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A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1987–1995): Season 1, Episode 1 - Episode #1.1 - full transcript

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Hmm. Um...






- Ah, good morning, Michael.
- Good morning, sir.

Good morning, Mr Smear.

Yes, well, we'll dispense with
the good mornings if you don't mind.

I haven't got time for good mornings.

As you wish. Now, you wanted
to discuss something with me.

I think you know why I'm here.

I don't think I do.

- Tell him.
- Tell me what?

Tell him what you told your mother last night.

- Come on, come on. Sexual intercourse...
- ...intercourse

can often bring about
pregnancy in the adult female.

Can often bring about pregnancy
in the adult female. Yes.


- You heard that, did you?
- Yes.

Yes, well, I'd like an explanation
if it's not too much trouble.

An explanation of what?

An explanation of how my son

came to be using language like that
in front of his mother.

Well, I, um, I assume it's something that
Michael's been learning in his biology classes.

- Is that right?
- Yes, sir.

Yes, with Mr Hent.
Glad to see some of it's sinking in.

Well, this is a turn up and no mistake.

What is?

I didn't imagine you'd be
quite so barefaced about it.

- About what?
- I came here today to make a complaint

about my son being exposed
to gutter language in the playground.

I am frankly staggered

to find that this is something
he's actually been taught in a classroom.

- What is going on here?
- Well, we're trying to teach your son...

Oh, are you indeed? Trying to teach him what?

How to embarrass his parents?
How to smack himself with heroine? What?

- Mr Smear, I can assure you, we have no...
- Call yourself a school?

Well, I don't actually call myself a school, no.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Filling a young lad's head with filth like that.
Well, let me tell you something

about the real worid.
You're here to provide a service.

- That's quite right.
- Oh, "that's quite right."

Well, I'm not happy with it.
I'm not happy with the service you're providing.

Would you rather that Michael
didn't attend biology classes?

Well, certainly I would

if those are the kind of lies I can expect
to hear repeated at the dinner table.

- They're not lies, Mr Smear.
- Oh, aren't they?

Aren't they? What, sexual intercourse can
bring about pregnancy in the adult female?

Well, it's quite true.

True my arse.

It's nothing more than a disgusting rumour
put about by trendy young people in the '60s.

Trendy young people in their '60s?

The '60s. In the '60s.

That's when it all started, people like you.

I can assure you, Mr Smear,
that sexual reproduction

has been part of the biology syllabus
for many years.

I don't care about your blasted syllabus.

- What good is a blasted syllabus out there?
- Out where?

- Out there.
- The Arkwright Road?

Arkwright jungle, I call it.

Well, what would... What would
you rather we taught your son?

I would rather,

I would rather you taught him values, Mr...

- Casilingua.
- Casilingua.

Values. Respect. Decency. Standards.

That's what you're here for. You're not here
to poison my son with a lot of randy sex talk.

Michael definitely is your son, is he?

Well, certainly he's my son.

Then it's safe to assume that at some stage

you and Mrs Smear
must've had sexual intercourse.

Right. That's it.

I've had enough of this.
I'm gonna knock some sense into you myself.

- You're gonna fight me now, are you?
- Yes, I bloody well am.

- I'm not gonna stand for this.
- Well, do you mind if I do?

Talking like that in front of the boy.
You're a bloody disgrace.

Mr Smear, how can Michael be your son

if you and Mrs Smear
have not had sexual intercourse?

- Michael is my son...
- Yes?

- the normal way.
- Ah.

And what, in your opinion,
is the normal way to have a son?

If you're trying to trick me into sexy talk,
there isn't...

Well, the normal way to have a son is

- to get married.
- Mmm-hmm.

Uh, buy a house, get properly settled in,
uh, furniture and so on.

And, um... And just wait for a bit.


Make sure you eat properly.
Three hot meals a day.

- Three hot meals?
- Hot meals. Yes.

Right. And Michael just sort of, um,
popped up, did he?

Yes, well, of course it was a few years ago now,
but I think, uh, yes, one day he was just there.

And at no stage did you or Mrs Smear
engage in any act of sexual intimacy?

Yes, it's very hard for you to believe, isn't it?
It's very hard for you to believe

that there are still some of us
who can bring a child to this worid

without recourse to cannabis
and government handouts.

