Series 1, Episode 8: Hell’s Grannies
VOICE OVER Eric Idle
FIRST YOUNG MAN Michael Palin
SECOND YOUNG MAN Terry Jones
THIRD YOUNG MAN John Cleese
FOURTH YOUNG MAN Graham Chapman
POLICEMAN Graham Chapman
CINEMA MANAGER Terry Jones
WIFE Rita Davies
COLONEL Graham Chapman
MAN IN DIRTY RAINCOAT Terry Jones
(Sketch opens with a pan across Bolton. Voice of reporter.)
Voice Over: This is a frightened city. Over these houses, over these streets hangs a pall of fear. Fear of a new kind of violence which is terrorizing the city. Yes, gangs of old ladies attacking
defenceless fit young men.
(Film of old ladies beating up two young men; then several grannies walking aggressively along street, pushing passers-by aside.)
First Young Man: Well they come up to you, like, and push you – shove you off the pavement, like. There’s usually four or five of them.
Second Young Man: Yeah, this used to be a nice neighbourhood before the old ladies started moving in. Nowadays some of us daren’t even go down to the shops.
Third Young Man: Well Mr Johnson’s son Kevin, he don’t go out any more. He comes back from wrestling and locks himself in his room.
(Film of grannies harrassing an attractive girl.)
Voice Over: What are they in it for, these old hoodlums, these layabouts in lace?
First Granny: (voice over) Well it’s something to do isn’t it?
Second Granny: (voice over) It’s good fun.
Third Granny: (voice over) It’s like you know, well, innit, eh?
Voice Over: Favourite targets for the old ladies are telephone kiosks.
(Film of grannies carrying off a telephone kiosk; then painting slogans on a wall.)
Policeman: (coming up to them) Well come on, come on, off with you. Clear out, come on get out of it. (they clear off, he turns to camera) We have a lot of trouble with these oldies. Pension day’s the worst – they go mad. As soon as they get their hands on their money they blow it all on milk, bread, tea, tin of meat for the cat.
(Cut to cinema.)
Cinema Manager: Yes, well of course they come here for the two o’clock matinee, all the old bags out in there, especially if it’s something like ‘The Sound of Music’. We get seats ripped up, hearing aids broken, all that sort of thing.
(A policeman hustles two grannies out of the cinema. Cut to reporter walking along street.)
Reporter: The whole problem of these senile delinquents lies in their complete rejection of the values of contemporary society. They’ve seen their children grow up and become accountants, stockbrokers and even sociologists, and they begin to wonder if it is all really…(disappears downwards rapidly) arggh!
( Shot of two grannies replacing manhole cover. Cut to young couple.)
Fourth Young Man: Oh well we sometimes feel we’re to blame in some way for what our gran’s become. I mean she used to be happy here until she, she started on the crochet.
Reporter: (off-screen) Crochet?
Fourth Young Man: Yeah. Now she can’t do without it. Twenty balls of wool a day, sometimes. If she can’t get the wool she gets violent. What can we do about it?
(Film of grannies on motorbikes roaring down streets and through a shop. One has ‘Hell’s Grannies’ on her jacket.)
Voice Over: But this is not just an old ladies’ town. There are other equally dangerous gangs – such as the baby snatchers.
(Film of five men in baby outfits carrying off a young man from outside a shop. Cut to distraught wife.)
Wife: I just left my husband out here while I went in to do some shopping and I came back and he was gone. He was only forty-seven.
Voice Over: And on the road too, vicious gangs of keep left signs.
(Film: two keep-left signs attack a vicar.)
Colonel: (coming up and stopping them) Right, fight, stop it. This film’s got silly. Started off with a nice little idea about grannies attacking young men, but now it’s got silly. This man’s hair is too long for a vicar too. These signs are pretty badly made. Right, now for a complete change of mood.
(Cut to man in dirty raincoat.)
Man In Dirty Raincoat: I’ve heard of unisex but I’ve never had it.