oh, alright. (takes out his wallet and pays again.) There you are.
O: Thank you.
M: (clears throat) Well...
O: Well what?
M: That was never five minutes just now.
O: I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid!
M: I just paid!
O: No you didn't!
M: I DID!!!
O: No you didn't!
M: I DID!!!
O: No you didn't!
M: I DID!!!
O: I'm afraid you did not.
M: I don't want to argue about that!
O: Well, I'm very sorry but you didn't pay!
M: Ah hah! Well if I didn't pay, why are you arguing? Got you!!
O: No, you haven't!
M: Yes I have! (short pause) If you are arguing, I must have paid.
O: Not necessarily. (short pause) I *could* be arguing in my spare time.
M: I've had enough of this!
O: No, you haven't! (incentively)
M: Oh, Shut up! (Man leaves)

Man enters another room.

Man: I want to complain!
Complainer: You want to complain?? Look at these shoes I've had 'em for three weeks and they're almost worn through.
Man: No, I want to complain about the...
Cpmplainer: You can complain but if nothing happens you mine as well not bothered and my back hurts and when have you ever had a fun...

Man: (shuts the door)

Man enters another room.

Man is hit on the head with a large hammer (not HUGE, just large)

Man: AAaooooouuUUU!!!
Man With Hammer: Oh no no. Hold your head like this and the go WWAAAAHHH! Try it again!
Man With Hammer hits him again.
Man: WWHHOooooAAA!
MWH: Better. Better, but WWAAAAHHH! WWAAAAHHH! Hold you hands here.
Man: NO!
Man With Hammer hits him again.
MWH: That's it! That's it, Good!
Man: Stop hitting me!
MWH: What?
Man: Stop hitting me!
MWH: Stop hitting you?
Man: Yes!
MWH: Well, what did you come in here for?
Man: I came to complain!
MWH: Oh, I'm sorry that's next door; It's being hit on the head lessons in here.
Man: (Pauses) What a STUPID concept!!

Man in a raincoat enters. (Inspector Fox)

Fox: Right! Hold it in here!
Man: What?
MWH: What?
Fox: Allow me to introduce myself; I'm Inspector Fox of the Light
Entertainment Police, Comedy Division, Special FLYING Squad!
Fox: (Hits Man on the head.) Shut up!
MWH: No, no, no, WWAAAAHHH!
Fox: (Hits MWH on the head.) And you!
Fox: He's Good. (Talks to Man) You could learn a thing or two from him!
Right! Now, You two, Me olde cuties: You are NICKED!
Man: What FOR?
Fox: I'm charging you under section 21 of the Strange Sketch Act!
Man: The WHAT?
Fox: You are hereby charged if you did willfully take part in a strange sketch. That is a skit, spoof or Vienette of unconventional nature with the intent to cause greavous mental confusion with the great british public!

(Camera Zooms in.)

Fox to camera: Evening all!

MWH: And he talked!
Fos: AND YOU TALKED! (Hits Man on the head again!)
Fox: That's excellent! Right, Come on down to the yard.

Man with raincoat enters room, and places a hand on the shoulder of

Inspector Fox. ( Inspector Thomson Gazelle )

ITG: Hold it, hold it, hold it! Allow me to introduce myself: I'm Inspector Thomson Gazelle of the Program Planning Police, Light Entertainment Division, Special FLYING Squad!
ITG: (Hits Fox on the head.) SHUT TUP!
Fox: IEyaahHH!
MWH: He's good!
ITG: (Hits MWH on the head.) SHUT TUP!
Man: Rotten!
ITG: (Hits Man on the head.)
ITG: Good! Right! I'm arresting this entire show on three accounts:
One, Acts of itself conscious be'avior contrary to the Naughty In Front Of The Children ACT.
Two, Always saying it's so and so of the yard every time the fuzz arrives.
And three, And this ones the cruncher, Offenses against the
Getting Out Of Sketches Without A Proper Punch-Line ACT. Namely, simply ending every sketch by just 'aving a policeman come in and...

(pauses to think)

A man with a raincoat opens the door and puts a hand on the shoulder of
Inspector Thomson Gazelle.

Man who just entered : Hold it!
ITG: it's a fair cop...
Another man behind the man who just entered places a hand on the man in door's shoulder.

Screen blanks out.

Screen: Blue world revolves with similar background and BBC ONE at the

Voice Over: And now on BBC one--One more minute of Monty Python's
Flying Circus.


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