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Tudor Jobs Agency

The cast:

ASSISTANT
Terry Jones
CUSTOMER
Graham Chapman
SECOND ASSISTANT
Eric Idle

The sketch:

(Outside a shop. A sign reads 'Tudor Job Agency -Jobs a Specialty '. A man enters the shop. Inside it is decorated in Tudor style. The assistant is in Tudor dress.)

Assistant: Morning, sir, can I help you?

Customer: Yes, yes... I wondered if you have any part-time vacancies on your books..

Assistant: Part-time, I'll have a look, sir. (he gets out a book and looks through it) Let me look now. We've got, ah yes, Sir Walter Raleigh is equipping another expedition to Virginia; he needs traders and sailors. Vittlers needed at the Court of Philip of Spain, oh, yes, and they want master joiners and craftsmen for the building of the Globe Theatre.

Customer: I see. Have you anything a bit more modern, you know, like a job on the buses, or digging the underground?

Assistant: Oh no, we only have Tudor jobs.

Customer: That can't be very profitable, can it?

Assistant: Well, you'd be surprised, actually sir. The Tudor economy's booming, ever since Sir Humphrey Gilbert opened up the North- west passage to Cathay, and the Cabots' expansion in Canada, there's been a tremendous surge in exports, and trade with the Holy Roman Empire is going... no, quite right, it's no good at all.

Customer: What?

Assistant: It's a dead loss. We haven't put anyone in a job since 1625.

Customer: I see.

Assistant: That's all?

Customer: What?

Assistant: That's all you say?

Customer: Yes.

Assistant: No, no, we were the tops then. Drake got all his sailors here. Elizabeth, we supplied the archbishops for her coronation. Shakespeare started off from here as a temp. Then came James the First and the bottom fell out of the Tudor jobs. 1603 - 800 vacancies filled, 1604 - 40, 1605 - none, 1606 - none. The rest of the Stuart period nothing. Hanoverions nothing. Victorians nothing. Saxe-Coburgs nothing. Windsors... what did you want?

Customer: Dirty books, please.

Assistant: Right. (produces selection of mags from under counter) Sorry about the Tudor bit, but you can't be too careful, you know. Have a look through these.

Customer: Have you got anything a bit... er...

Assistant: A bit stronger?

Customer: Yes.

Assistant: Hold on ... a... My Lord of Warwick!

Second Assistant: (off) 'Allo!

Assistant: Raise high the drawbridge. Gloucester's troops approach.

Second Assistant: (off) Right.

Assistant: Can't be too careful you know, sir.

(The wall of the Tudor shop slides back to reveal the interior of a Soho dirty bookshop in the back room... continued)

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