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The Architects Sketch

The cast:

ANNOUNCER
John Cleese
MR. TID
Graham Chapman
MR. WIGGIN
John Cleese
CITY GENT #1
Michael Palin
CITY GENT #2
Terry Jones
MR. LEAVEY
Eric Idle

The sketch:

ANNOUNCER: The BBC would like to apologize for the next announcement.

GUMBYS: Hello, and welcome to the show. Without more ado, the first item is a sketch about architects called 'The Architects Sketch'. 'The Architects Sketch'. 'The Architects Sketch'! 'The Architects Sketch'! Up there! Up there! Up there! Up there! The architects!...

(Scene: A large, posh office. Two clients, well-dressed city gents, sit facing a large table at which stands Mr. Tid, the account manager of the architectural firm.

MR. TID: Gentlemen, we have two basic suggestions for the design of this--

GUMBYS: Up there!...

MR. TID: Gentlemen, we have two basic suggestions for the design of this--

GUMBYS: Architects! Up there! Up there--

MR. TID: Shut up! Gentlemen, we have two basic suggestions--

GUMBYS: Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring!... (splash)

MR. TID: Gentlemen, we have two basic suggestions for the design of this architectural block, the residential block, and I thought it best that the architects themselves came in to explain the advantages of both designs.

(knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock)

That must be the first architect now. Ah, yes. It's Mr. Wiggin of Ironside and Malone.

MR. WIGGIN: Good morning, gentlemen. Uh, this is a twelve-storey block combining classical neo-Georgian features with all the advantages of modern design. Uhh, the tenants arrive in the entrance hall here, are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort and past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps into these large containers--

CITY GENT #1: Excuse me.

MR. WIGGIN: Hmm?

CITY GENT #1: Uh, did you say 'knives'?

MR. WIGGIN: Uh, rotating knives. Yes.

CITY GENT #2: Are you, uh, proposing to slaughter our tenants?

MR. WIGGIN: Does that not fit in with your plans?

CITY GENT #1: No, it does not. Uh, we-- we wanted a... simple... block of flats.

MR. WIGGIN: Ahh, I see. I hadn't, uh, correctly divined your attitude...

CITY GENT #: Uh, huh huh.

MR. WIGGIN: ...towards your tenants.

CITY GENT #: Huh huh.

MR. WIGGIN: You see, I mainly design slaughter houses.

CITY GENT #1: Yes. Pity.

MR. WIGGIN: Mind you, this is a real beaut. I mean, none of your blood caked on the walls and flesh flying out of the windows inconveniencing passers-by with this one. I mean, my life has been building up to this.

CITY GENT #2: Yes, and well done, huh, but we did want a block of flats.

MR. WIGGIN: Well, may I ask you to reconsider? I mean, you wouldn't regret it. Think of the tourist trade.

CITY GENT #1: No, no, it's-- it's just that we wanted a block of flats and not an abattoir.

MR. WIGGIN: Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss for the struggling artist. You excrement! You whining, hypocritical toadies, with your color TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding Masonic secret handshakes! You wouldn't let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards! Well, I wouldn't become a freemason now if you went down on your lousy, stinking knees and begged me!

CITY GENT #2: Well, we're sorry you feel like that, but we, um, did... want... a block of flats. Nice, though, the abattoir is. Huh huh.

MR. WIGGIN: Oh, p-p-p-p the abattoir.

(He dashes forward and kneels in front of them.)

That's not important, but if one of you could put in a word for me, I'd love to be a freemason. Freemasonry opens doors. I mean, um, I-- I was a bit on edge just now, but-- but if I was a mason, I'd just sit at the back and not get in anyone's way.

CITY GENT #1: Thank you.

MR. WIGGIN: I've got a second-hand apron.

CITY GENT #2: Thank you.

(Mr. Wiggin hurries to the door but stops...)

MR. WIGGIN: I nearly got in at Hendon.

CITY GENT #1: Thank you.

MR. TID: I'm sorry about that, gentlemen. The second architect is Mr. Leavey of Wymis and Dibble.

CITY GENTS: Oh.

(Mr. Leavey enters, carrying his model with great care. He places it on the table.)

MR. LEAVEY: Good morning, gentlemen.

CITY GENTS: Morning.

MR. LEAVEY: Uhh, this is a scale model of the block. Uh, there are twenty-eight stories with two hundred and eighty modern apartments. There are three main lifts and two service lifts. Access would be from Dibbingley Road.

(The model falls over. Mr. Leavey quickly places it upright again.)

Uhh, the structure is built on a central pillar system, uh,...

(The model falls over again. Mr. Leavey tries to make it stand up, but it won't, so he has to hold it upright.)

...with cantilevered floors in pre-stressed steel and concrete. Uh, the dividing walls on each floor section are fixed with recessed magnalium flanged grooves.

(The bottom ten floors of the model give way and it partly collapses.)

(crick) Uh, by avoiding wood and timber derivatives and all other inflammables, uh,... (fsss) ...we have almost totally removed the risk... of--

(The model is smoking. Flames can be seen. Mr. Leavey looks at the city gents.)

Quite frankly, I think the central pillar system may need strengthening a bit.

CITY GENT #2: Isn't that going to put the cost up?

MR. LEAVEY: Uh, it might.

CITY GENT #2: Well, I don't know whether I'd worry about strengthening that much. After all, they're not meant to be luxury flats. Huh.

CITY GENT #1: No, I quite agree. I mean, providing the tenants are of light build and relatively sedentary and, uhh, (er instead) given a spot of good weather, I think we're on to a winner here.

CITY GENT #2: Yes.

MR. LEAVEY: Uh, thank you.

(The model explodes.)

CITY GENT #2: I quite agree. I quite agree.

MR. LEAVEY: Thank you very much. Thank you.

(They all shake hands, giving the secret Mason's handshake. Mr. Wiggin then says to the camera...)

MR. WIGGIN: It opens doors, I'm telling you.

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