Monty Python's Flying Circus

Season 2 Episode 8

Archaeology Today

Aired Unknown Nov 17, 1970 on BBC



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Eric Idle's Absent-Minded Woman: Good evening. My name is Leapy Lee... no, sorry, that's the name of me favorite singer. My name is Mrs. Fred Stone. No, no, Mrs. Fred Stone is the wife of me favorite tennis player. My name is Bananas. No, no, that's me favorite fruit. I'm Mrs. Nice-evening-out-at-the-pictures-then-perhaps-a-dance-at-a-club-and- back-to-his-place-for-a-quick-cup-of-coffee-and-little-bit-of... no! No, sorry, that's me favorite way of spending a night out. Perhaps I am Leapy Lee? Yes! I must be Leapy Lee! Hello fans! Leapy Lee here! (sings) Little arrows that will... (phone rings; answers) Hello? ... Evidently I'm not Leapy Lee. I thought I probably wouldn't be. Thank you, I'll tell them. (puts phone down) Hello. Hello, Denis Compton here. No no... I should have written it down. Now where's that number? (looks in bag) I'm Mao Tse-Tung... I'm P. P. Arnold... I'm Margaret Thatcher... I'm Sir Gerald Nabarro... (dials) Hello? Sir Len Hutton here. Could you tell me, please ... oh, am I? Oh, thank you. (puts phone down) Good evening, I'm Mrs. What-number-are-you-dialing-please? (is suddenly punched out by Terry Gilliam)

    • And now an appeal for sanity from the Reverend Arthur Belling.
      You know, there are many people in the country today who, through no fault of their own, are sane. Some of them were born sane. Some of them became sane later in their lives. It is up to people like you and me who are out of our tiny little minds to try and help these people overcome their sanity. You can start in small ways with ping-pong ball eyes and a funny voice and then you can paint half of your body red and the other half green and then you can jump up and down in a bowl of treacle going 'squawk, squawk, squawk...' And then you can go 'Neurhhh! Neurhh!' and then you can roll around on the floor going 'pting pting pting' ...
      The Reverend Arthur Belling is Vicar of St Loony Up The Cream Bun and Jam.

    • Eric Idle's Trailer: Here is a preview of some of the programmes you'll be able to see coming shortly on BBC Television. To kick off with, there's variety. Peter West and Brian Johnston star in "Rain Stopped Play," a wacky new comedy series about the gay exploits of two television cricket commentators, with E. W. Swanton as "Aggie," the kooky Scots maid. For those of you who don't like variety, there's variety, with Brian Close at the Talk of the Town. And of course there'll be sport. "The Classics" series return to BBC 2 with twenty-six episodes of John Galsworthy's "Snooker My Way" with Nyree Dawn Porter repeating her triumph as Joe Davis. And of course, there'll be sport. Comedy is not forgotten with Jim Laker in "Thirteen Weeks of Off-Spin Bowling". Jim plays the zany bachelor bowler in a new series of "Owzat," with Anneley Brummond-Haye on Mr. Softee as his wife. And of course, there'll be sport. "Panorama" will be returning, introduced as usual by Tony Jacklin, and Lulu will be tackling the Old Man of Hoy. And for those of you who prefer drama... there's sport. On "Show of the Week," Kenneth Wostenholme sings. And for those of you who don't like television, there's David Coleman. And of course there'll be sport. But now for something completely different... sport!