- Well, I really don't know what to say.
- No, I bet you don't.

It's not every day a consumer stands up
to you and makes demands, is it?

Well, not of this nature certainly.

No, well, welcome to the harsh realities
of the market place, Mr Casilingua.

Right, okay. So what do you want me to do?

- Well, it's perfectly obvious, isn't it?
- Not to me.

Well, I mean, if I go to Littlewoods

and say that I'm not happy
with a cardigan, for example,

well, they'll change it for me, and gladly.

You want me to change your son?

Well, of course I do. Mine is soiled now.


I'm afraid we don't have any spare sons.

Typical, isn't it?

Well, what have you got of equal value?

Oh, we have got some locusts in the biology lab.

Locusts, hmm. Do I have your assurance

that these locusts will not embarrass Mrs Smear
at table with foul language?

I think I can go that far.

- Hmm. How many of them are they?
- Well, there are two at the moment.

What do you mean, at the moment?


Well, um, they're married, you see,
and they've bought their own cage,

and some furniture, and have settled down
and are having three meals a day.

- Hot meals?
- Warmish.

So Mrs Smear might
one day become a grandmother?

It's a distinct possibility.

She'd like that.


Well, they've got hotter pavements, I know that.

Well, Sue Lawley used to, before she went mad.

No, I just couldn't.

Or am I thinking of bus lanes?

"Underneath the bellied skies
Where dust and rain find space to fall

"To fall and lie and change again
Without a care or mind at all

"For art and life and things above

"In that, there, look just there

"No right left up down past or future

"We have but ourselves to fear."

Hugh, you chose that poem.
Um, for God's sake, why?

I chose it for a number of reasons, Stephen.

- Chief amongst them being?
- Well...

Can I perhaps turn that question round
and say, "Because it was short"?

- The poem?
- Yes.

And that's important?

Well, yes, it seems to me,
with the pace of modern life being what it is,

most people just haven't got time
to spend on long poems.

Therefore, this is something
that would ideally suit

the short-haul commuter or the busy housewife

and leave plenty of time over
for other sporting and leisure activities.

- Well, that represents quite a boon.
- Oh, an enormous boon.

Well, we're always on the lookout
for enormous boons.

- Is it perfectly safe?
- Oh, it's absolutely safe.

Yes, this is a poem you can leave
around the house in absolute confidence.

Presumably, though,
there must be shorter poems than that.

- Oh, good heavens, yes.
- Good heavens, yes?

- Good heavens, yes.
- Oh.

There's a poem by Richard Maddox called
Institutions which I can read for you if you like?

- Please.
- Right.


- That is short.
- It's very short. Yes.

- Too short, perhaps?
- Possibly.

Nonetheless, it might suit, say,
the very busy senior executive

who's only got a few moments
to snatch between meetings and so on.

Well, that of course is the market
that Maddox was aiming for.

Right. Now, round about this time,
a lot of people are starting to think

about going on summer holidays.

Do you have any advice as to the kind of poems
that might be suitable, say,

for a family about to embark
on a budget-bargain break weekend,

fortnight getaway day now?

Well, can I first of all issue a warning
to any family

planning to take poetry on holiday with them?

- And that warning is?
- Be careful.

Oh, that sounds like good advice.

Check with your travel agent to see if there are
specific customs regulations regarding poetry

and if you're travelling outside the EEC,
wrap up warm.


Do you have any particular advice
on how to carry poetry abroad?

Ah, yes, now, I would say
it's definitely worth investing

in a proper travelling poetry bag.

- A travelling poetry bag?
- A travelling poetry bag.

Yes, you can get one of these at most
big high street travelling poetry bag shops.

Right. Now, I believe you've got one more poem
that you're going to read to us

- before you go away from here.
- That's right.

This is called The Rest of My Life
and it's by TP Mitchell.

- The TP Mitchell?
- No, a TP Mitchell.

This is quite solid but without being too heavy.

I think it's quite stylish, it's quite reader-friendly.

All right. So that might suit, say, a young couple

just about to start out in the catering business
in the North Wales area?


"Forward and back
Said the old man in the dance

"As he whittled away at his stick
Long gone, long gone

"Without a glance
To the entrance made of brick."

