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The Oscar Wilde Sketch

The cast:

Terry Jones
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Michael Palin

The sketch:

Zoom in to overlay showing some stock film of hansom cabs galloping past. Suitably classy music starts.



Mix through to Wilde's drawing room. A crowd of suitably dressed folk are engaged in typically brilliant conversation, laughing affectedly and drinking champagne.

Prince: My congratulations, Wilde. Your latest play is a great success. The whole of London's talking about you.

Oscar: There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

There follows fifteen seconds of restrained and sycophantic laughter.

Prince: Very very witty ... very very witty.

Whistler: There is only one thing in the world worse than being witty, and that is not being witty.

Fifteen more seconds of the same.

Oscar: I wish I had said that.

Whistler: You will, Oscar, you will.

(more laughter)

Oscar: Your Majesty, have you met James McNeill Whistler?

Prince: Yes, we've played squash together.

Oscar: There is only one thing worse than playing squash together, and that is playing it by yourself. (silence) I wish I hadn't said that.

Whistler: You did, Oscar, you did.

(a little laughter)

Prince: You really must forgive me, Wilde, I've got to get back up the Palace.

Oscar: Your Majesty is like a big jam doughnut with cream on the top.

Prince: I beg your pardon?

Oscar: Um ... It was one of Whistler's.

Whistler: I never said that.

Oscar: You did, James, you did.

The Prince of Wales stares expectantly at Whistler.

Whistler: ... Well, Your Highness, what I meant was that, like a doughnut, um, your arrival gives us pleasure and your departure only makes us hungry for more.


Your Highness, you are also like a stream of bat's piss.

Prince: What?

Whistler: It was one of Wilde's. One of Wilde's.

Oscar: It sodding was not! It was Shaw!

Shaw: I ... I merely meant, Your Majesty, that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.

Prince: (accepting the compliment) Oh.

Oscar: (to Whistler) Right. Right? (to Prince) Your Majesty is like a dose of clap.

Whistler: Before you arrive -- before you arrive is pleasure, and after is a pain in the dong.

Prince: What?

Oscar and Whistler: One of Shaw's, one of Shaw's

Shaw: You bastards. Um ... what I meant, Your Majesty, what I meant ...

Oscar: We've got him, Jim.

Whistler: Come on, Shaw-y.

Oscar: Come on, Shaw-y.

Shaw: I merely meant ...

Oscar: Come on, Shaw-y.

Whistler: Let's have a bit of wit, then, man.

Oscar: Come on, Shaw-y.

Shaw: (blows a raspberry)

The Prince shakes Shaw's hand. Laughter all round.

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