1 min read





From “Monty Python’s Previous Record”

Transcribed by Jonathan Partington

Game Show Host (John Cleese): Good evening and welcome to Stake Your Claim. First this evening we have Mr. Norman Voles of Gravesend who claims he wrote all Shakespeare’s works. Mr Voles, I understand you claim that you wrote all those plays normally attributed to Shakespeare?

Voles (Michael Palin): That is correct. I wrote all his plays and my wife and I wrote his sonnets.

Host: Mr. Voles, these plays are known to have been performed in the early 17th century. How old are you, Mr Voles?

Voles: 43.

Host: Well, how is it possible for you to have written plays performed over 300 years before you were born?

Voles: Ah well. This is where my claim falls to the ground.

Host: Ah!

Voles: There’s no possible way of answering that argument, I’m afraid. I was only hoping you would not make that particular point, but I can see you’re more than a match for me!

Host: Mr. Voles, thank you very much for coming along.

Voles: My pleasure.

Host: Next we have Mr. Bill Wymiss who claims to have built the Taj Mahal.

Wymiss (Eric Idle): No.

Host: I’m sorry?

Wymiss: No. No.

Host: I thought you cla…

Wymiss: Well I did but I can see I won’t last a minute with you.

Host: Next…

Wymiss: I was right!

Host: … we have Mrs. Mittelschmerz of Dundee who cla… Mrs. Mittelschmerz, what is your claim?

Mittelschmerz (Graham Chapman in drag): That I can burrow through an elephant.

Host: (Pause) Now you’ve changed your claim, haven’t you. You know we haven’t got an elephant.

Mittelschmerz: (Insincerely) Oh, haven’t you? Oh dear!

Host: You’re not fooling anybody, Mrs. Mittelschmerz. In your letter you quite clearly claimed that … er … you could be thrown off the top of Beachy Head into the English Channel and then be buried.

Mittelschmerz: No, you can’t read my writing.

Host: It’s typed.

Mittelschmerz: It says ‘elephant’.

Host: Mrs. Mittelschmerz, this is an entertainment show, and I’m not prepared to simply sit here bickering. Take her away, Heinz!

Mittelschmerz: Here, no, leave me alone!

(Sound of wind and sea)

Mittelschmerz: Oooaaahh! (SPLOSH)