Episode Eight: Full frontal nudity

Army protection racket
Vox pops on full frontal nudity
Art critic - the place of the nude
Buying a bed
Dead parrot
The flasher
Hell's Grannies

Colour code: John Cleese - Michael Palin - Eric Idle - Graham Chapman - Terry Jones - Terry Gilliam - Carol Cleveland

We see the 'It's' man sitting in the countryside in a garden lounger chair. A sexy young lady in a bikini hands him a glass of wine and gently helps him up and walks him to the camera. Looking very pleased with himself he sips the wine as she caresses him. Then she hands him a smoking round anarchist's type bomb (with 'Bomb' written on it). He realizes what it is only as he says:
It's Man It's...
Cartoon credits.


Cut to vox pops.
Pepperpot Speaking as a public opinion poll, I've had enough of the permissive society.
Man In Dirty Raincoat I havn't had enough of the permissive society.


Cut to policeman.
Policeman I would not appear in a frontal nude scene unless it was valid.
Stock film of the army. Tanks rolling, troops moving forward etc. Stirring military music.
Voice Over In 1943, a group of British Army Officers working deep behind enemy lines, carried out one of the most dangerous and heroic raids in the history of warfare. But that's as maybe. And now . . .


Cut to colonel's office. Colonel is seated at desk.
Colonel Come in, what do you want?
Private Watkins enters and salutes.
Watkins I'd like to leave the army please, sir.
Colonel Good heavens man, why?
Watkins It's dangerous.
Colonel What?
Watkins There are people with guns out there, sir.
Colonel What?
Watkins Real guns, sir. Not toy ones, sir. Proper ones, sir. They've all got 'em. All of 'em, sir. And some of 'em have got tanks.
Colonel Watkins, they are on our side.
Watkins And grenades, sir. And machine guns, sir. So I'd like to leave, sir, before I get killed, please.
Colonel Watkins, you've only been in the army a day.
Watkins I know sir but people get killed, properly dead, sir, no barley cross fingers, sir. A bloke was telling me, if you're in the army and there's a war you have to go and fight.
Colonel That's true.
Watkins Well I mean, blimey, I mean if it was a big war somebody could be hurt.
Colonel Watkins why did you join the army?
Watkins For the water-skiing and for the travel, sir. And not for the killing, sir. I asked them to put it on my form, sir - no killing.
Colonel Watkins are you a pacifist?
Watkins No sir, I'm not a pacifist, sir. I'm a coward.
Colonel That's a very silly line. Sit down.
Watkins Yes sir. Silly, sir. (sits in corner)
Colonel Awfully bad.
Knock at the door, sergeant enters, and salutes.
Sergeant Two civilian gentlemen to see you ... sir!
Colonel Show them in please, sergeant.
Sergeant Mr Dino Vercotti and Mr Luigi Vercotti.
The Vercotti brothers enter. They wear Mafia suits and dark glasses.
Dino Good morning, colonel.
Colonel Good morning gentlemen. Now what can I do for you.
Luigi (looking round office casually)You've ... you've got a nice army base here, colonel.
Colonel Yes.
Luigi We wouldn't want anything to happen to it.
Colonel What?
Dino No, what my brother means is it would be a shame if... (he knocks something off mantel)
Colonel Oh.
Dino Oh sorry, colonel.
Colonel Well don't worry about that. But please do sit down.
Luigi No, we prefer to stand, thank you, colonel.
Colonel All right. All right. But what do you want?
Dino What do we want, ha ha ha.
Luigi Ha ha ha, very good, colonel.
Dino The colonel's a joker, Luigi.
Luigi Explain it to the colonel, Dino.
Dino How many tanks you got, colonel?
Colonel About five hundred altogether.
Luigi Five hundred! Hey!
Dino You ought to be careful, colonel.
Colonel We are careful, extremely careful.
Dino 'Cos things break, don't they?
Colonel Break?
Luigi Well everything breaks, don't it colonel. (he breaks something on desk) Oh dear.
Dino Oh see my brother's clumsy colonel, and when he gets unhappy he breaks things. Like say, he don't feel the army's playing fair by him, he may start breaking things, colonel.