    • Archaeology Today
      Interviewer: Hello. On 'Archaeology Today' tonight I have with me Professor Lucien Kastner of Oslo University.
      Kastner: Good evening.
      Interviewer: How tall are you, professor?
      Kastner: ...I beg your pardon?
      Interviewer: How tall are you?
      Kastner: I'm about five foot ten.
      Interviewer: ...and an expert in Egyptian 'tomb paintings. Sir Robert... (turning to Kastner) are you really five foot ten?
      Kastner: Yes.
      Interviewer: Funny, you look much shorter than that to me. Are you slumped forward in your chair at all?
      Kastner: No, er I...
      Interviewer: Extraordinary. Sir Robert Eversley, who's just returned from the excavations in El Ara, and you must be well over six foot. Isn't that right, Sir Robert?
      Sir Robert: (puzzled) Yes.
      Interviewer: In fact, I think you're six foot five aren't you?
      Sir Robert: Yes.
      (Applause. Sir Robert looks up in amazement.)
      Interviewer: Oh, that's marvellous. I mean you're a totally different kind of specimen to Professor Kastner. Straight in your seat, erect, firm.
      Sir Robert: Yes. I thought we were here to discuss archaeology.
      Interviewer: Yes, yes, of course we are, yes, absolutely, you're absolutely right! That's positive thinking for you. (to Kastner) You wouldn't have said a thing like that, would you? You five-foot-ten weed! (he turns his back very ostentatiously on Kustner) Sir Robert Eversley, (who's very interesting) what have you discovered in the excavations at El Ara?
      Sir Robert: (picking up a beautiful andent vase) Well basically we have found a complex of tombs...
      Interviewer: Very good speaking voice.
      Sir Robert: ... which present dramatic evidence of Polynesian influence in Egypt in the third dynasty which is quite remarkable.
      Interviewer: How tall were the Polynesians?
      Kastner: They were...
      Interviewer: Sh!
      Sir Robert: Well, they were rather small, seafaring...
      Interviewer: Short men, were they... eh? All squat and bent up?
      Sir Robert: Well, I really don't know about that...
      Interviewer: Who were the tall people?
      Sir Robert: I'm afraid I don't know.
      Interviewer: Who's that very tall tribe in Africa?
      Sir Robert: Well, this is hardly archaeology.
      Interviewer: The Watutsi! That's it - the Watutsi! Oh, that's the tribe, some of them were eight foot tall. Can you imagine that. Eight foot of Watutsi. Not one on another's shoulders, oh no - eight foot of solid Watutsi. That's what I call tall.
      Sir Robert: Yes, but it's nothing to do with archaeology.
      Interviewer: (knocking Sir Robert's vase to the floor) Oh, to hell with archaeology!
      Kastner: Can I please speak! I came all the way from Oslo to do this programme! I'm a professor of archaeology. I'm an expert in ancient civilizations. All right, I'm only five foot ten. All right my posture is bad, all right I slump in my chair. But I've had more women than either of you two! I've had half bloody Norway, that's what I've had! So you can keep your Robert Eversley! And you can keep your bloody Watutsi! I'd rather have my little body... my little five-foot-ten-inch body... (he breaks down sobbing)
      Sir Robert: Bloody fool. Look what you've done to him.
      Interviewer: Don't bloody fool me.
      Sir Robert: I'll do what I like, because I'm six foot five and I eat punks like you for breakfast.
      (Sir Robert floors the interviewer with an almighty punch. Interviewer looks up rubbing his jaw.)
      Interviewer: I'll get you for that, Eversley! I'll get you if I have to travel to the four corners of the earth!
      (Crash of music. Music goes into theme and film titles as for a Western. Caption on screen: 'FLAMING STAR - THE STORY OF ONE MAN'S SEARCH FOR VENGEANCE IN THE RAW AND VIOLENT WORLD OF INTERNATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY' Cut to stock film of the pyramids (cica 1920). Superimposed caption: 'EGYPT- 1920' An archaeological dig in a fiat sandy landscape. All the characters are in twenties' clothes. Pan across the complex of passages and trenches.)
      Danielle: (narrating) The dig was going well that year, We had discovered some Hittire baking dishes from the fifth dynasty, and Sir Robert: was happier than I had ever seen him.
      (Camera comes to rest on Sir Robert Eversley digging away. We close in on him as he sings to Hammond organ accompaniment.)
      Sir Robert: Today I hear the robin sing / Today the thrush is on the wing / Today who knows what life will bring / Today...
      (He stops and picks up an object, blows the dust off it and looks at it wondrously.)
      Sir Robert: Why, a Sumerian drinking vessel of the fourth dynasty. (sings) Today!!!! (speaks) Catalogue this pot, Danielle, it's fourth dynasty.
      Danielle: Oh, is it...?
      Sir Robert: Yes, it's... Sumerian.
      Danielle: Oh, how wonderful! Oh, I am so happy for you.
      Sir Robert: I'm happy too, now at last we know there was a Sumerian influence here in Abu Simnel in the early pre-dynastic period, two thousand years before the reign of Tutankhamun, (he breaks into song again) Today I hear the robin sing / Today the thrush is on the wing (Danielle joins in) Today who knows what life will bring...
      (They are just about to embrace, when there is a jarring chord and long crash. The interviewer is standing on the edge of the dig.)
      Interviewer: All right Eversley, get up out of that trench.
      Sir Robert: Don't forget... rm six foot five.
      Interviewer: That doesn't worry me... Kastner!
      (He snaps his fingers. From behind him Professor Kastner appears, fawningly)
      Kastner: Here Lord.
      Interviewer: Up!
      (He snaps his fingers and Kastner leaps onto his shoulders.)
      Sir Robert: Eleven foot three!
      Kastner: I'm so tall! I am so tall!
      Sir Robert: Danielle!
      (Danielle leaps on his shoulders.)
      Interviewer: Eleven foot six - damn you! Abdul!
      (Abdul appears on Kastner's shoulders.)
      Sir Robert: Fifteen foot four! Mustapha!
      (Mustapha appears on Danielle's shoulders.)
      Interviewer: Nineteen foot three... damn you!
      (The six of them charge each other. They fight in amongst the trestle tables with rare pots on them breaking and smashing them. When the fight ends everyone lies dead in a pile of broken pottery. The bloodied interviewer crawls up to camera and produces a microphone from his pocket.)
      Interviewer: And there we end this edition of Archaeology Today. Next week, the Silbury Dig by Cole Porter with Pearl Bailey and Arthur Negus.

