Series 1, Episode 4: It’s a Man’s World
COLONEL Graham Chapman
MAN Terry Gillam
GENTLEMAN Terry Jones
SECOND MAN Michael Palin
POLICEMAN Graham Chapman
(On-screen caption: ‘IT’S A MAN’S LIFE IN THE CARDIFF ROOMS, LIBYA’. Scene : Colonel with army
recruitment posters on wall behind him.)
Colonel: Right, cut to me. As Officer Commanding the Regular Army’s Advertising Division, I object, in the best possible terms to this obvious reference to our own slogan ‘lt’s a dog’s life … (correcting himself rapidly) a man’s life in the modern army’ and I warn this programme that any recurrence of this sloppy long-haired civilian plagiarism will be dealt with most severely. Right, now on the command ‘cut’, the camera will cut to camera two, all right, director… (cut to a man sitting at desk) Wait for it! (cut back to colonel) Camera cut. (cut to man; he has a Viking helmet on)
Man: This is my only line. (catcalls) (defensively) Well, it’s my only line.
(Cut to a gentleman in striped blazer, boater and cicket flannels walking down to beach clutching towel and bathing trunks. He puts his towel on a breakwater next to another towel and starts to change. He suddenly looks up and we see everyone on the beach has turned to watch him – not with any disapproval just a blank English stare. He grabs his towel off the breakwater and starts to take his trousers off under that. Girl in a bikini has been sitting on other side of the breakwater, stands up looking for her towel. She sees that the man is using it and she whisks it off him leaving him clutching his half-down trousers.
Shot of everyone staring at him again. He pulls them up and makes for a beach hut… embarrassed. He goes into beach hut. Inside he is about to take his trousers off, when he becomes aware of a pair of feet which come up to the back of the beach hut – there is a 6-inch gap along bottom – and stop as if someone was peering through the crack. The man looks slightly outraged and pulls his trousers up, goes outside and edges cautiously round to the back of the beach hut. Then he finds a man bending close to the side of the beach hut with his hand to his face. The Gentleman kicks him hard in the seat of the pants. The man turns in obvious surprise, to reveal he was merely trying to light his cigarette out of the wind. The gentleman backs away with embarrassed apologies.
We cut to the front of the beach hut to see gentleman backing round at the same time as a large matronly woman marches into the hut… the man follows her in. He is promptly thrown out on his ear. In desperation he looks around.
On the promenade he suddenly sees an ice-cream van. He walks up to it, looks around, then nips behind to start changing. At the same time a policeman strolls up to the ice-cream van and tells it to move on. The van drives off, exposing the gentleman clutching his trousers round his ankles. Close-up policeman’s reaction. The man hurriedly pulls trousers up as policeman approaches him pulling out note book. Still covered in confusion he runs away from the policeman.
In long shot we see him approach the commissionaire of the Royale Palace De Luxe Hotel. He whispers to the commissionaire, indicates by mime that he wants to take his trousers off: The commissionaire reacts to the gesture. The man nods. The commissionaire starts to take his trousers off. Man backs away once more in confusion – he has been misunderstood.
Back on the beach again. He hides behind a pile of deckchairs. At that moment a beach party of jolly trippers arrive and each takes one. The deckchair pile rapidly disappears leaving the gentleman once again exposed. He dashes behind the deckchair attendant’s hut which is next to him. Enter two workmen who dismantle it.
Desperate by now he goes onto the pier. He goes into the amusement arcade, looking around furtively. Nips behind a ‘what the butler saw’ machine. Woman comes and puts penny in and starts to look, beckons over husband,’ he comes, looks in the machine, sees the man’ changing his trousers. They chase him off.
Still pursued he nips into door. Finds himself in blackness. Relieved – at last he has found somewhere to change. He relaxes and starts to take his trousers off. Suddenly hears music and applause… curtains swishes back to reveal he is on stage of the pier pavilion. The audience applauds. Resigned to his fate, he breaks into striptease routine.)
Voice Over: (and Caption) ‘IT’S A MAN’S LIFE TAKING YOUR CLOTHES OFF IN PUBLIC
(Cut to colonel)
Colonel: Quiet. Quiet. Now wait a minute. I have already warned this programme about infringing the Army copyright of our slogan ‘It’sa pig’s life… man’s life in the modern army’. And I’m warning you if it happens again, I shall come down on this programme like a ton of bricks… right. Carry on sergeant major.