Monty Python's Flying Circus

Season 1 Episode 4

Owl-Stretching Time

0
Aired Unknown Oct 26, 1969 on BBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Owl-Stretching Time
AIRED:
Hermit thrown off cliff; credits; Episode Arthur Part 7 Teeth, live from Cardiffs Room Libya; Art Gallery sketch, "fancy a Turner?"; an art critic- `but it's my only line!'; back to Cardiff Rooms- "It's a Man's Life in the Cardiff Rooms Libya"; Colonel objects to stolen slogan; viking `this is my only line'; milquetoast trying to change into swimsuit, striptease "It's a Man's Life Taking Your Clothes Off in Public"; Colonel objects again; how to defend yourself against a foe laden with Fresh Fruit "and pointed sticks. SHUT UP!"; animation- my last operation; 17th century aristocrat at beach; back at Cardiff Rooms; "It's a Man's Life in England's Mountain Green"; Colonel is furious; The Bookshop Sketch featuring "Arthur Lemming special investigator British Dental Association" and archvillain "The Big Cheese!"; song- Lemming of the B.D.A.; Colonel shuts show down; Hermit climbs back up cliff; credits.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • After this episode you'll know how to defend yourself when someone attacks you with fresh fruit

    7.8
    Another very enjoyable episode, fantastic stuff. My favourite sketch was the How To Defend Yourself Against Fresh Fruit sketch, whoever wrote this deserves a medal, a fantastic sketch. Another good one was the man getting changed one, an excellent sketch here and the idea to have him strip tease was even funnier (Graham is arguably as funny as Terry in this one as the policeman and bellboy). The bookshop sketch is often overlooked and this is another well written one. The army general's interference is a good running theme. While the rest isn't that memorable, the good makes this show very memorable.moreless
John Cleese

John Cleese

Various Characters [ series 1 - 3, Deutsche shows & features ]

Eric Idle

Eric Idle

Various Characters

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman

Various Characters

Terry Jones

Terry Jones

Various Characters

Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam

Various Characters

Michael Palin

Michael Palin

Various Characters

Dick Vosburgh

Dick Vosburgh

Van Der Berg

Guest Star

Katya Wyeth

Katya Wyeth

Art critic's wife/Girl seducing the guitar player

Guest Star

Carol Cleveland

Carol Cleveland

Van Der Berg's Nurse

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Van Der Berg is first seen standing in the bookshop's alcove, he is wearing a black coat, but he doesn't wear the coat, when he holds Stapleton, Lemming and Lafarge captive.

    • The bookshop sketch starts at only 10:30 A.M., according to Eric Idle's "tobacconist," but at the sketch's end, the tobacconist says it's 1:00.

    • In "Secret Service Dentists", when Brian has trouble remembering what he's forcing the others to tell him, Stapleton answers: "The fillings!" In the online transcripts, that line is miscredited to Arthur.

    • This goof isn't in the episode itself, but rather in the online transcripts of the "Secret Service Dentists" sketch. In them, Mr. Stapleton (the suspicious bookseller) is continually referred to as "The bookseller", even after Lafarge addresses him as Stapleton.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • The Colonel's Objections to the Army Slogan Copyright Infringement
      It's a Man's Life in the Cardiff Rooms, Libya: Right, cut to me. As Officer Commanding the Regular Army's Advertising Division, I object, in the strongest possible terms to this obvious reference to our own slogan, "It's a Dog's Life... a Man's Life in the Modern Army." And I warn this program that any recurrence of this sloppy long-haired civilian plagiarism will be dealt with most severely. Right, now on the command "cut", the camera will cut to camera two. All right, director... Wait for it! Camera cut. (Cuts to a man dressed as a viking, who says "This is my only line.")
      It's a Man's Life Taking Off Your Clothes in Public: Quiet. Quiet. Now wait a minute. I have already warned this program about infringing the army copyright of our slogan, "It's A Pig's Life... Man's Life in the Modern Army". And I'm warning you if it happens again, I shall come down on this program like a ton of bricks... right. Carry on, sergeant major. (Cuts to the "Self-Defense Against Fresh Fruit" sketch.)
      It's a Man's life in England's Mountain Green: Right! I heard that, I heard that! I'm going to stop this sketch now, and if there's any more of this, I'm going to stop the whole program. I thought it was supposed to be about teeth anyway. Why don't you do something about teeth? Go on. (John Cleese says, "What about my rustic monologue? ... I'm not sleeping with that producer again.")
      It's a Man's Life in the British Dental Association: Right! No, I warned you! No, I warned you about the slogan! Right. That's the end. Stop the program! Stop it!