- Thank you.
- That's all right.


I don't think anyone here can fail to be alarmed

by what's happening to our young people.

I'm thinking here of crime,
of drug addiction, of easy sex,

of all the vices
that can destroy a young person's life.

And I believe we must look to the schools
to tackle this problem.

Schools must help youngsters

to develop a sense of decent, civilised behaviour.

Because everyone must surely agree

that decent, civilised behaviour
is every bit as important

as being able to subtract or take away.

Basically, the plain and simple purpose
of education

must be to teach children, young people,
not, I repeat, not...

to break into my car.

There will be other aspects to education, I'm sure,

but the most fundamental principle
of decent, civilised behaviour is

don't break into my car.

Of course, I am concerned that young people

shouldn't break into other people's cars, too.

But I think that's more of an ethical question
and not really the province of government.

The most important thing
is that they don't break into my car.

And, of course, we must look to the courts
to sanction this principle.

Community service, such a favourite
with magistrates in recent years,

shouldn't be a matter of simply
scrubbing graffiti off a few lavatory walls.

Young offenders must expect a short, sharp lesson

in replacing the nearside window of my car.

Because leaving my bloody car alone
is what this government means

by decent, civilised behaviour.

Thank you.

Well, it only takes about 10 minutes, apparently,

and when you come out,
you look exactly like Keith Harris.

They don't feather up easily.

It's very hard to undo it, though,
so you have to be absolutely sure.

So you'd like to join the SAS?

- Not really.
- Not really?

- Well, yes, all right.
- That's better. So, height?

-9' 6".
-9' 6".

- Weight?
- Three tons.

- Really?
- Well, a bit over.

That's better. A bit over three tons.

It's as well to be accurate on these matters.
Saves complications later on.

All right. Do you have any particular disabilities?

- I've got no sense of taste.
- Uh-huh. What, in films? Music?

- Food. I can't taste food.
- Oh, dear, that might be a bit of a problem.

- Might that be a bit of a problem?
- I just said it might be a bit of a problem.

Never mind. Pressing on.
Special skills of any kind?

- I look good in black.
- Excellent.

- How old are you?
- Ten and a half.

- Shoe size?

Any particular quirks?

Yes. I keep muddling up
my shoe size and my height.

I mean, my height and my shoe size.
There, I've done it again.

All right, all right. Are you good at small talk?

- What, weather and traffic?
- That sort of thing.

- Yeah. I can hold my end up.
- Splendid. Splendid.

How much do you know about the SAS?

- Well, not much, really.
- Not really. Right.

Well, the SAS was originally founded

to be a crack secret, elite secret
and crack assault force

- to work behind enemy lines during Worid War II.
- Right.

Now, our role has changed substantially
since that time.

Now we are here primarily to act
as a masturbatory aid

for various backbench MPs.

I see.

Yes, I'm afraid so.
You see, it seems a lot of today's parliamentarians

are quite unable to achieve sexual gratification

without fantasising about the SAS, you see.

So we have to go about the place
being crack secret,

and assaulting and secret and crack
all the time, and as elite as possible

just so these people
can keep their marriages intact.

- Doesn't sound very exciting.
- No.

- You got anything else on your cards?
- Um...

Well, we are looking for someone
to go through that door there.

- Which door where?
- That one, there.


- Yes?
- Hello. Yes, I've just been looking for

a particular book in the sports section
and it doesn't seem to be there.

It's by Ted Cunterblast

and I think it's called
The West Indies.; A Nation of Cricketers.

That'll be in the sports section.

Yes, I've just tried that
and it doesn't seem to be there.

- Who's it by?
- Ted Cunterblast.

- The West Indies.; A Nation of Cricketers?
- That's the one.

It's by Ted Cunterblast.

Yes, yeah, I know that. But have you got it?

Well, apparently.

Oh, thanks very much.

There are some bits missing.

- Have you read the book before?
- No.

Then how do you know there are bits missing?

Is there a problem, sir?

Yes, this book is incomplete.

I think not, sir.

I beg your pardon?

What you have in your hands is a copy of

The West Indians.; A Nation of Cricketers by
Ted Cunterblast precisely as it was delivered to us.

Well, that's what I said, I told him that.

