Saturday 18 February 2006

Monty Python: Dead Parrot Sketch

The Pet Shoppe

Below is the Parrot Sketch with full transcript and definitions of some of the vocabulary used (see bottom)

A customer enters a pet shop.

Customer: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(The owner does not respond.)

C: 'Ello, Miss?

Owner: What do you mean "miss"?

C: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

O: Sorry, we're closin' for lunch.

C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

O: Oh yes, the Norwegian Blue. What's wrong with it?

C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

O: Nah, nah, it's resting, look!.

C: Look, my lad, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

O: No no it's not dead, it's restin'!

C: Restin'?

O: Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, beautiful plumage, idn'it?

C: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

O: Nah, nah it's resting!

C: All right then, if it's restin', I'll wake it up!

(shouting at the cage)

'Ello, Polly! I've got a nice cuttle fish for you when you wake up, Polly Parrot...
(owner hits the cage)

O: There, it moved!

C: No, it didn't, that was you pushing the cage!

O: I did not!!

C: Yes, you did!

(takes parrot out of the cage yelling at the parrot)


(thumps its head on the counter)


(thumps its head on the counter, again, and shakes it)


.(throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor)

C: Now that's what I call a dead parrot.

O: Nah, no it's stunned!

C: Look, my lad, I've 'ad just about enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I bought it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out after a long squawk.

O: Well, it's probably pining for the fjords.

C: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home?

O: The Norwegian Blue prefers kippin' on it's back! It's a beautiful bird, lovely plumage! id'nit, squire?

C: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot, and I discovered that the only reason it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.


O: Well, o'course it was nailed there, otherwise it would have nuzzled up to those bars, and VOOM!

C: Look matey
(picks up parrot)

C: This parrot wouldn't "voom" if I put four thousand volts through it! It's bleedin' demised!

O: It's not! It's pining!

C: It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet it's maker! This is a late parrot.

It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it'd be pushing up the daisies!

Its run down the curtain and joined the choir invisibile!



O: Well, I'd better replace it, then.

C: If you want anything done in this country you've gotta complain until you're blue in the mouth

(O takes a quick peek behind the counter)

O: Sorry guv, we're right out of parrots.

C: I see. I see, I get the picture.

O: I got a slug.


C: Does it talk?

O: Not really, no.

C: Well it's scarcely a replacement is it?

O: I'll tell you what, tell you what, if you go to my brother's pet shop in Bolton, he'll replace your parrot for you.

C: Bolton, eh? Alright

(The customer leaves.)

(The customer enters the same pet shop. The owner has on a false moustache.)

C: Excuse me. This is Bolton, is it?

O: (with a fake moustache) No, it's Ipswich.

C: (looking at the camera) That's inter-city rail for you.

(The customer goes to the train station.)

(He addresses a man standing behind a desk marked "Complaints".)

C: I wish to make a complaint.


C: I beg your pardon...?

A: I'm a qualified brain surgeon! I only do this because I like being my own boss!

C: Excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn't it?

A: Yeah, well it's not easy to pad these to minutes.

C: Well, I wish to make a complaint. I got on the Bolton train and found myself deposited here in Ipswich.

A: Nah, this is Bolton.

C: (to the camera) The pet shop owner's brother was lying!!

A: Well, you can't blame British Rail for that.

C: If this is Bolton, I shall return to the pet shop!

(He does.)

C: I understand this IS Bolton.

O: (still with the fake mustache) Yeah?

C: Well, you told me it was Ipswitch!

O: ...It was a pun.

C: (pause) A PUN?!?

O: Nah, no...not a pun...What's the other thing that reads the same backwards as forwards?

C: (Long pause) A palindrome...?

O: Yeah,...yeah.

C: It's not a palindrome! The palindrome of "Bolton" would be "Notlob"!! It don't work!!

O: Look, what do you want?

C: No I'm sorry, I'm not prepared to pursue my line of inquiry any further as I think this is getting too silly!

Sergeant-Major: Quite agree, quite agree, silly, silly, silly,...Right, get on with it...get on withit!!


a boy or youth
matey: a friend or a form of address
plumage: the covering of feathers on a bird
stunned: filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise or shock
deceased: no longer living; dead.
shagged out: very tired
squawk: a harsh abrupt scream, a loud screech (the noise a parrot makes)
to pine: to have a nostalgic desire
to nuzzle up: to push up to or rub someone or something with the nose
voom: a noise that something makes when it moves very fast
demised/passed on: dead
a stiff: a dead person
pushing up the daisies: phrase meaning that he is dead
I get the picture: I understand the situation
a slug: it is similar to a snail, but without the shell
a pun:
a humorous play on words


Gio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Brilliant - thanks. I was wanting to check the details of this sketch and you enabled me to update my transcript and run it past the actual original.

An error in your own transcription, though. It is "rung down the curtain" - not "run down" (a phrase from closing the run of a play in old fashioned theatres which had a curtain between audience and stage), and is another euphemism for having died. Where this sketch is an excellent teaching aid - I can't think of another example with such a quick fire series of euphemisms for death.

Another slight correction, to your commentary this time. "Shagged out" has connotations of being exhausted through excessive sexual activity - a rather derogatory phrase.