3 min read





From “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”

Transcribed by Betty McLaughlin

Scene: A tobacconist’s shop.

Text on screen: In 1970, the British Empire lay in ruins, and foreign nationalists frequented the streets - many of them Hungarians (not the streets - the foreign nationals). Anyway, many of these Hungarians went into tobacconist’s shops to buy cigarettes….

Scene: A Hungarian tourist (John Cleese) approaches the clerk (Terry Jones). The tourist is reading haltingly from a phrase book.

Hungarian: I will not buy this record, it is scratched.

Clerk: Sorry?

Hungarian: I will not buy this record, it is scratched.

Clerk: Uh, no, no, no. This is a tobacconist’s.

Hungarian: Ah! I will not buy this tobacconist’s, it is scratched.

Clerk: No, no, no, no. Tobacco…um…cigarettes (holds up a pack).

Hungarian: Ya! See-gar-ets! Ya! Uh…My hovercraft is full of eels.

Clerk: Sorry?

Hungarian: My hovercraft (pantomimes puffing a cigarette)…is full of eels (pretends to strike a match).

Clerk: Ahh, matches!

Hungarian: Ya! Ya! Ya! Ya! Do you waaaaant…do you waaaaaant…to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy?

Clerk: Here, I don’t think you’re using that thing right.

Hungarian: You great poof.

Clerk: That’ll be six and six, please.

Hungarian: If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me? I…I am no longer infected.

Clerk: Uh, may I, uh…(takes phrase book, flips through it)…Costs six and six…ah, here we are. (speaks weird Hungarian-sounding words)

(Hungarian punches the clerk.)

Scene: Meanwhile, a policeman (Graham Chapman) on a quiet street cups his ear as if hearing a cry of distress. He sprints for many blocks and finally enters the tobacconist’s.

Cop: What’s going on here then?

Hungarian: Ah. You have beautiful thighs.

Cop: (looks down at himself) WHAT?!?

Clerk: He hit me!

Hungarian: Drop your panties, Sir William; I cannot wait ‘til lunchtime.

(points at clerk)

Cop: RIGHT!!! (drags Hungarian away by the arm)

Hungarian: (indignantly) My nipples explode with delight!

Scene: A courtroom. Characters are all in powdered wigs and judicial robes, except publisher and cop. Characters:
Judge: Terry Jones
Bailiff Eric Idle
Lawyer: John Cleese
Cop: Graham Chapman
Publisher: Michael Palin

Bailiff: Call Alexander Yalt!

(voices sing out the name several times)

Judge: Oh, shut up!

Bailiff: (to publisher) You are Alexander Yalt?

Publisher: (in a sing-songy voice) Oh, I am.

Bailiff: Skip the impersonations. You are Alexander Yalt?

Publisher: I am.

Bailiff: You are hereby charged that on the 28th day of May, 1970, you did willfully, unlawfully, and with malice of forethought, publish an alleged English-Hungarian phrase book with intent to cause a breach of the peace. How do you plead?

Publisher: Not guilty.

Bailiff: You live at 46 Horton Terrace?

Publisher: I do live at 46 Horton terrace.

Bailiff: You are the director of a publishing company?

Publisher: I am the director of a publishing company.

Bailiff: Your company publishes phrase books?

Publisher: My company does publish phrase books.

Bailiff: You did say 46 Horton Terrace, did you?

Publisher: Yes.

Bailiff: (strikes a gong) Ah! Got him!

(lawyer and cop applaud, laugh)

Judge: Get on with it, get on with it.

Bailiff: That’s fine. On the 28th of May, you published this phrase book.

Publisher: I did.

Bailiff: I quote on example. The Hungarian phrase meaning “Can you direct me to the station?” is translated by the English phrase, “Please fondle my bum.”

Publisher: I wish to plead incompetence.

Cop: (stands) Please may I ask for an adjournment, m’lord?

Judge: An adjournment? Certainly not!

(the cop sits down again, emitting perhaps the longest and loudest release of bodily gas in the history of the universe.)

Judge: Why on earth didn’t you say WHY you wanted an adjournment?

Cop: I didn’t know an acceptable legal phrase, m’lord.

(cut to ancient footage of old women applauding)

Judge: (banging + swinging gavel) If there’s any more stock film of women applauding, I’ll clear the court.