Series 1, Episode 11: Interruptions
CANNING Graham Chapman
FIRST UNDERTAKER Eric Idle
SECOND UNDERTAKER Terry Jones
(ANIMATION: a beautiful and not zany introduction, perhaps with photos of famous historical characters, finishing with the words: ‘The World of History ‘. Cut to man at desk. Caption on screen: ‘PROFESSOR R. J. CANNING’)
Canning: 1348. The Black Death, typhus, cholera, consumption, bubonic plague.
(Cut to five undertakers sitting on a coffin in a country road.)
First Undertaker: Ah, those were the days…
(Back to Canning at his desk.)
Canning: Now I’m… I’m… Now I’m not prepared to go on with this, unless these interruptions cease. All fight? Right. The devastating effect of these, em…
(Cut to film of hearses racing. Crashing out of shot. Sign: ‘Accident Black Spot’, and the undertakers picnicking.)
Canning: (he is packing up his papers and putting on his mac as he walks away from desk, camera pans with him) No, don’t follow me and … (camera zooms in) And don’t zoom in on me, no I’m off, I’m off. That’s it. That’s all. I’m off.
(He walks out of shot. Empty flame. A short pause. An undertaker comes into frame.)
Second Undertaker: (to camera) Are you nervy, irritable, depressed, tired of life. (winks) Keep it up.