Colonel What is all this about?
Luigi How many men you got here, colonel?
Colonel Oh, er ... seven thousand infantry, six hundred artillery, and er, two divisions of paratroops.
Luigi Paratroops, Dino.
Dino Be a shame if someone was to set fire to them.
Colonel Set fire to them?
Luigi Fires happen, colonel.
Dino Things burn.
Colonel Look, what is all this about?
Dino My brother and I have got a little proposition for you colonel.
Luigi Could save you a lot of bother.
Dino I mean you're doing all right here aren't you, colonel.
Luigi Well suppose some of your tanks was to get broken and troops started getting lost, er, fights started breaking out during general inspection, like.
Dino It wouldn't be good for business would it, colonel?
Colonel Are you threatening me?
Dino Oh, no, no, no.
Luigi Whatever made you think that, colonel?
Dino The colonel doesn't think we're nice people, Luigi.
Luigi We're your buddies, colonel.
Dino We want to look after you.
Colonel Look after me?
Luigi We can guarantee you that not a single armoured division will get done over for fifteen bob a week.
Colonel No, no, no.
Luigi Twelve and six.
Colonel No, no, no.
Luigi Eight and six ... five bob...
Colonel No, no this is silly.
Dino What's silly?
Colonel No, the whole premise is silly and it's very badly written. I'm the senior officer here and I haven't had a funny line yet. So I'm stopping it.
Dino You can't do that!
Colonel I've done it. The sketch is over.
Watkins I want to leave the army please sir, it's dangerous.
Colonel Look, I stopped your sketch five minutes ago. So get out of shot. Right director! Close up. Zoom in on me. (camera zooms in) That's better.
Luigi (off screen) It's only 'cos you couldn't think of a punch line.
Colonel Not true, not true. It's time for the cartoon. Cue telecine, ten, nine, eight...
Cut to telecine countdown.
Dino (off screen) The general public's not going to understand this, are they?
Colonel (off screen) Shut up you eyeties!
Cartoon rubbish entitled 'Full Frontal Nudity': Written, created and concieved off the back of a lorry by a demented American.
Cut to two naked men.
Man Full frontal nudity - never. What do you think, Barbara?
Barbara Oh, no, no, no...unless it was artistically valid, of course.
Cut to a stockbroker.
Stockbroker Full frontal nudity? Yes I'd do it, if it was valid. Or if the money was valid, and if it were a very small part.
Cut to art critic examining a nude painting.


He sees the camera and starts guiltily.
Art Critic Good evening. I'd like to talk to you tonight about the place of the nude in my bed ... um ... in the history of my bed ... of art, of art, I'm sorry. The place of the nude in the history of tart... call-girl... I'm sorry. I'll start again... Bum ... oh what a giveaway. The place of the nude in art. (a seductively dressed girl enters slinkily) Oh hello there father, er confessor, professor, your honour, your grace ...
(Katya Wyeth)
(cutely) I'm not your Grace, I'm your Elsie.
Art Critic What a terrible joke!
Girl (crying) But it's my only line!
Cut to an idyllic countryside. Birds sing etc. as the camera starts a lyrical pan across the fields.
After about ten seconds of mood setting the camera suddenly comes across the art critic strangling his wife in middle foreground. As the camera passes him he hums nervously and tries to look as though he isn't strangling anybody. The camera doesn't stop panning, and just as it goes off him we see him start strangling again. The pan carries on and catches up with a bridegroom carrying his bride across a field and finally arriving in a high street where, breathless and panting, he carries her through traffic and into a large department store. Finally cut to the furniture department of the store. The bridegroom and bride enter, he puts her down and addresses one of the assistants.
Groom We want to buy a bed, please.
Mr Lambert Og, certainly, I'll, I'll get someone to help you. (calling off) Mr Verity!
Mr Verity Can I help you, sir?
Groom Er yes. We'd like to buy a bed...a double bed...about fifty pounds?
Verity Oh no, I'm afraid not, sir. Our cheapest bed is eight hundred pounds, sir.
Groom Eight hundred pounds!
