Series 4, Episode 43: Boxing Commentary
RADIO VOICEMichael Palin
SECOND RADIO VOICETerry Jones
The sketch:Cut to a hospital ward. Numerous doctors and nurses are listening to the
Radio Voice And there’s Frank Sinatra leaving the ring. Behind him is George Raft, another great boxing fan, Martin Bormann, acknowledging the applause, and with him of course is Gus Himmler, who did an awful lot for the sport in his country in the early 1940s. And here comes the Champ now and he seems in good shape to meet the Killer once again. Before an audience, some of them will have paid $920,000 million for the privilege of seeing this boy get beaten up. And there’s the bell.
Patient (having a heart attack on the bed in the corner) Aaatghhh!
Radio Voice And a left and a right and a right jab that’s taken the Champ’s shoulder off. And here’s the Killer again with a right and another left and a bash with a hammer and a terrific smack with a heavy thud right into the skull and there’s a gaping hole right through the Champ’s body now. And now the Killer’s working on the cut eye with a series of beautifully placed punches and the head’s coming loose.
(the doctors and nurses getting increasingly excited)
The Champ must try and keep his head on. The Killer’s kicked him in the groin and he’s bitten half his left buttock off and the referee’s stepped in with a warning there. What a plucky fighter this Champ is. He’s fighting as well as I’ve ever seen him. Must be losing blood at a rate of a pint a second now. It’s everywhere. Certainly those who paid one and a half million dollars for those ringside seats are really getting their money’s worth. They’re covered in it. And his head’s off!
His head that’s come off in so many fights is off in the thirty-first second. It’s rolled away down to the left … but what’s happening? The Killer’s being talked to by the referee. There’s the Champ … plucky little body racing around the ring, trying to find his opponent. And the Killer has been disqualified.
(pandemonium breaks out in the ward – some patients cheering, doctors thumping them in disagreement)
He’s been disqualfied … this great fighter who has killed more than twenty people in his career has at last been defeated by this courageous headless little southpaw from New York. And there’s a great roar here as the referee raises the arm of the new World Heavyweight Champion. What a pity the rest of his body wasn’t there to see it.
(general disappointment; someone changes channels)
Second Radio Voice Well here in London it’s 12:30 and time for ‘The Robinsons’. (everyone perks up) An everyday story of bla-di-bl-di-bla … (sings ‘Archers’ theme tune) da di da di da di da … and so on.