May 24th 1973

“Moved room back to original position xcept Record Player is now on the floor. Borrowd Another Monty Python Record off Davies – bludy funny”

Released by Charisma Records in 1972, “Another Monty Python Record” was the second compilation of material from the comedy troupe’s TV series on BBC.

Housed in a spoof sleeve of a Beethoven symphony album, it contains many of their classic sketches, including The Spanish Inquisition, The Piranha Brothers and Spam.

For me though – and something I still remember almost word for word some 35 years later was – is the final cut “Still No Sign of Land“, a skit about 5 unrescued sailors bobbing about on the sea in a lifeboat…

It reads as well as it sounds….

……………………………………………………

The cast:

SAILOR #1:Michael Palin
SAILOR #2: Graham Chapman
SAILOR #3: Eric Idle
SAILOR #4: Terry Jones
SAILOR #5:John Cleese

The Sketch:
(Scene: The interior of a lifeboat. FX: Seagulls are crying.)

#1: Still no sign of land. How long is it?

#2: That’s a rather personal question, sir.

#1: (low voice)You stupid git. I meant how long has it been in the lifeboat? You’ve destroyed the atmosphere now.

#2: I’m sorry.

#1: Shut up. Start again.

#1: Still no sign of land. How long is it?

#2: 33 days, sir.

#1: Thirty-three days?

#2: We can’t go on much longer. (low voices) I didn’t think I destroyed the atmosphere.

#1: Shut up.

#2: Well, I don’t think I did.

#1: ‘Course you did.

#2: (aside, to 3) Did you think I destroyed the atmosphere?

#3: Yes I think you did.

#1: Shut up. Shut up!

#1: Still no sign of land. How long is it?

#2: 33 days, sir.

#4: Have we started again? (FX: slap)

#1: STILL no sign of land. How long is it?

#2: 33 days, sir.

#1: Thirty-three days?

#2: We can’t go on much longer, sir. We haven’t eaten since the fifth day.

#5: We’re done for, we’re done for!

#1: Shut up, Morley.

#2: We’ve just got to keep hoping. Someone may find us.

#4: How we feeling, Captain?

#5: Not too good. I…I feel so weak.

#2: We can’t hold out much longer.

#5: Listen…chaps…there’s still a chance. I’m…done for, I’ve…got a gammy leg and I’m going fast; I’ll never get through. But…some of you might. So…you’d better eat me.

#1: Eat you, sir?

#5: Yes. Eat me.

#2: Uuuugggghh! With a gammy leg?

#5: You don’t eat the leg, Thompson. There’s still plenty of good meat. Look at that arm.

#3: It’s not just the leg, sir.

#5: What do you mean?

#5: Well, sir…it’s just that –

#5: Why don’t you want to eat me?

#3: I’d rather eat Johnson, sir!

#2: So would I, sir.

#5: I see.

#4:Well that’s settled then…everyone’s gonna eat me!

#1: Uh, well.

#5: What, sir?

#1: No, no you go ahead, please, I won’t…….

#4: Oh nonsense, sir, you’re starving; tuck in!

#1: No, no, it’s not just that.

#2: What’s the matter with Johnson, sir?

#1: Well, he’s not kosher.

#3: That depends how we kill him, sir.

#1: Yes, that’s true. But to be perfectly frank I…I like my meat a little more lean. I’d rather eat Hodges.

#2: Oh well, all right.

#5: I still prefer Johnson.

#5: I wish you’d all stop bickering and eat me.

#2: Look. I tell you what. Those who want to can eat Johnson. And you, sir, can have my leg. And we make some stock from the Captain, and then we’ll have Johnson cold for supper.

#1: Good thinking, Hodges.

#4: And we’ll finish off with the peaches.

#3: And we can start off with the avocados….

………………………………………………………………………

Because I have never quelled my juvenile attitude I’m still apt to reply “that’s a rather personal question” if anyone asks me “how long it is”.

No doubting that this album set me off on a lifetime’s appreciation of recorded comedy.

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