Lambert Or, er, perhaps I should have explained. Mr Verity does tend to exaggerate, so every figure he gives you will be ten times too high. Otherwise he's perfectly all right, perfectly ha, ha, ha.
Groom Oh I see. I see. (to Verity) So your cheapest bed then is eighty pounds?
Verity Eight hundred pounds, yes, sir.
Groom And how wide is it?
Verity Er, the width is, er, sixty feet wide.
Groom Oh... (laughing politely he mutters to wife) six foot wide, eh. And the length?
Verity The length is ... er ... (calls off) Lambert! What is the length of the Comfydown Majorette?
Lambert Er, two foot long.
Groom Two foot long?
Verity Ah yes, you have to remember of course, to multiply everything Mr Lambert says by three. Er, it's nothing he can help, you understand. Apart from that he's perfectly all right.
Groom I see, I'm sorry.
Verity But it does mean that when he says a bed is two foot wide, it is in fact sixty foot wide.
Groom Oh, yes I see...
Verity And that's not counting the mattress.
Groom Oh, how much is that?
Verity Er, Mr Lambert will be able to help you there. (calls) Lambert! Will you show these twenty good people the, er, dog kennels, please?
Lambert Mm? Certainly.
Groom Dog kennel? No, no, no, mattresses, mattresses!
Verity Oh no, no you have to say dog kennel to Mr Lambert because if you say mattress he puts a bag over his head. I should have explained. Apart from that he's really all right.
They go to Lambert.
Groom Ah, hum, er we'd like to see the dog kennels please.
Lambert Dog kennels?
Groom Yes, we want to see the dog kennels.
Lambert Ah yes, well that's the pets' department. Second floor.
Groom Oh, no, no, we want to see the dog kennels.
Lambert Yes, pets department second floor.
Groom No, we don't really want to see dog kennels only your colleague said we ought to...
Lambert Oh dear, what's he been telling you now?
Groom Well, he said we should say dog kennels instead of mattress.
Lambert puts bag over head
Groom (looking around) Oh dear. Hello?
Verity Did you say mattress?
Groom Well, a little yes.
Verity I did ask you not to say mattress, didn't I? Now I've got to stand in the tea chest. (he gets in the chest and sings) 'And did those feet in ancient times, walk upon England's mountains green...'
The manager enters.
Manager Oh dear, did somebody say mattress to Mr Lambert?
Manager and Verity continue to sing. Lambert takes bag off head, manager exits after pointing a warning finger at bride and groom.
Verity (Getting out of chest) He should be all right now, but don't, you know...don't! (exits)
Groom Oh, no, no, no. er,, we'd like to see, see the dog kennels please?
Lambert Yes, second floor.
Groom No, no, look these (pointing) dog kennels here, see?
Lambert Mattresses?
Groom Oh (jumps)...yes.
Lambert Well, if you meant mattress, why dodn't you say a mattress? I mean, it's very confusing for me if you go and say dog kennels when you mean mattress. Why not just say mattress?
Groom Well, I mean you put a bag over your head last time I said mattress.
Bag goes on. Groom looks around guiltily. Verity walks in. Verity heaves a sigh, jumps in box. Manager comes in and joins him, they sing 'And did those feet...'. Another assistant comes in.
Assistant Did somebody say mattress to Mr Lambert?
Verity Twice.
Assistant Hey, everybody, somebody said mattress to Mr Lambert, twice.
Assistant, groom and bride join in the therapy.
Verity It's not working. We need more!
Cut to crowd in St. Peter's Square singing 'Jerusalem'.
Cut to department store. Lambert takes the bag off his head and looks at groom and bride.
Lambert Now, er, can I help you?
Bride We want a mattress.
Lambert immediately puts bag back on head.
All Oh. What did you say that for? What did you say that for?
Bride (weeping) But it's my only line!
All Well, you didn't have to say it.
They all hop off. She howls. Cut to vox pops.
African Native Full frontal nudity - not in this part of Esher.
Chartered Accountant I would only perform in a scene in which there was full frontal nudity.
Cut to colonel.
