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RAF Banter

The cast:

BOVRIL
Terry Jones
SQUADRON LEADER
Eric Idle
WINGCO
Graham Chapman
PILOT
Michael Palin
VOICE OVER
Michael Palin

The sketch:

A squadron leader, just off on a mission, runs past, and dashes into a Nissen hut

CAPTION: Somewhere in England, 1944

The squadron leader enters an RAF officers' mess and takes off his helmet

Bovril: Morning, squadron leader.

Squadron Leader: What-ho, Squiffy.

Bovril: >How was it?

Squadron Leader: Top hole. Bally Jerry pranged his kite right in the how's your father. Hairy blighter, dicky-birdied, feathered back on his Sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harper's and caught his can in the Bertie.

Bovril: Er, I'm afraid I don't quite follow you, squadron leader.

Squadron Leader: It's perfectly ordinary banter, Squiffy. Bally Jerry ... pranged his kite right in the how's yer father ... hairy blighter, dicky-birdied, feathered back on his Sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harper's and caught his can in the Bertie.

Bovril: No, I'm just not understanding banter at all well today. Give us it slower.

Squadron Leader: Banter's not the same if you say it slower, Squiffy.

Bovril: Hold on, then. (shouts) Wingco!

Wingco: Yes!

Bovril: Bend an ear to the squadron leader's banter for a sec, would you?

Wingco: Can do.

Bovril: Jolly good.

Wingco: Fire away.

Squadron Leader: (draws a deep breath and looks slightly uncertain, then starts even more deliberately then before) Bally Jerry ... pranged his kite ... right in the how's your father ... hairy blighter ... dicky-birdied ... ... feathered back on his Sammy ... took a waspy ... flipped over on his Betty Harper's ... and caught his can in the Bertie.

Wingco: ... No, don't understand that banter at all.

Squadron Leader: Something up with my banter, chaps?

A siren goes. The door bursts open and an out-of-breath young pilot rushes in in his flying gear.

Pilot: Bunch of monkeys on your ceiling, sir! Grab your egg and fours and let's get the bacon delivered.

General incomprehension. They look at each other

Wingco: Do you understand that?

Squadron Leader: No, didn't get a word of it.

Wingco: Sorry old man, we don't understand your banter.

Pilot: You know ... bally ten-penny ones dropping in the custard ... (searching for the words) um ... Charlie Choppers chucking a handful ...

Wingco: No, no ... sorry.

Bovril: Say it a bit slower, old chap.

Pilot: Slower banter, sir?

Wingco: Ra-ther!

Pilot: Um ... sausage squad up the blue end!

Squadron Leader: No, still don't get it.

Pilot: Um ... cabbage crates coming over the briny?

Squadron Leader: No.

Wingco, Pilot and Bovril: No, no ...

Stock film of a German bombing raid.

Voice Over: But by then it was too late. The first cabbage crates hit London by July 7th. That was just the beginning...

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