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Lifeboat

The cast:

FIRST LIFEBOAT MAN
Michael Palin
MRS. NEVES
Terry Jones
SECOND LIFEBOAT MAN
Graham Chapman
THIRD LIFEBOAT MAN
Terry Gilliam

The sketch:

(Cut to an ordinary kitchen. A Mrs. Pinnet type lady with long apron and headscarf is stuffing a chicken with various unlikely objects. The door opens. Sound of rain, wind and storm outside. A life boatman enters, soaked to the skin. He shuts the door.)

First Lifeboat man: (taking off his southwester and shaking the water off it) Oh it's terrible up on deck.

Mrs. Neves: Up on deck?

First Lifeboat man: Yes on deck. It's diabolical weather.

Mrs. Neves: What deck, dear?

First Lifeboat man: The deck, The deck of the lifeboat.

Mrs. Neves: This isn't a lifeboat, dear. This is 24, Parker Street.

First Lifeboat man: This is the Newhaven Lifeboat.

Mrs. Neves: No it's not, dear.

(The First Lifeboat man puts on his southwester, goes over to the back door and opens it, He peers out. Sound of wind and lashing rain. Cut to the back door at the side of a suburban home, the lifeboat man looking out over the lawns, flowers and windless, rainless calm across to similar neat suburban houses. 'The noise cuts. The life boatman withdraws his head from the door. Sound of wind and rain again which cease abruptly as he withdraws his head and shuts the door.)

First Lifeboat man: You're right. This isn't a lifeboat at all.

Mrs. Neves: No, I wouldn't live here if it was,

First Lifeboat man: Do you mind if I sit down for a minute and collect my wits?

Mrs. Neves: No, you do that, I'll make you a nice cup of tea.

First Lifeboat man: Thanks very much.

(The door flies open. More sound of wind and rain. Two other rain-soaked lifeboat men appear.)

Second Lifeboat man: Oooh, it's a wild night up top.

Third Lifeboat man: Your turn on deck soon, Charlie.

First Lifeboat man: It's not a lifeboat, Frank.

Third Lifeboat man: What?

Second Lifeboat man: What do you mean?

First Lifeboat man: It's not a lifeboat. It's this lady's house.

(The two lifeboat men look at each other, then turn and open the door. Sound of wind and rain as usual. They peer out. Cut to the back door - the two lifeboat men are peering out. They shout.)

Second and Third Lifeboat men: Captain! Captain! Ahoy there! Ahoy there! Captain!!

(Their voices carry over the following shot or two. Cut to reverse angle of window across the road. A net curtain moves and an eye peers out... continues)

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