The Banter Sketch


(Scene: a wartime RAF station)

Jones: Morning, Squadron Leader.

Idle: What-ho, Squiffy.

Jones: How was it?

Idle: Top-hole. Bally Jerry, pranged his kite right in the how's-your-father; hairy blighter, dicky-birded, feathered back on his sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harpers and caught his can in the Bertie.

Jones: Er, I'm afraid I don't quite follow you, Squadron Leader.

Idle: It's perfectly ordinary banter, Squiffy. Bally Jerry, pranged his kite right in the how's-your-father; hairy blighter, dicky-birded, feathered back on his sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harpers and caught his can in the Bertie.

Jones: No, I'm just not understanding banter at all well today. Give us it slower.

Idle: Banter's not the same if you say it slower, Squiffy.

Jones: Hold on then... Wingco! Bend an ear to the Squadron Leader's banter for a sec, would you?

Chapman: Can do.

Jones: Jolly good. Fire away.

Idle: Bally Jerry, Bally Jerry, pranged his kite right in the how's-your-father; hairy blighter, dicky-birded, feathered back on his sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harpers and caught his can in the Bertie.

Chapman: No, I don't understand that banter at all.

Idle: Something up with my banter, chaps?

GRAMS: AIR RAID SIRENS

(Enter Palin, out of breath)

Palin: Bunch of monkeys on the ceiling, sir! Grab your egg-and-fours and let's get the bacon delivered!

Chapman (to Idle): Do *you* understand that?

Idle: No, I didn't get a word of it.

Chapman: Sorry, old man, we don't understand your banter.

Palin: You know, bally tenpenny ones dropping in the custard!

(no reaction)

Palin: Um... Charlie choppers chucking a handful!

Chapman: No no, sorry.

Jones: Say it slower, old chap.

Palin: Slower *banter*, sir?

Chapman: Ra-ther.

Palin: Um... sausage squad up the blue end?

Idle: No, still don't get it.

Palin: Um... cabbage crates coming over the briny?

The others: No, no.

(Film of air-raid)

Idle (voice-over): But by then it was too late. The first cabbage crates hit London on July the 7th. That was just the beginning.

(Chapman seen sitting at desk, on telephone)

Chapman: Five shillings a dozen? That's ordinary cabbages, is it? And what about the bombs? Good Lord, they _are_ expensive.



Continue to the next sketch... Trivializing the War

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