Colonel Now, I've noticed a tendency for this programme to get rather silly. Now I do my best to keep things moving along, but I'm not having things getting silly. Those two last sketches I did got very silly indeed, and that last one about the bed was even sillier. Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do...except perhaps my wife and some of her friends...oh yes and Captain Johnston. Come to think of it most people likes a good laugh more than I do. But that's beside the point. Now, let's have a good clean healthy outdoor sketch. Get some air into your lungs. Ten, nine, eight and all that.
Cut to two hermits on a hillside.
First Hermit Hello, are you a hermit by any chance?
Second Hermit Yes that's right. Are you a hermit?
First Hermit Yes, I certainly am.
Second Hermit Well I never. What are you getting away from?
First Hermit Oh you know, the usual - people, chat, gossip, you know.
Second Hermit Oh I certainly do - it was the same with me. I mean there comes a time when you realize there's no good frittering your life away in idleness and trivial chit-chat. Where's your cave?
First Hermit Oh, up the goat track, first on the left.
Second Hermit Oh they're very nice up there, aren't they?
First Hermit Yes they are, I've got a beauty.
Second Hermit A bit drafty though, aren't they?
First Hermit No, we've had ours insulated.
Second Hermit Oh yes.
First Hermit Yes, I used birds' nests, moss and oak leaves round the outside.
Second Hermit Oh, sounds marvellous.
First Hermit Oh it's a treat, it really is, 'cos otherwise those stone caves can be so grim.
Second Hermit Yes they really can be, can't they? They really can.
First Hermit Oh yes.
Third hermit passes by.
Third Hermit Morning Frank.
Second Hermit Morning Norman. Talking of moss, er you know Mr Robinson?
First Hermit With the, er, green loin cloth?
Second Hermit Er no, that's Mr Seagrave. Mr Robinson's the hermit who lodges with Mr Seagrave.
First Hermit Oh I see, yes.
Second Hermit Yes well he's put me onto wattles.
First Hermit Really?
Second Hermit Yes. Swears by them. Yes.
Fourth hermit passes by.
Fourth Hermit Morning Frank.
Second Hermit Morning Lionel. Well he says that moss tends to fall off the cave walls during cold weather. You know you might get a really bad spell and half the moss drops off the cave wall, leaving you cold.
First Hermit Oh well, Mr Robinson's cave's never been exactly nirvana has it?
Second Hermit Well, quite, that's what I mean. Anyway, Mr Rogers, he's the, er, hermit...
First Hermit ... on the end.
Second Hermit . .. up at the top, yes. Well he tried wattles and he came out in a rash.
First Hermit Really?
Second Hermit Yes, and there's me with half a wall wattled, I mean what'll I do?
First Hermit Well why don't you try birds nests like I've done? Or else, dead bracken.
Fifth Hermit (calling from a distance) Frank!
Second Hermit Yes Han.
Fifth Hermit Can I borrow your goat?
Second Hermit Er, yes that'll be all right. Oh leave me a pint for breakfast will you? ... (to first hermit) You see, you know that is the trouble with living half way up a cliff - you feel so cut off. You know it takes me two hours every morning to get out onto the moors, collect my berries, chastise myself, and two hours back in the evening.
First Hermit Still there's one thing about being a hermit, at least you meet people.
Second Hermit Oh yes, I wouldn't go back to public relations.
First Hermit Oh well, bye for now Frank, must toddle.
Colonel (coming on) Right, you two hermits, stop that sketch. I think it's silly.
Second Hermit What?
Colonel It's silly.
Second Hermit What do you mean, you can't stop it - it's on film.
Colonel That doesn't make any difference to the viewer at home, does it? Come on, get out. Out. Come on out, all of you. Get off, go on, all of you. Go on, move, move. Go on, get out. Come on, get out, move, move.
He shoos them and the film crew off the hillside.
ANIMATION: including dancing Botticelli Venus, which links to pet shop: Mr. Praline walks into the shop carrying a dead parrot in a cage. He walks to counter where shopkeeper tries to hide below cash register.
Praline Hello, I wish to register a complaint...Hello? Miss?
Shopkeeper What do you mean, miss?
Praline Oh I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!
Shopkeeper Sorry, we're closing for lunch.
Praline Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Shopkeeper Oh yes, the, the Norwegian Blue. What's wrong with it?