    • Sergeant: Good evening, class.
      All: (mumbling) Good evening.
      Sergeant: Where's all the others, then?
      All: They're not here.
      Sergeant: I can see that. What's the matter with them?
      All: Dunno.
      Mr. Harrison: Perhaps they've got 'flu.
      Sergeant: Huh! 'Flu, eh? They should eat more fresh fruit. Ha. Right. Now, self-defence. Tonight I shall be carrying on from where we got to last week when I was showing you how to defend yourselves against anyone who attacks you armed with a piece of fresh fruit.
      (Grumbles from all)
      Mr. Thompson: Oh, you promised you wouldn't do fruit this week.
      Sergeant: What do you mean?
      3rd Man: We've done fruit the last nine weeks.
      Sergeant: What's wrong with fruit? You think you know it all, eh?
      Mr. Thompson: Can't we do something else?
      4th Man: Like someone who attacks you with a pointed stick?
      Sergeant: Pointed stick? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh? Well I'll tell you something my lad. When you're walking home tonight and some great homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don't come crying to me! Now, the passion fruit. When your assailant lunges at you with a passion fruit...
      All: We've done the passion fruit.
      Sergeant: What?
      Mr. Harrison: We've done the passion fruit.
      2nd Man: We done oranges, apples, grapefruit...
      Mr. Thompson: Whole and segments.
      2nd Man: Pomegranates, greengages...
      Mr. Harrison: Grapes, passion fruit...
      2nd Man: Lemons...
      Mr. Thompson: Plums...
      Mr. Harrison: Mangoes in syrup...
      Sergeant: How about cherries?
      All: We did them.
      Sergeant: Red and black?
      All: Yes!
      Sergeant: All right... bananas!
      (All sigh.)
      Sergeant: We haven't done them, have we? Right. Bananas! How to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana! Now you, come at me with this banana. (to Mr. Harrison) Catch! Now, it's quite simple to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana. First of all you force him to drop the banana; then, second, you eat the banana, thus disarming him. You have now rendered him 'elpless.
      3rd Man: Suppose he's got a bunch?
      Sergeant: Shut up.
      4th Man: Suppose he's got a pointed stick?
      Sergeant: Shut up. Right now you, Mr. Apricot.
      1st Man: 'Arrison.
      Sergeant: Sorry, Mr. 'Arrison. Come at me with that banana. Hold it like that, that's it. Now attack me with it. Come on! Come on! Come at me! Come at me then!
      (Mr. Harrison lunges at the sergeant, who shoots him.)
      Mr. Harrison: Aaagh! (dies)
      Sergeant: Now, I eat the banana. (does so)
      Mr. Thompson: You shot him!
      3rd Man: He's dead!
      4th Man: He's completely dead!
      Sergeant: I have now eaten the banana. The deceased, Mr. Apricot, is now 'elpless.
      Mr. Thompson: You shot him. You shot him dead.
      Sergeant: Well, he was attacking me with a banana.
      Mr. Thompson: But you told him to.
      Sergeant: Look, I'm only doing me job. I have to show you how to defend yourselves against fresh fruit.
      4th Man: And pointed sticks.
      Sergeant: Shut up.
      Mr. Thompson: Suppose I'm attacked by a man with a banana and I haven't got a gun?
      Sergeant: Run for it.
      Mr. Thompson: You could stand and scream for help.
      Sergeant: Yeah, you try that with a pineapple down your windpipe.
      Mr. Thompson: A pineapple?
      Sergeant: Where? Where?
      Mr. Thompson: No, I just said: a pineapple.
