The Dirty Fork


The Dirty Fork

The Dirty Fork, also known simply as Restaurant Sketch, is a Monty Python sketch that appeared in episode 3 of the television series Monty Python's Flying Circus, and later in the film, And Now For Something Completely Different. It is notable for being the first Monty Python sketch wherein the characters react to the audience "booing" them.

Entertainment Weekly has ranked The Restaurant Sketch as one of Monty Python's top 20 sketches.[1] In England, it is used in approved course materials for Key Stage 2 of the state school curriculum.[2]

Contents

Synopsis

The skit involves a man (Graham Chapman) and his wife (Carol Cleveland) who are enjoying a night out at an expensive French restaurant, only to discover that they have been given a dirty fork, and Chapman politely asks Gaston the waiter to replace it.[3]

Gaston (Terry Jones) apologizes profusely and runs to get the head waiter Gilberto (Michael Palin). Gilberto arrives, demands that the entire washing-up staff be fired, tells Gaston to report this news to the manager immediately, and recoils in disgust at the fork.

The manager (Eric Idle) arrives, gives Gilberto time to relax, then sits down at the table and apologizes "humbly, deeply, and sincerely" for the dirty fork. Soon, he becomes emotional when explaining the problems the restaurant staff has been suffering, and bursts into tears. Mungo, the cook (John Cleese) enters, berating the couple for criticizing such a vulnerable man, and swings his cleaver onto their table. Gilberto begins to clutch his head, crying over his war wound. The manager stabs himself in the stomach with the dirty fork, screaming "IT'S THE END!!! THE END!!!!" and keels to the ground, dead.

Mungo then lifts his knife over Chapman yelling out "REVENGE!" when Gilberto rounds the corner, stopping the angry cook from trying to murder the man just in time. "Mungo!" he gasps, struggling to hold him. "Mungo- never kill a customer." Then Gilberto dies from his war wound, and as Mungo is just about to avenge the manager's death by killing Chapman, Gaston tackles him to the ground. A caption says, "And Now... The Punchline!"

"Lucky we didn't say anything about the dirty knife," Chapman adds, looking into the camera. The whole cast moans at the bad joke, as does the audience in turn.

There are several changes to the sketch in the And Now For Something Completely Different version. The waiter is named "Giuseppe" instead of "Gaston." The audience do not boo, nor do the actors, when Chapman delivers the "punchline."

Writing style

This sketch reflects Python's thoughts about punch lines. The Monty Python troupe had decided from the start that they were going to throw away punchlines, and this was a play on the shows that would use corny lines like the dirty knife. Most Python sketches just end abruptly, and sometimes even characters say "What a stupid sketch" and walk out. In Monty Python Live in Aspen, Terry Gilliam explains:

Our first rule was: no punch lines.. [some sketches] start brilliant, great acting, really funny sketch, but punch line is just not as good as the rest of the sketch, so it kills the entire thing. That's why we eliminated them."[4]

References

  1. ^ Wolk, Josh (2005-03-21). "Flying Circus Maximus". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1039070,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  2. ^ Roberts, Alexandra. "KS2 PSHE and Literacy: Monty Python (1969-74)". BFI Screen Online: The Definitive Guide to Britain's Film and TV Industry. http://www.screenonline.org.uk/education/id/1263075/index.html. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  3. ^ Chapman, Graham; Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones (1989-11-12). The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus; All the Words Volume One. Pantheon. ISBN 0679726470. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Kim "Howard" (1999-06-19). The First 28 Years of Monty Python, Revised Edition. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312169337. 

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook — is a Monty Python sketch that first aired in 1970. Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 In other Python works 4 In other media …   Wikipedia

  • The Spanish Inquisition (Monty Python) — The Spanish Inquisition is a series of sketches in Monty Python s Flying Circus, Series 2 Episode 2, first broadcast 22 September 1970, parodying the real life Spanish Inquisition. This episode is itself entitled The Spanish Inquisition . The… …   Wikipedia

  • The Crimson Permanent Assurance — Directed by Terry Gilliam Produced by Terry Gilliam John Goldstone Written by Terry Gilliam Starring Sydney Arnol …   Wikipedia

  • The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief — Studio album by Monty Python Released …   Wikipedia

  • The Final Rip Off — Compilation album by Monty Python Released 1988 …   Wikipedia

  • The Monty Python Instant Record Collection — Compilation album by Monty Python Released …   Wikipedia

  • Dirty Devil River — Coordinates: 37°53′30″N 110°23′33″W / 37.89167°N 110.3925°W / 37.89167; 110.3925 …   Wikipedia

  • The Lumberjack Song — Michael Palin performs The Lumberjack Song, with Connie Booth as his best girl. The Lumberjack Song is a song by the Monty Python comedy troupe. The song was written by Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Fred Tomlinson. It first appeared on the… …   Wikipedia

  • The Ministry of Silly Walks — John Cleese as a civil servant in the halls of the Ministry. The Ministry of Silly Walks is a sketch from the Monty Python comedy troupe s television show Monty Python s Flying Circus, episode 14, which is entitled Face the Press . The episode… …   Wikipedia

  • Dirty Martini (burlesque) — Dirty Martini Dirty Martini performing at the Copacabana at the book launch party for Michael Musto s Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back Born Lind …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.