Series 1, Episode 10: Strangers in the Night
MAURICE Eric Idle
VERA Terry Jones
HUSBAND Michael Palin
BIGGLES Graham Chapman
ALGY Ian Davidson
(Cut to bedroom of a middle-aged, middle-class wealthy couple. It is dark. They are both lying fast asleep on their backs. The husband is a colonel type with a moustache to boot. She has her hair in curlers and face cream on. Someone climbs in through the window and pads across to the wife. He is a dapper little Frenchman in a beret and a continental nylon mac, carrying a french loaf. He kisses her on the forehead. She wakes.)
Maurice: Vera … Vera … darling! Wake up my little lemon. Come to my arms.
Vera: Maurice! What are you doing here?
Maurice: I could not keep away from you. I must have you all the time.
Vera: Oh this is most inconvenient.
Maurice: Don’t talk to me about convenience, love consumes my naughty mind, I’m
delirious with desire.
(He kisses her hand repeatedly. The husband wakes up with a start and sits ttp bolt upright attd looks straight ahead.)
Husband: What’s that, Vera?
Vera: Oh noticing, dear. Just a trick of the light.
Husband: Righto (he goes straight to sleep again)
Vera: Phew! That was close.
Maurice: Now then my little banana, my little fruit salad, I can wait for you no longer. You must be mine utterly …
Vera: Oh, Maurice!
(Suddenly beside them appears a young public-school man in a check suit with a pipe.)
Roger: Vera! How dare you!
Roger: What’s the meaning of this?
Vera: Oh I can explain everything, my darling!
Roger: Who is this?
Vera: This is Maurice Zatapathique … Roger Thompson … Roger Thompsnn …
Maurice: How do you do.
Roger: How do you do … (kneeling) How could you do this to me, Vera … after all we’ve been through? Dammit, I love you.
Maurice: Vera! Don’t you understand, it’s me that loves you.
(The husband wakes up again.)
Husband: What’s happening, Vera?
Vera: Oh, nothing dear. Just a twig brushing against the window.
Husband: Righto. (he goes back to sleep)
Roger: Come to me Vera!
Vera: Oh … not now, Roger.
Maurice: Vera, my little hedgehog! Don’t turn me away!
Vera: Oh it cannot be, Maurice.
(Enter Biggles. He wears flying boots, jacket and helmet us for First World War. He meats a notice round his neck: ‘Biggles’.)
Biggles: Hands off, you filthy bally froggie! (kneels by the bed)
Vera: Oh Ken, Ken Biggles!
Biggles: Yes, Algy’s here as well.
Vera: Algy Braithwaite?
(Into the light comes Algy. Tears streaming down his face. He wears a notice round his neck which reads: Algy’s here as well’.)
Algy: That’s right… Vera … (he chokes back the tears) Oh God you know we both still bally love you.
Vera: Oh Biggles! Algy. Oh, but how wonderful!
(She starts to cry. Husband wakes up again.)
Husband: What’s happening, Vera?
Vera: Oh, er, nothing dear. It’s just the toilet filling up.
Husband: Righto. (he goes fast asleep again)
(By this stage all the men have pulled up chairs in a circle around Vera’s side of the bed. They are all chatting amongst themselves. Biggles is holding her hand. Maurice has produced a bottle of vin ordinaire. At this moment four Mexican musicans appear on the husband’s side of the bed. The leader of the band nudges the husband, who wakes.)
Mexican: (reading from a scruffy bit of paper) Scusey… you tell me where
is … Mrs Vera Jackson … please.
Husband: Yes … right and right again.
Mexican: Muchas gracias…
(He immediately goes back to sleep again. The Mexicans all troop round the bed and enter the group. The leader conducts them and they start up a little conga . . . once they’ve started he turns and comes over to Vera with a naughty glint in his eye. They play a guitar, a trumpet and maracas.)
Mexican: Oh Vera … you remember Acapulco in the Springtime …
Vera: Oh. The Herman Rodrigues Four!
(Suddenly the husband wakes up.)
Husband: >Vera! (there is immediate silence) I distinctly heard a Mexican rhythm combo.
Vera: Oh no, dear… it was just the electric blanket switching off.
Husband: Hm. Well I’m going for a tinkle.
(He gets out of bed and disappears into the gloom.)
Vera: Oh no you can’t do that. Here, we haven’t finished the sketch yet!
Algy: Dash it all, there’s only another bally page.
Roger: I say. There’s no one to react to.
Maurice: Don’t talk to the camera.
Roger: Oh sorry.
(Enter a huge man dressed as an Aztec god (viz: Christopher Plummer in ‘Royal Hunt of the Sun). He stretches arms open wide and is about to speak when owing to lack of money he is cut short by Vera.)
Vera: Here it’s no good you coming in … He’s gone and left the sketch.
Biggles: Yes, he went for a tinkle.
(Cut to close-up of husband and a dolly bird with a lavatory chain hanging between them. She is about to pull the chain when he stops her.)
Husband: Sh! I think my wife is beginning to suspect something…
(Cut to animation of various strange and wonderful creatures saying to the effect:)
Hartebeeste: I thought that ending was a bit predictable.
Crocodile: (eating it) Yes indeed there was a certain lack of originality.
Ostrich: (eating the crocodile) Anyway it’s not necessarily a good thing just to be different.
A Lady: (emerging from hatch in ostrich) No, quite, there is equal humour in the conventional.
Pig: (eating ostrich) But on the other hand, is it what the public wants? I mean with the new permissiveness, not to mention the balance of payments. It’s an undeniable fact that…
Coelocanth: (eating the pig) I agree with that completely.
Rodent: That’s it… let’s get out of this show before it’s too late…