Series 3, Episode 36: Tudor Jobs Agency
ASSISTANT Terry Jones
CUSTOMER Graham Chapman
SECOND ASSISTANT Eric Idle
(Outside a shop. A sign reads ‘Tuder Job Agency -Jobs a Speciality ‘. A man enters the shop. Inside it is decorated in Tudor style. The assistant is in Tudor dress.)
Assistant: Morning, sir, can I help you?
Customer: Yes, yes… I wondered if you have any part-time vacancies on your books..
Assistant: Part-time, I’ll have a look, sir.
(he gets out a book and looks through it) Let me look now. We’ve got, ah yes, Sir Walter Raleigh is equipping another expedition to Virginia; he needs traders and sailors. Vittlers needed at:the Court of Philip of Spain, oh, yes, and they want master joiners and craftsmen for the building of the Globe Theatre.
Customer: I see. Have you anything a bit more modern, you know, like a job on the buses, or digging the underground?
Assistant: Oh no, we only have Tudor jobs.
Customer: That can’t be very profitable, can it?
Assistant: Well, you’d be surprised, actually sir. The Tudor economy’s booming, ever since Sir Humphrey Gilbert opened up the North-west passage to Cathay, and the Cabots’ expansion in Canada, there’s been a tremendous surge in exports, and trade with the Holy Roman Empire is going… no, quite right, it’s no good at all.
Assistant: It’s a dead loss. We haven’t put anyone in a job since 1625.
Customer: I see.
Assistant: That’s all?
Assistant: That’s all you say?
Assistant: No, no, we were the tops then. Drake got all his sailors here. Elizabeth, we supplied the archbishops for her coronation. Shakespeare started off from here as a temp. Then came James the First and the bottom fell out of the Tudor jobs. 1603- 800 vacancies filled, 1604- 40, 1605- none, 1606- none. The rest of the Stuart period nothing. Hanoverions nothing. Victorians nothing. Saxe-Coburgs nothing. Windsors… what did you want?
Customer: Dirty books, please.
(produces selection of mags from under counter) Sorry about the Tudor bit, but you can’t be too careful, you know. Have a look through these.
Customer: Have you got anything a bit… er…
Assistant: A bit stronger?
Assistant: Hold on … a… My Lord of Warwick!
Second Assistant: (off) ‘Allo!
Assistant: Raise high the drawbridge. Gloucester’s troops approach.
Second Assistant: (off) Right.
Assistant: Can’t be too careful you know, sir.
(The wall of the Tudor shop slides back to reveal the interior of a Soho dirty bookshap in the back room… continued)