      Sergeant: Oh. Phew. I thought my number was on that one.
      Mr. Thompson: What, on the pineapple?
      Sergeant: Where? Where?
      Mr. Thompson: No, I was just repeating it.
      Sergeant: Oh. Oh. I see. Right. Phew. Right that's bananas then. Now the raspberry. There we are. 'Armless looking thing, isn't it? Now you, Mr. Tin Peach!
      Mr. Thompson: Thompson.
      Sergeant: Thompson. Come at me with that raspberry. Come on. Be as vicious as you like with it.
      Mr. Thompson: No.
      Sergeant: Why not?
      Mr. Thompson: You'll shoot me.
      Sergeant: I won't.
      Mr. Thompson: You shot Mr. Harrison.
      Sergeant: That was self-defense. Now come on. I promise I won't shoot you.
      4th Man: You promised you'd tell us about pointed sticks.
      Sergeant: Shut up. Come on, brandish that raspberry. Come at me with it. Give me Hell.
      Mr. Thompson: Throw the gun away.
      Sergeant: I haven't got a gun.
      Mr. Thompson: You have.
      Sergeant: Haven't.
      Mr. Thompson: You shot Mr. 'Arrison with it.
      Sergeant: Oh, that gun.
      Mr. Thompson: Throw it away.
      Sergeant: Oh all right. (does so) How to defend yourself against a redcurrant without a gun?
      Mr. Thompson: You were going to shoot me!
      Sergeant: I wasn't.
      Mr. Thompson: You were!
      Sergeant: No, I wasn't, I wasn't. Come on then. Come at me. Come on you weed! You weed, do your worst! Come on, you puny little man. You weed...
      (He pulls a lever in the wall. CRASH! A 16-ton weight falls on Mr. Thompson.)
      Mr. Thompson: Aaagh!
      Sergeant: If anyone ever attacks you with a raspberry, just pull the lever and the 16-ton weight will fall on top of him.
      2nd Man: Suppose there isn't a 16-ton weight?
      Sergeant: Well that's planning, isn't it? Forethought.
      3rd Man: Well how many 16-ton weights are there?
      Sergeant: Look, look, look, Mr. Knowall. The 16-ton weight is just one way of dealing with a raspberry killer. There are millions of others!
      4th Man: Like what?
      Sergeant: Shootin' him?
      3rd Man: Well what if you haven't got a gun or a 16-ton weight?
      Sergeant: Look, look. All right, smarty-pants. You two, you two, come at me then with raspberries. Come on, both of you, whole basket each.
      3rd Man: No guns?
      Sergeant: No.
      3rd Man: No 16-ton weights?
      Sergeant: No.
      4th Man: No pointed sticks?
      Sergeant: Shut up!
      3rd Man: No rocks up in the ceiling?
      Sergeant: No.
      3rd Man: Then... you won't kill us.
      Sergeant: I won't.
      3rd Man: Promise.
      Sergeant: I promise I won't kill you. Now. Are you going to attack me?
      3rd & 4th Men: Oh, all right.
      Sergeant: Right, now don't rush me this time. Stalk me. Do it properly. Stalk me. I'll turn me back. Stalk up behind me, close behind me, then in with the redcurrants! Right? O.K. start moving. Now the first thing to do when you're being stalked by an ugly mob with redcurrants is to... release the tiger!
      (He does so. The tiger growls as it attacks.)
      Sergeant: The great advantage of the tiger in unarmed combat is that he eats not only the fruit-laden foe but also the redcurrants. Tigers, however, do not relish the peach. The peach assailant should be attacked with a crocodile. Right, now, the rest of you, where are you? I know you're hiding somewhere with your damsons and prunes. Well I'm ready for you. I've wired meself up to 200 tons of gelignite, and if any one of you so much as makes a move we'll all go up together! Right, right. I warned you. That's it...
      (Explosion.)

