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New Cooker Sketch

The cast:

MRS. PINNET
Terry Jones
SIR VINCENT
John Cleese
FIRST GAS MAN
Michael Palin
SECOND GAS MAN
Graham Chapman
THIRD GAS MAN
John Cleese
FOURTH GAS MAN
Eric Idle
FIFTH GAS MAN
Terry Gilliam

The sketch:

(A housewife (Mrs. Pinnet) sits watching, wearing an apron and a scarf and with her hair in curlers. The doorbell sounds. She switches the TV off and answers the door which opens straight into the living room. There in the street stands a truly, amazing figure of fun. A man in a bowler hat with an axe sticking out of it, big red joke nose, illuminated bow tie that revolves, joke broad shoulders, clown's check jacket, long johns with sock suspenders, heavy army boots and leading a goat with a hat. Close-up.)

Man: Hello. Mrs. Rogers?

Mrs. Pinnet: No. Ooh I must be in the wrong house,

(She shuts the door on him and we fellow her as she crosses the room. She climbs out of the window. Back yard of terraced house. She scrambles over a quite high dividing wall into next door and starts to scramble into next-door window. Interior of a more cluttered working-class sitting-room. There is a TV in there with Sir Vincent still camping it up.

Sir Vincent: So from now on we're going to do things my way. For a start David Hockhey is going to design the bombs. And I've seen the plans... ( The doorbell rings.)

Mrs. Pinnet: That must be the new gas cooker.

(She switches the TV off. Immediate thunderous epic music. Superimposed caption on screen, in stone lettering, as for Ben Hur) 'NEW COOKER SKETCH' Both caption and music switch off suddenly as she opens the door. Outside the door are two gas men with a new cooker.)

First Gas Man: Morning. Mrs. G. Crump?

Mrs. Pinnet: No - Mrs. G. Pinnet.

First Gas Man: This is 46 Egernon Crescent?

Mrs. Pinnet: No - Road. Egernon Road.

First Gas Man: (looks at a bit of paper) Road, yes, says here. Yeah. Right, could I speak to Mrs. G. Crump please?

Mrs. Pinnet: Oh there's nobody here of that name. It's Mrs. G. Pinnet. 46 Egernon Road.

First Gas Man: Well it says 'Crump' here. Don't it, Harry?

Second Gas Man: Yeah - it's on the invoice.

First Gas Man: Yeah, definitely Crump.

Mrs. Pinnet: Well there must have been a mistake, because the address is right, and that's definitely the cooker I ordered - a blue and white CookEasy.

First Gas Man: Well you can't have this. This is Crump.

Mrs. Pinnet: Oh dear, what are we going to do?

First Gas Man: Well I don't know. What we can do for you is take it back to the Depot, get a transfer slip from Crump to Pinnet, and put it on a special delivery.

Second Gas Man: Yeah - that's best. We'll special it for you, we'll get it down there today and you'll get it back in ten weeks.

Mrs. Pinnet: Ten weeks! Blimey, can't you just leave this one?

First Gas Man: What this? What leave it here? (they seem thunderstruck)

Mrs. Pinnet: Yes.

First Gas Man: Well I dunno. I suppose we could.

Second Gas Man: Oh, but she'd have to fill out a temporary dispatch note.

First Gas Man: Yeah we could leave it on a temporary dispatch note.

Mrs. Pinnet: Well that's sorted out then. What a mess, isn't it.

First Gas Man: I know, it's ridiculous really, but there you are. Glad we could be of such a help. Right, would you sign it down there please, Mrs. Crump?

Mrs. Pinnet: Pinnet.

First Gas Man: Pinnet. Listen, just for the books make it a bit easier, could you sign it Crump-Pinnet.

Mrs. Pinnet: Right. (she signs)

First Gas Man: Right. Thank you very much, dear. The cooker's yours. Right. Thank you very much, dear. Right. (they push it just inside the door and move off) Sorry about the bother... but there you are ... you know ... cheerio!

Second Gas Man: Cheerio, Mrs. Crump!

Mrs. Pinnet: Heh, excuse me! Cooey! Er, can you put it in the kitchen?

First Gas Man: (coming back) You what?

Mrs. Pinnet: Well I can't cook on it unless it's connected up.

First Gas Man: Oh we didn't realize you had an installation invoice.

Second Gas Man: An MI.

First Gas Man: No, we can't touch it without an MI, you see.

