- Anne Elk's Theory on Brontosauruses
"Anne Elk's Theory on Brontosauruses" is a sketch from the thirty-first "
Monty Python's Flying Circus" episode, "The All-England Summarize Proust Competition".
This skit features
Graham Chapmanas a television interviewer and John Cleesein drag as the palaeontologist, Anne Elk, appearing in a television talk show titled 'Thrust'. The name of Cleese's character is an apt description of Miss Elk's physical attributes.
The plot of the skit is that the interviewee, Anne Elk, cannot bring herself to describe the actual basis of her supposed new palaeontological theory on
dinosaurs, specifically Brontosauruses. Ms. Elk spends most of the interview circuitously leading up to the "theory of dinosaurs by Anne Elk bracket Miss brackets", making assertions like "My theory, which belongs to me, is mine." It turns out that in the end Miss Elk's new theory on brontosauruses is rather shallow: "All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end." Her true concern is that she receive full credit for devising this new theory stating, "That is the theory that I have and which is mine and what it is, too."
This skit was also performed on the album, '
Monty Python's Previous Record', under the title 'Miss Anne Elk'.
The skit coined the concept of "Elk Theories" to describe scientific observations that are not theories but merely minimal accounts. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=0DZEyLWqrZcC&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=%22anne+elk%22&source=web&ots=PKU5ZhlBTe&sig=LdDonhzP2DxUpp5eGimlsg5oM34 Natural Kinds, Laws of Nature and Scientific Methodology By Peter J. Riggs] ]
List of Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes
* [http://orangecow.org/pythonet/linus/photos/se3ep5/annelk01.jpgAnne Elk's Appearance on the Show, 'Thrust']
* [http://www.jumpstation.ca/recroom/comedy/python/elk.html Script for Anne Elk Sketch]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAYDiPizDIs Video of Anne Elk Sketch]
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