Praline I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
Shopkeeper No, no, it's resting, look!
Praline Look my lad, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
Shopkeeper No no sir. it's not dead. It's resting!
Praline Resting?
Shopkeeper Yeah, remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, beautiful plumage, innit?
Praline The plumage don't enter into it - it's stone dead.
Shopkeeper No, no - it's just resting!
Praline All right then, if it's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouts into cage) Hello Polly! I've got a nice cuttlefish for you when you wake up, Polly Parrot!
Shopkeeper (jogging the cage) There, it moved!
Praline No, he didn't. That was you pushing the cage!
Shopkeeper I did not.
Praline Yes, you did! (takes parrot out of cage, shouts) Hello Polly, Polly (bangs it against the counter) Polly Parrot, wake up. Polly. (throws it in the air and lets it fall to the floor) Now that's what I call a dead parrot.
Shopkeeper No, no. It's stunned.
Praline Look my lad, I've had just about enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased. And when I bought it not half an hour ago, you assured me that its lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out after a long squawk.
Shopkeeper It's probably pining for the fjords.
Praline Pining for the fjords, what kind of talk is that? Look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home?
Shopkeeper The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on it's back! Beautiful bird, lovely plumage!
Praline Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been nailed there.
Shopkeeper Well of course it was nailed there. Otherwise it would muscle up to those bars and voom.
Praline Look matey (picks up the parrot) this parrot wouldn't voom if you put four thousand volts through it! It's bleedin' demised!
Shopkeeper It's not, it's pining!
Praline It's not pining, it's passed on. This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its 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 would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.
Shopkeeper Well, I'd better replace it, then.
Praline (to camera) If you want to get anything done in this country you've got to complain till you're blue in the mouth.
Shopkeeper Sorry guv, we're right out of parrots.
Praline I see. I see. I get the picture.
Shopkeeper (pause) I got a slug.
Praline Does it talk?
Shopkeeper Not really, no.
Praline Well, it's scarcely a replacement, then is it?
Shopkeeper Listen, I'll tell you what, (handing over a card) tell you what, if you go to my brother's pet shop in Bolton he'll replace your parrot for you.
Praline Bolton eh?
Shopkeeper Yeah.
Praline All right.
He leaves, holding the parrot.


Close-up of sign on door reading: 'Similar Pet Shops, Ltd.' Pull back from sign to see same pet shop. Shopkeeper now has moustache. Praline walks into shop. He looks around with interest, noticing the empty parrot cage still on the floor.
Praline Er, excuse me. This is Bolton, is it?
Shopkeeper No, no it's, er, Ipswich.
Praline (to camera) That's Inter-City Rail for you. (leaves)
Man in porter's outfit standing at complaints desk for railways. Praline approaches.
Praline I wish to make a complaint.
Porter I don't have to do this, you know.
Praline I beg your pardon.
Porter I'm a qualified brain surgeon. I only do this because I like being my own boss.
Praline Er, excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn't it.
Porter Oh yeah, it's not easy to pad these out to thirty minutes.
Praline Well I wish to make a complaint. I got on the Bolton train and found myself deposited here in Ipswich.
Porter No, this is Bolton.
Praline (to camera) The pet shop owner's brother was lying.
Porter Well you can't blame British Rail for that.
Praline If this is Bolton, I shall return to the pet shop.


Praline walks into the shop again.
Praline I understand that this is Bolton.
Shopkeeper Yes.
Praline Well, you told me it was Ipswich.
Shopkeeper It was a pun.
Praline A pun?
Shopkeeper No, no, not a pun, no. What's the other thing which reads the same backwards as forwards?
Praline A palindrome?
Shopkeeper Yes, yes.
Praline It's not a palindrome. The palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob. It don't work.
Shopkeeper Look, what do you want.
Praline No I'm sorry, I'm not prepared to pursue my line of enquiry any further as I think this is getting too silly.
Colonel (coming in) Quite agree. Quite agree. Silly. Silly...silly. Right get on with it. Get on with it.
Cut to announcer eating a yoghurt.
Announcer (seeing camera) Oh...er...oh...um. Oh!...er... (shuffles paper) I'm sorry...and now frontal nudity.