No, no, wait a minute. Look at this. Look at this.

"The West Indies aren't...

"much good...

"at cricket."

That's all it says. That's the whole book.

- Did you enjoy it, sir?
- No, I did not.

This book is supposed to contain an account
of the last five test series against England.

All it says is,
"The West Indies aren't much good at cricket."

- I envy you, sir. I can never read a book twice.
- Neither can I.

- Makes me giddy.
- Where's the rest of it?

- The rest of what?
- Of this book.

- Apart from everything else, it isn't true.
- Oh, ha ha! Not true?

- Isn't it, sir?
- No!

We haven't won a test series
against the West Indies for 14 years.

Now there, I'm afraid,
I must take issue with you, sir.

Oh, go on, Mr Twee, take issue with him.

England has not lost a game of cricket
since the war.

- I beg your pardon?
- Even I know that.

We do have copies of Wisden
if you'd like to check.

Yes, all right. Let's see them, come on.

Mrs Pert?

"England is great

"and much better than
any other country in the worid."

- You see?
- This is ridiculous.

Oh, it's ridiculous, is it?

It doesn't agree with his pet theories
so it's ridiculous.

Thank you, Mrs Pert. Sir.

I am a librarian. But I'm also an Englishman.

To be blunt,

I'm an Englishman who merely happens
to be a librarian.

If, God forbid, the day should come
when I would have to choose

between being a librarian
and being an Englishman...

Yes, yes, I think I get the idea, yeah.

Good. Because may I say
that I find your continued efforts

to drag down and smear this country of ours
to be frankly disgusting.

I'm not trying to smear and drag down anybody.

I suppose you'd rather read books about England
losing at cricket than winning, wouldn't you?

Well, yes, if it's true.

Then I feel sorry for you.

- He's a knocker, that's what he is.
- I agree with you, Mrs Pert.

Oh, it's very easy to knock, isn't it?
You with your snide university ways.

- Snide University?
- Or wherever it is you went.

So often these days, sir, we see, don't we,
these so-called clever people

who just can't wait to tear down and destroy.

- And knock.
- And knock, yes.

But do they ever have anything to put in
the place of things that they destroy? No.

It's wanton destruction.

- Nothing offered...
- Well, yes, it's a bit of an exaggeration,

but sometimes you really have to wonder
what's happening to this country, you do.

Well, I started on the piano.
Then I moved up onto the mantelpiece.

Now, Mr Nude, you claim...

That's right. Yes, I do claim. I do indeed claim.
Yes, that's right.

Yes, you claim to be able to bend spoons
using psychic energy.

Psychic energy. Yes, that is the method I have
chosen to bend spoons with. Yes, that's right.

- How long have you had this ability?
- How long exactly, yes.

That's absolutely correct. How long, yes, indeed.


Thank you, you are very sympathetic. Sometimes
it's difficult when people are not sympathetic

but you are sympathetic. Thank you.

Yes. Can you do other things with spoons
apart from bend them?

- I can do anything with a spoon.
- Really?

Yes. You give me a spoon
and I'll give you the whole worid.

Well, that's an impressive claim, certainly.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

- No, thank you.
- Right.

Well, um...
We have a selection of spoons here.

I wonder if you'd care to give us a demonstration.

- I'm not a freak, you know.
- Yes. I realise that.

Some people think that I am some kind
of a circus freak. I'm not a freak.

No, no, I'm sure no one here...

"Freak!" they sometimes shout at me
when I'm walking down the street.

But I'm no freak.

- That must be rather distressing.
- Yes, it is.

Thank you, you're very sympathetic.
Yes, thank you.

Right. Um, I...

- Would you care to have a go?
- Yes, I will bend the spoon now, yes, I will.

Right. Well, ladies and gentlemen,
Mr Nude is now going to bend this spoon

using psychic energy.

Yes, now is when I'm going to bend.
I'm going to bend the spoon now.

- Right. Go ahead.
- Right.

I don't know if your cameras can get in close
to see what has happened here,

but the spoon is very bent.
If I show you an ordinary spoon,

you can see that this is now,
it's extremely bent, there you go.

Well, the spoon is certainly bent.

Of course it is, of course it is bent.
I bent it so of course it is bent.

Yes, that much is clear and beyond argument.