    • John Cleese: (over a montage of movie clips) Excitement! Action! Drama! Violence! Fresh fruit! Passion! Romance! Thrills! Spills! Adventure! All the things you can read about in a book.

    • (Scene: A bookshop. A Bookseller is standing behind the counter. Arthur enters the shot and goes up to the counter. The Bookseller jumps and looks around furtively.)
      Bookseller: Er... oh!
      Arthur: Good morning, I'd like to buy a book please.
      Bookseller: Oh, well I'm afraid we don't have any.
      Arthur: I'm sorry?
      Bookseller: We don't have any books. We're fresh out of them. Good morning.
      Arthur: What are all these?
      Bookseller: All what? Oh! All these, ah ah ha ha. You're referring to these... books.
      Arthur: Yes.
      Bookseller: They're um... they're all sold. Good morning.
      Arthur: What, all of them?
      Bookseller: Every single man-Jack of them. Not a single one of them in an unsold state. Good morning.
      Arthur: Who to?
      Bookseller: What?
      Arthur: Who are they sold to?
      Bookseller: Oh... various... good Lord is that the time? Oh my goodness I must close for lunch.
      Arthur: It's only half past ten.
      Bookseller: Ah yes, well I feel rather peckish, very peckish actually, I don't expect I'll open again today. I think I'll have a really good feed. I say! Look at that lovely bookshop just across the road there, they've got a much better selection than we've got, probably at ridiculously low prices, just across the road there. (he has the door open) Good morning.
      Arthur: But I was told to come here.
      Bookseller: (bundling him back in) Well. Well, I see. (very, carefully) I hear the gooseberries are doing well this year, and so are the mangoes. (winks)
      Arthur: I'm sorry?
      Bookseller: Er... oh... I was just saying, thinking of the weather. I hear the gooseberries are doing well this year... and so are the mangoes.
      Arthur: Mine aren't.
      Bookseller: (nodding keenly, with anticipation) Go on.
      Arthur: What?
      Bookseller: Go on - mine aren't, but...
      Arthur: What?
      Bookseller: Aren't you going to say something about 'mine aren't but the Big Cheese gets his at low tide tonight'?
      Arthur: No.
      Bookseller: Oh, ah, good morning, (starts to bundle him out then stops) Wait. Who sent you?
      Arthur: The little old lady in the sweet shop.
      Bookseller: She didn't have a duelling scar just here, and a hook?
      Arthur: No.
      Bookseller: Of course not, I was thinking of somebody else. Good morning.
      Arthur: Wait a minute, there's something going on here.
      Bookseller: (spinning round.) What, where? You didn't see anything did you?
      Arthur: No, but I think there's something going on here.
      Bookseller: No no, well there's nothing going on here at all (shouts off) and he didn't see anything. Good morning.
      Arthur: (coming back into shop) There is something going on.
      Bookseller: Look there is nothing going on. Please believe me, there is abso... (a hand comes into view behind Arthur's back; Bookseller frantically waves at it to disappear; it does so) ...lutely nothing going on. Is there anything going on?
      (A man appears, fleetingly.)
      Man #1: No, there's nothing going on. (disappears)
      Bookseller: See there's nothing going on.
      Arthur: Who was that?
      Bookseller: That was my aunt, look what was this book you wanted then? Quickly! Quickly!
      Arthur: Oh, well, I'd like to buy a copy of An Illustrated History of False Teeth.
      Bookseller: My God you've got guts.
      Arthur: What?
      Bookseller: (pulling out a gun) Just how much do you know?
      Arthur: What about?
      Bookseller: Are you from the British Dental Association?
      Arthur: No, I'm a tobacconist.
      Bookseller: Get away from that door.
      Arthur: I'll just go over the other...
      Bookseller: Stay where you are. You'll never leave this bookshop alive.
      Arthur: Why not?
      Bookseller: You know too much, my dental friend.
      Arthur: I don't know anything.
      Bookseller: Come clean. You're a dentist, aren't you?
      Arthur: No, I'm a tobacconist.
      Bookseller: A tobacconist who just happens to be buying a book on teeth?
      Arthur: Yes.
      Bookseller: Ha ha ha ha.
      (A swarthy, French, dressed all in black, and menacing man enters with a gun.)
      Man #2: Drop that gun, Stapleton.
      Bookseller (Stapleton): Lafarge! (he drops the gun)
      Arthur: There is something going on.
      Stapleton: No there isn't.
      Man #2 (Lafarge): OK Stapleton, this is it. Where's Mahoney hidden the fillings?
      Stapleton: What fillings?