Cut to tracking or hand-held shot down street, keeping up with extremely shabby man in long overcoat. His back is to the camera. He passes two pepperpots and a girl. As he passes each one he opens his coat wide. They react with shocked horror. He does this three times, after the third time he turns to camera and opens his coat wide. He has a big sign hanging round his neck, covering his chest. It says 'boo'.
Cut back to announcer eating yoghurt. The colonel comes in and nudges him.
Announcer Oh, oh I'm sorry. I thought the film was longer. (shuffling papers) Ah. Now Notlob, er, Bolton.
Cut to grannies film, which opens with a pan across Bolton. Voice of reporter.
Voice Over This is a frightened city. Over these houses, over these streets hangs a pall of fear. Fear of a new kind of violence which is terrorizing the city. Yes, gangs of old ladies attacking defenseless, fit young men.
Film of old ladies beating up two young men; then several grannies walking aggressively along street, pushing passers-by aside.
First Young Man Well they come up to you, like, and push you - shove you off the pavement, like. There's usually four or five of them.
Second Young Man Yeah, this used to be a nice neighbourhood before the old ladies started moving in. Nowadays some of us daren't even go down to the shops.
Third Young Man Well Mr Johnson's son Kevin, he don't go out any more. He comes back from wrestling and locks himself in his room.
Film of grannies harrassing an attractive girl.
Voice Over What are they in it for, these old hoodlums, these layabouts in lace?
First Granny (voice over) Well it's something to do isn't it?
Second Granny (voice over) It's good fun.
Third Granny (voice over) It's like you know, well, innit, eh?
Voice Over Favourite targets for the old ladies are telephone kiosks.
Film of grannies carrying off a telephone kiosk; then painting slogans on a wall.
Policeman (coming up to them) Well come on, come on, off with you. Clear out, come on get out of it. (they clear off, he turns to camera) We have a lot of trouble with these oldies. Pension day's the worst - they go mad. As soon as they get their hands on their money they blow it all on milk, bread, tea, tin of meat for the cat.
Cut to cinema.
Cinema Manager Yes, well of course they come here for the two o'clock matinee, all the old bags out in there, especially if it's something like 'The Sound of Music'. We get seats ripped up, hearing aids broken, all that sort of thing.
A policeman hustles two grannies out of the cinema.
Cut to reporter walking along street.
Reporter The whole problem of these senile delinquents lies in their complete rejection of the values of contemporary society. They've seen their children grow up and become accountants, stockbrokers and even sociologists, and they begin to wonder if it is all really...(disappears downwards rapidly) arggh!
Shot of two grannies replacing manhole cover.
Cut to young couple.
Fourth Young Man Oh well we sometimes feel we're to blame in some way for what our gran's become. I mean she used to be happy here until she, she started on the crochet.
Reporter (off-screen) Crochet?
Fourth Young Man Yeah. Now she can't do without it. Twenty balls of wool a day, sometimes. If she can't get the wool she gets violent. What can we do about it?
Film of grannies on motorbikes roaring down streets and through a shop. One has 'Hell's Grannies' on her jacket.
Voice Over But this is not just an old ladies' town. There are other equally dangerous gangs - such as the baby snatchers.
Film of five men in baby outfits carrying off a young man from outside a shop. Cut to distraught wife.
(Rita Davies)
I just left my husband out here while I went in to do some shopping and I came back and he was gone. He was only forty-seven.
Voice Over And on the road too, vicious gangs of keep left signs.
Film: two keep-left signs attack a vicar.
Colonel (coming up and stopping them) Right, right, stop it. This film's got silly. Started off with a nice little idea about grannies attacking young men, but now it's got silly. This man's hair is too long for a vicar too. These signs are pretty badly made. Right, now for a complete change of mood.
Cut to man in dirty raincoat.
Man In Dirty Raincoat I've heard of unisex but I've never had it.
Cut to 'It's' man still holding smoking bomb.
Voice Over David Hemmings appeared by permission of the National Forestry Commission.


The 'It's' man realizes that he has a bomb and runs off still carrying it. As the credits end it explodes.