No, forgive me, I am very tired now.
It is very tiring for me to bend spoons

and I've bent too many spoons today.

- How many spoons...
- I bent four spoons today.

It's too many, you know. I'm not a circus freak.
I'm a human being.

- Yes. Forgive me, Mr Nude...
- Of course.

- Yes, thank you.
- No, thank you.

But from where I was sitting, it did rather
look as if you bent that spoon with your hand.

- What are you saying?
- Simply that...

- What is this?
- It's a bent spoon.

A bent spoon. Yes, so there.

Yeah, but the question is, how did it become bent?

You know, I'm not so sure
that I like you as much now.

I think maybe you're not
so sympathetic after all. Maybe.

Are you sure it isn't "fraud"
that people shout at you in the streets?


Now, hey, look, mister,
it is you who made the claims.

You know, I bend spoons with psychic energy,

I never claimed to able to bend them
with my hands. That is your claim.

Well, you certainly did bend it with your hand.

Yeah, well, yes, maybe the psychic energy
does flow through my hands.

- But the fact is that the spoon is bent. Hmm?
- Well, I can bend spoons with my hands.

I never claimed that my powers were unique.

Always I stress that anybody can bend a spoon.

And my book is not expensive, by the way.


You see?

You know, it just amazes me that I ever
thought that you were sympathetic, you know.

Because I now know that
you're not sympathetic at all.

And do you know what I have in here now?
The beginnings of hatred for you. Yes.

Well, next week we shall be
examining the claims of...

If viewers in the Matlock and Buxton areas
of Derbyshire

would like to check their cutlery drawers,
they will find a bent spoon

and an unused Weetabix special offer coupon.

Also, I can reveal that viewers in the town
of Datchet over the age of 14

have a slight itch on their right thigh
which they are scratching as I speak.

Good night.

Parper, parper...

I haven't done this for ages.

I wouldn't suck it.

Um, ladies and gentlemen, we were going
to be doing a sketch for you at this point.

But we're not now.

Yes, we're not going to be doing it now.

- Or ever.
- Or ever. Probably.

Unless this country radically changes direction.

Which looks unlikely.

Which, on the face of it, does seem to be unlikely.

The reason we're not gonna be doing
this sketch is that

it is a sketch which contains
a great deal of sex and violence.

A great deal.

Yes. Lots of sex. Lots of violence.

During the course of this sketch,
Stephen hits me several times with a golf club.

Which, in the ordinary course of events,
of course, wouldn't matter,

except that I do it very sexily.

This is it, you see. He does it so sexily,
I just wish you could see it. I really do.

And the sketch ends with us
going to bed together.


Very, very violently.

Now, this raises problems.

- Not for me.
- No.

Nor indeed, nor indeed for me,
but Sir William, now Lord, Rees-Mogg,

the chairman of
the Broadcasting Standards Council,

has seen our sketch and he didn't like it one bit.

Well, he liked it one bit.

He liked it one bit
but he didn't like it lots of other bits.

Now, we wouldn't want you
to run off to Cornwall with the idea

that Sir William's remit with
the Broadcasting Standards Council

is so sweeping as to be a kind of
government thought police.

No, no. The concern, as always,
is primarily for standards.

- Standards.
- Standards.

For the sake of our children.

And so, in a generous spirit of give and take,
Sir William has taken our sketch.

And we have given it to him.

And he's written another one for us to do instead

which is completely free
of gratuitous sex and violence.

And shows due and proper regard for decency

- and standards.
- Standards.

Promoting family values
and protecting our children.

Sir William has called his sketch quite simply,
"Bitchmother, Come Light My Bottom."

And we're gonna do it for you now.

So, Bitchmother, Come Light My Bottom,
by Sir William, now Lord, Rees-Mogg.

- Good morning, sir.
- Morning.

Yes, indeed, sir, it is a good morning.

I do believe we are in for a spell,
as they used to say in the music halls.

Not too hot, but not too mild neither.


Re the weekend just past, sir,

may I enquire as to whether
sir was in receipt of an enjoyableness,

or did events prove themselves to be
of an otherwise nature?

- No, very pleasant, thank you.
- Very pleasant, thank you.

Thank you, sir.

