Series 2, Episode 20: Test Match
JIM John Cleese
PETER Graham Chapman
BRIAN Eric Idle
VOICE OVER Michael Palin
COMMENTATOR Eric Idle
(Cut to three TV commentators in modern box, with sliding window open. They are surrounded by bottles.)
Jim: Good afternoon and welcome to Lords on the second day of the first test. So far today we’ve had five hours batting from England and already they’re nought for nought. Cowdrey is not out nought. Naughton is not in. Knott is in and is nought for not out. Naughton of Northants got a nasty knock on the nut in the nets last night but ies nothing of note. Next in is Nat Newton of Notts. Not Nutring – Nutting’s at nine, er, Nutring knocked neatie nighty knock knock…(another commentator nudges him) … anyway England have played extremely well for nothing, not a sausage, in reply to Iceland’s first innings total of 722 for 2 declared, scored yesterday disappointingly fast in only twenty-one overs with lots of wild slogging and boundaries and all sorts of rubbishy things. But the main thing is that England have made an absolutely outstanding start so far, Peter?
Peter: Splendid. Just listen to those thighs. And now it’s the North East’s turn with the Samba. Brian.
Brian: (he has an enormous nose) Rather. (opens book) I’m reminded of the story of Gubby Allen in ’32. ..
Jim: Oh, shut up or we’ll close the bar. And now Bo Wildeburg is running up to bowl to Cowdrey, he runs up, he bowls to Cowdrey…
(Cut to fast bowler. He bowls the ball but the batsman makes no move whatsoever. The ball passes the off stump.)
Jim: … and no shot at all. Extremely well not played there.
Peter: Yes, beautifully not done anything about.
Brian: A superb shot of no kind whatsoever. I well remember Plum Warner leaving a very similar ball alone in 1732.
Jim: Oh shut up, long nose. (Peter falls off his chair.) And now it’s Bo Wildeburg running in again to bowl to Cowdrey,
he runs in. (bowler bowls us before; ball goes by as before) He bowls to Cowdrey – and no shot at all, a superb display of inertia there… And that’s the end of the over, and drinks.
Peter: Gin and tonic please.
Jim: No, no the players are having drinks. And now, what’s happening? I think Cowdrey’s being taken off. (Two men in white coats, a la furniture removers, so maybe they’re brown coats, are carrying the batsman off. Two men pass them with a green Chesterfield sofa making for the wicket.) Yes, Cowdrey is being carried off. Well I never. Now who’s in next, it should be number three, Natt Newton of Notts… get your hand off my thigh, West… no I don’t think it is… I think it’s er, it’s the sofa … no it’s the Chesterfield! The green Chesterfield is coming in at number three to take guard now.
Brian: I well remember a similar divan being brought on at Headingley in 9 BC against the darkies.
Jim: Oh, shut up, elephant snout. And now the green Chesterfield has taken guard and Iceland are putting on their spin dryer to bowl.
(Furniture fielding. The whole pitch is laid out with bits of furniture in correct positions. Three chairs in the slips; easy chair keeping wicket; bidet at mid on; TV set at cover; bookcase at mid off,’ roll-top writing desk at square leg; radiator at mid wicket etc. The spin dryer moves forward and bowls a real ball with its snozzle to a table, which is at the batting end with cricket pads on the hits the table on the pad. Appeal.)
Jim: The spin dryer moves back to his mark, it runs out to the wicket, bowls to the table… a little bit short but it’s coming in a bit there and it’s hit him on the pad… and the table is out, leg before wicket. That is England nought for one.
(Cut to a race course. Furniture comes into shot racing the last fifty yards to the finishing post.)
Commentator: Well here at Epsom we take up the running with fifty yards of this mile and a half race to go and it’s the wash basin in the lead from WC Pedestal. Tucked in nicely there is the sofa going very well with Joanna Southcott’s box making a good run from hat stand on the rails, and the standard lamp is failing fast but it’s wash basin definitely taking up the running now being strongly pressed by … At the post it’s the wash basin from WC then sofa, hat stand, standard lamp and lastly Joanna Southcott’s box.