    • (A model mynah bird is opening and shutting its beak. Beethoven is sitting at the piano.)
      Beethoven: You don't fool me, you stupid mynah bird. I'm not deaf yet.
      Mynah: Just you wait... ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! (Beethoven pulls a revolver and shoots the bird which falls to the ground) Oh! Bugger...
      Beethoven: Shut up!
      Mynah: Right in the wing.
      Beethoven: Shut your beak. Gott in Himreel... I never get any peace here.
      (He plays the first few notes of the fifth symphony, trying vainly to get the last note. Mrs Beethoven enters.)
      Mrs Beethoven: Ludwig!
      Beethoven: What?
      Mrs Beethoven: Have you seen the sugar bowl?
      Beethoven: No, I haven't seen the bloody sugar bowl.
      Mrs Beethoven: You know ... the sugar bowl.
      Beethoven: Sod the sugar bowl... I'm trying to finish this stinking tune! It's driving me spare ... so shut up! (she leaves; he goes into opening bars of 'Washington Post March ) No, no, no, no, no.
      (Mrs Beethoven comes back in.)
      Mrs Beethoven: Ludwig, have you seen the jam spoon?
      Beethoven: Stuff the jam spoon!
      Mrs Beethoven: It was in the sugar bowl.
      Beethoven: Look, get out you old rat-bag. Buzz off and shut up.
      Mrs Beethoven: I don't know what you see in that piano. (she goes)
      Beethoven: Leave me alone!! ... (gets the first eight notes right at last) ... Ha! ha! ha! I've done it, I've done it!
      (Mrs Beethoven comes in again.)
      Mlrs Beethoven: Do you want peanut butter or sandwich spread for your tea?
      Beethoven: What!!!!
      Mrs Beethoven: PEANUT BUTTER...
      Beethoven: I've forgotten it. (plays a few wrong notes) I had it! I had it!
      Mrs Beethoven: Do you want peanut butter or sandwich spread?
      Beethoven: I don't care!!
      Mrs Beethoven: Ooooh! I don't know. (she goes out)
      Beethoven: I had it. I had it you old bag. (at the same moment as he gets it right again, the door flies open and Mrs Beethoven charges in with a very load hoover) Mein lieber GottH What are you doing? (a terrible clanking and bankng comes from the wall) What's that! What's that!
      Mrs Beethoven: (still hoovering loudly) It's the plumber!
      (A jarring ring of the doorbell adds to the din.)
      Beethoven: Gott in Himreel, I'm going out.
      Mrs Beethoven: Well, if you're going out don't forget we've got the Mendelssohns coming for tea so don't forget to order some pikelets.
      Beethoven: Pikelets, pikelets! Shakespeare never had this trouble!
      Shakespeare: (washing at a sink) You wanna bet? Incidentally, it's da-da-da-dum, da-da-da-dum.
      Beethoven: You're right! Uh, incidentally, why not call him Hamlet?
      Shakespeare: Hamlet! I like, much better than David. Michelangelo, you can use David! I won't sue.
      Michelangelo: (caring for six babies) Thanks, but I've had a better idea. (Camera pans down to show engraved on plinth beneath statue the words "Michelangelo's fifth symphony".)

  • Notes

  • Allusions

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