Then might I take it, sir,
that for that period, you were not within

the boundaries of Lincolnshire where,
I understand, it rained like a bitch?

No, I was nowhere near Lincolnshire.

Sir, I am uplifted to hear such news.

No, my wife and I spent the weekend in Hull.

- Sir is married?
- Yes.

I had literally no idea.

Well, never mind.

Sir, my remissness in failing to felicitate sir
upon the joyousness in good tidings

is something I fear I shall have to live with
for the rest of my life.

Now to business.

Being one of the shrewdest sirs
who has ever swum into my purview,

may I take it that sir is keen to exploit

the financial and social advantages
inherent in having a haircut?

- A haircut, that's right, yes.
- Of course. A hair cut is a hair enhanced.

If sir will entirely fail to slash my throatlet
for being so old.

Now sir, the hair in question is?

- What?
- The hair currently under advicement belongs to?

- What do you mean?
- What do I mean?


Sir, I sneak myself towards the suspicion

that sir has cast me as the mouse
in his ever popular cat drama.

It's my hair. I want you to cut my hair.

- Your hair?
- Yes.

So your own hair is the hair upon which
this entire transaction is to be founded.

Well, of course. Why would I come in here
to get you to cut someone else's hair?

Sir, please set fire to my legs
if you think I'm trying to make

haircutting sound more romantic
and glamorous than it really is,

but believe me when I tell you that in my position,
one cannot be too careful.

- Really?
- Yes, indeed, sir.

Once, and once only,

have I had to cut the hair of a gentleman
against his will.

And believe me when I tell you
that it was both difficult and impossible.

Well, it's my hair.

- Your hair?
- Yes.

Now, sir, we proceed to
that most important of stages.

Which one?

Which one what?

Which of the manifold hairs
upon sir's crisp and twinkling headage

would sir like to place in my professional care

for the purposes of securing an encutment?

All of them.

- All of them?
- Yes.

- Sir is entirely sure?
- Of course I'm sure. What's the matter with you?

Sir, I seek not to question
the profoundness of sir's wonder,

merely to express my own humbleness
at the prospect of so magnificent a charge.

No. Well, all of them.

- All of them? All of them?
- Yes. Yes.

- My word!
- Is that a problem?

No, indeed, sir. No, indeed, sir. Not a problem, sir.

So far from being a problem, sir,
as you would not believe.

I merely hope that sir can take time off

from what I know
is a very hectic schedule to appreciate

that for me to cut all the hairs on sir's head

represents the snow-capped summit
of a barber's career.

- Well, you've done it before, haven't you?
- Oh, yes, indeed, sir.

Yes, I once cut all the hairs on a gentleman's
head in Cairo shortly after the war,

when the worid was in uproar
and to a young man, everything seemed possible.


It would be bootless to deny that I was
a younger and better-looking barber then,

but let's hope that the magic has not
entirely disappeared up its own rabbit hole.

- We shall see. We shall see.
- Wait a minute. Wait...

- Wait one cotton-picking minute here.
- Sorry?

You've cut someone's hair, all of it, that is,
once since the war?

Sir would prefer it if, in the sphere of
total hair cuttation, I was to him a virgin?

- I beg your pardon?
- Yes.

- That I can respect.
- What?

The desire that we should both of us embark
upon this journey together as innocents.

As wide-eyed travellers to a distant land,

unknowing of our fate, careless of our destination,

to emerge someday, somewhere

bruised, sad, a little wiser perhaps,
but ultimately and joyously alive.


- Sir is leaving?
- Yeah.

May he favour me
with an explanation as to the whyness?

Because I don't believe you've got
the faintest idea how you're gonna end this.

- Sir could not be more wrong if he tried.
- Oh, really?

- Yes.
- Well, go on, then.


- You see, you're completely stuck.
- No, no. I can... I can...

I can convincingly end this sketch in 45 seconds.

-45 seconds?
-45 seconds.

All right, then, off you go.

Um, if sir would care to resume
the seatedness of his posture.


May I assume that sir is
close to the level of maximum comfort?

40 seconds.

Very good. Um, I shall just go
and fetch the necessary tools.

Oh, ha ha. It's gonna be a chainsaw or...


Well, I wouldn't say it would do you any harm,
unless you suck it.