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Conference / The Last Five Miles of the M2

The cast:

CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Terry Jones
MRS MOCK TUDOR
Graham Chapman
MRS ELIZABETH III
Terry Jones
FIRST PLANNER
Eric Idle
SECOND PLANNER
Michael Palin
THIRD PLANNER
Graham Chapman
MRS. HELMUT
Terry Jones
SECURITY MAN
Terry Gilliam

The sketch:

Chief Executive: You see the public are idiots ... (he has a conference tag on his lapel which reads `Chief TV Planner'; he turns from the window to a conference table, piled with drinks) Yes ... you might just as well show them the last five miles of the M2 ... they'd watch it, eh?

Cut to Mrs. Mock Tudor and Mrs. Elizabeth III watching TV. There is a film of the motorway on it, filmed from the bank beside a bridge.

Mrs. Mock Tudor At last they done been put on something interesting.

Mrs. Elizabeth III Oh, most interesting.

Cut back to the program planners' conference.

First Planner (reading figures) ... and our figures show that the motorways are extremely popular. I mean, last time we showed a repeat of the Leicester bypass our ratings gave us 97,300,912, and ITV naught. So I do feel we ought to give B roads their own series.

Chief Executive: I'm sorry ... we just can't give you a bigger budget.

Second Planner Budgie?

First Planner: (to the second planner) No, he's left I think. (to the senior executive) Why not?

Chief Executive: We're not the only slice of the cake, you know.

Third Planner Wouldn't mind a slice of cake. Nice chocolate cake ... delicious ...

Second Planner: I had a budgie once you know, amusing little chap, used to stick his head in a bell ... what was his name, now ... Joey? ... Xerxes? ...

First Planner: We could repeat them ...

Third Planner: Re-heat them?

First Planner: No, repeat them ...

Third Planner: You don't re-heat cakes. Not chocolate cakes.

Chief Executive: What, repeat the cakes?

Second Planner: Mr. Heath, that was the name of the budgie.

Chief Executive: (looking at his watch) Good Lord, the bar's open! (they all scramble madly to their feet) Oh no it isn't, I was looking at the little hand that goes round very fast ...

First Planner, Second Planner and Third Planner: Damn. Blast.

They sit down again reluctantly. There is a short pause.

First Planner: I've got it. We can retitle the repeats.

Second Planner: What ... give them different names?

Chief Executive: Wouldn't that mean retitling them?

Third Planner: Brilliant!

Chief Executive: Right -- all we need is new titles. And they must be damned new!

Second Planner: How about `Dad's Navy'?

Chief Executive: Mm, good, good.

First Planner: `Up Your Mother Next Door.'

Chief Executive: Even better ...

Third Planner: `Doctor At Bee'!

Chief Executive, First Planner and Second Planner: What?

There is a knock at the door.

First Planner: Someone's knocking at the door.

Chief Executive: Quite like it -- bit long, though, I think.

Third Planner: Far too long.

Second Planner: `I Married Lucy.'

Chief Executive: Hasn't that been done?

Second Planner: Oh, yes, a long time ago, though, they'd never remember it.

Third Planner: `Doctor at Three'!

Chief Executive: What?

There is a knock at the door.

First Planner: I think someone's knocking at the door.

Chief Executive: That's even longer!

Second Planner: `I Married A Tree.'

Chief Executive: `And Mother Makes Tree.'

Third Planner: `Doctor At Cake'!

Continuous knocking on the door.

First Planner: Look! I'm not absolutely certain, but, well I do rather get the impression that there is someone actually knocking on the door at this very moment.

Chief Executive: That's ridiculous. Half the program gone. Stop lengthening it!

Third Planner: (desperate) `I Married A Cake'?

Second Planner: (over excited) `I Married Three Rabbit Jelly Moulds'!

Third Planner: Prefer a cake ... specially chocky cake ...

There is by now a constant hammering.

Security Man (yells from outside door) Open the sodding door!

Chief Executive: No, no. You can't say `sodding' on the television.

All shake their heads. The door is broken in. Enter a neo-fascist-looking security man in a wheelchair with an oriental sword through his head.

Chief Executive: You're supposed to knock!

Security Man: Sorry, sir, but there's trouble at studio five!

Second Planner: You're in security, aren't you?

Security Man: Yes, sir.

Second Planner: (triumphantly) Well, you're not allowed to suggest program titles. (he smiles victoriously at others)

Security Man: Sir! It's the World War series in studio five -- they're not taking it seriously any more.

First Planner: You're not allowed to suggest program titles!

Security Man: (switching on a TV set) Look!

They rush to the monitor. One of them brushes the oriental sword which is through his head.

Security Man: Ow! Mind me war wound!

Chief Executive, First Planner, Second Planner and Third Planner: That's it! Very good title!

On the screen we see the court martial in progress as we saw it earlier in the show, with the whole court singing.

Everyone:
Anything goes in. Anything goes out!
Fish, bananas, old pajamas,
Mutton, beef and trout!
Anything goes in. Anything goes out! etc.

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