      Lafarge: You know which fillings, Stapleton. Upper right two and four,
      lower right three and two lower left one. Come on. (he threatens with the gun) Remember what happened to Nigel.
      Arthur: What happened to Nigel?
      Stapleton: Orthodontic Jake gave him a gelignite mouth wash.
      Arthur: I knew there was something going on.
      Stapleton: Well there isn't.
      Lafarge: Come on Stapleton. The fillings!
      Stapleton: They're at 22 Wimpole Street.
      Lafarge: Don't play games with me! (pokes Stapleton in the eye with the gun)
      Stapleton: Ow!! 22a Wimpole Street.
      Lafarge: That's better.
      Stapleton: But you'll need an appointment.
      Lafarge: OK. (shouting out of shop) Brian! Make with the appointment baby. No gas.
      (The first man, dressed as a dentist, appears with a machine gun and a nurse.)
      Man #1: Not so fast Lafarge!
      Lafarge: Van der Berg!
      Man #1 (Van der Berg): Yes. Now drop the roscoe.
      Arthur: There is something going on.
      Stapleton: No there isn't.
      Van der Berg: Get the guns.
      (The nurse runs forward, picks up the gun and puts it on steel surgeon's tray, and covers it with a white cloth, returning it to Van der Berg.)
      Arthur: Who's that?
      Stapleton: That's Van der Berg. He's on our side.
      Van der Berg: All right, get up against the wall, Lafarge! And you too, Stapleton.
      Stapleton: Me?
      Van der Berg: Yes, you!
      Stapleton: You dirty double-crossing rat.
      Arthur: (going with Stapleton) What's happened?
      Stapleton: He's two-timed me.
      Arthur: Bad luck.
      Van der Berg: All right, where are the fillings? Answer me, where are they?
      Arthur: This is quite exciting.
      (Another man enters carrying a bazooka.)
      Man #3: Not so fast.
      All: Brian!
      Arthur: Ooh, what's that?
      The Others: It's a bazooka.
      Man #3 (Brian): All right. Get against the wall Van der Berg, and you nurse. And the first one to try anything moves to a practice six feet underground. This is an anti-tank gun and it's loaded and you've just got five seconds to tell me... whatever happened to Baby Jane?
      All: What?
      Brian: Oh... I'm sorry... my mind was wandering... I've had a terrible day... I really have... you've got five seconds to tell me... I've forgotten. I've forgotten.
      Stapleton: The five seconds haven't started yet, have they?
      Van der Berg: Only we don't know the question.
      Arthur: Was it about Vogler?
      Brian: No no no... you've got five seconds to tell me...
      Van der Berg: About Nigel?
      Brian: No. No.
      Lafarge: Bronski?
      Brian: No. No.
      Stapleton: The fillings!
      Brian: Oh yes, the fillings, of course. How stupid of me. Right, you've got five seconds. (clears throat) Where are the fillings? Five, four, three, two, one, Zero! (there is a long pause, Brian has forgotten to fire the bazooka but he can't put his finger on what has gone wrong) Zero! (looks at gun) Oh! I've forgotten to fire it. Sorry. Silly day. Very well. (quite rapidly) Five, four, three, two, one.
      (A panel slides back and a villain appears in sight seated in a dentist's chair, stroking a rabbit lying on his lap.)
      Villain: Drop the bazooka, Brian.
      All: The Big Cheese!
      (Brian drops the bazooka.)
      Villain (Big Cheese): I'm glad you could all come to my little party. And Flopsy's glad too, aren't you, Flopsy? (he holds Flopsy up as it does not reply) Aren't you, Flopsy? (no reply again so he pulls a big revolver out and fires at Flopsy from point-blank range) That'll teach you to play hard to get. There, poor Flopsy's dead. And never called me mother. And soon you will all be dead, dead, dead, dead. (the crowd start to hiss him) And because I'm so evil you'll all die the slow way... under the drill.
      Arthur: It's one o'clock.
      Big Cheese: So it is. Lunch break everyone, back here at two.
      (They all happily relax and walk off. Arthur surreptitiously goes to telephone and, making sure nobody is looking, calls.)
      Arthur: Hallo... give me the British Dental Association... and fast.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The Terry Jones segment entitled "It's a Man's Life Taking Your Clothes Off in Public" appears to be an homage to Jacques Tati's M. Hulot's Holiday. Terry Jones is known to be fan of Jacques Tati and much of the sketch is similar to the film: the awkward but sympathetic man on holiday at the beach, chance happenstance that leads to embarrassment, lack of dialogue, even the costuming are all reminiscent of M. Hulot's Holiday.

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