Second Gas Man: Or an RI6.

Third Gas Man: (who is suddenly revealed behind the two of them) If it's a special.

Second Gas Man: Nah - it's not special ... the special's back at the Depot.

First Gas Man: No, the special's the same as installation invoice.

Third Gas Man: So it's an RI6.

Mrs. Pinnet: What's an installation invoice?

First Gas Man: A pink form from Reading.

Mrs. Pinnet: Oh - we wondered what that was. Now these are the forms. (she produces a large wad of papers, sorts through and products a pink form which she hands to them)

First Gas Man: That's the one, love. Yeah, this should be all I need. Hang on. This is for Pinnet. Mrs. G. Pinnet.

Mrs. Pinnet: That's right. I'm Mrs. G. Pinnet.

First Gas Man: Well we've got Crump-Pinnet on the invoice.

Mrs. Pinnet: Well shall I sign it Crump-Pinnet then?

First Gas Man: No, no, no - not an MI - no.

Second Gas Man: No - that's from Area Service at Reading.

Fourth Gas Man: (suddenly revealed) No, Cheltenham isn't it?

Second Gas Man: No, not this side of the street.

Mrs. Pinnet: Look I just want it connected up.

(Much doubtfulness.)

Third Gas Man: What about London Office?

First Gas Man: Well they haven't got the machinery.

Second Gas Man: Not now.

Fifth Gas Man: (suddenly, revealed) What! The Hounslow Depot?

Fourth Gas Man: No - they're still on standard pressure.

Sixth Gas Man: (suddenly revealed) Same with Twickenham.

Mrs. Pinnet: But surely they can connect up a gas cooker?

First Gas Man: Oh yeah, we could connect it up, love, but not unless it's an emergency.

Mrs. Pinnet: But this is an emergency.

First Gas Man: No it's not. An emergency is 290... 'where there is actual or apparent loss of combustible gaseous substances'.

Second Gas Man: Yeah, it's like a leak.

(Seventh gas man is revealed.)

Seventh Gas Man: Yeah, or a 478.

Third Gas Man: No - that's valve adjustment.

Mrs. Pinnet: But there can't be a leak unless you've connected it up.

First Gas Man: No, quite. We'd have to turn it on.

Mrs. Pinnet: Well can't you turn it on and connect it up?

First Gas Man: No. But what we can do, and this is between you and me, I shouldn't really be telling you this, we'll turn your gas on, make a hole in your pipe, you ring Hounslow emergency, they'll be around here in a couple of days.

Mrs. Pinnet: What, a house full of gas! Ca be dead by then

First Gas Man: Oh well, in that case you'd have the South East Area Manager round here like a shot.

Mrs. Pinnet: Really?

First Gas Man: Ah yes. 'One or more persons overcome by fumes', you'd have Head Office, Holbom, round here.

Mrs. Pinnet: Really?

First Gas Man: Yes. That's murder you see.

Second Gas Man: Or suicide.

Fifth Gas Man: No. That's S42.

Second Gas Man: Oh.

(Eighth gas man is revealed.)

Eighth Gas Man: Still? I thought it was Hainault.

Fifth Gas Man: No - Central area and Southall Marketing Division, they're both on the S42 now.

Mrs. Pinnet: And they'd be able to connect it up?

First Gas Man: Oh - they'd do the lot for you, love.

Mrs. Pinnet: And they'd come round this afternoon?

First Gas Man: ... Well what is it now... 11:30 murder... they'll be round here by two.

Mrs. Pinnet: Oh well that's wonderful.

First Gas Man: Oh well, right love, if you'd like to lie down here.

Mrs. Pinnet: All fight. (she does so)

First Gas Man: Okay Harry.

Second Gas Man: Okay. Gas on.

First Gas Man: (holding a gas pipe to her mouth) Right, deep breaths love. Ring Head Office would you Norman...

Fourth Gas Man: Shall I go through maintenance?

Fifth Gas Man: No, you'd better go through Deptford maintenance.

Sixth Gas Man: Peckham's on a 207 .... .

Voices: ... that's LeWisham. What about Tottenham? No that would be a 5.4. what about Lewisham? It's central isn't it? Or Ruislip...

(The camera pans along line of gas men all turning to each other and muttering incomprehensible technicalities, the line stretches across to back door. Line continues outside in street and goes into animation sequences)

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