Series 1, Episode 11: Agatha Christie Sketch
INSPECTOR TIGER John Cleese
COLONEL PICKERING Graham Chapman
LADY VELLOPER Carol Cleveland
CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT LOOKOUT Eric Idle
ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE THERESAMANBEHINDYER Terry Jones
CONSTABLE Michael Palin
SECOND UNDERTAKER Terry Jones
VOICE OVER Graham Chapman
(Sketch opens with a scene of a drawing room of large English country house. Sitting around are various standard Agatha Christie type characters, Colonel Pickering, Lady Amanda Velloper, Kirt, Anona Winn. They drink tea, read etc. Outside there is thunder. Inspector Tiger enters the room.)
Inspector Tiger: This house is surrounded. I’m afraid I must not ask anyone to leave the room. No, I must ask nobody … no, I must ask everybody to… I must not ask anyone to leave the room. No one must be asked by me to leave the room. No, no one must ask the room to leave. I … I … ask the room shall by someone be left. Not. Ask nobody the room somebody leave shall I. Shall I leave the room? Everyone must leave the room… as it is… with them in it. Phew. Understand?
Colonel Picketing: You don’t want anybody to leave the room.
Inspector Tiger: (clicking fingers to indicate Colond Pickering has hit the nail
on the head) Now, alduce me to introlow myslef. I’m sorry. Alself me to myduce introlow myslef. Introme -to-lose mlow alself. Alme to you introself mylowduce. Excuse me a moment. (bangs himself on the side of the head) Allow me to introduce myself. I’m afraid I must ask that no one leave the room. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Inspector Tiger.
Inspector Tiger: (jumping) Where? Where? What? Ah. Me Tiger. You Jane. Grrr. Beg your pardon, allow me to introduce myself I’m afraid I must ask that no one leave the room.
Lady Velloper: Why not?
Inspector Tiger: Elementary. Since the body was found in this room, and no one has left it. Therefore … the murderer must be somebody in this room.
Colonel Pickering: What body?
Inspector Tiger: Somebody. In this room. Must the murderer be. The murderer of the body is somebody in this room, which nobody must leave… leave the body in the room not to be left by anybody. Nobody leaves anybody or the body with somebody. Everybody who is anybody shall leave the body in the room body. Take the tablets Tiger. Anybody (as he searches for the tablets) with a body but not the body is nobody. Nobody leaves the body in the … (he takes the tablet) Albody me introbody albodyduce.
(At this moment a surgeon enters with two nurses and starts to operate on his head with sawing noises. Caption on the screen: ‘THE SAME DRAWING ROOM. ONE LOBOTOMY LATER’. The surgeon is packing up.
Inspeaor Tiger’s head is bandaged.)
Surgeon: Now for Sir Gerald.
Inspector: That’s better, now I’m Inspector Tiger and I must ask that nobody leave the
room. (he gives thumbs up to the surgeon who is at door) Now someone has committed a murder
here, and that murderer is someone in this room. The question is … who?
Colonel Pickering: Look, there hasn’t been a murder.
Inspector Tiger: No murder.
Inspector Tiger: Oh. I don’t like it. It’s too simple, too clear cut. I’d better wait. (he sin on sofa) No, too simple, too clear cut.
(The lights go out. There is a scream followed by a shot. The light goes up. Inspeaor Tiger is dead. He has a bullet hole in his forehead, an arrow through his neck and there is a bottle marked poison on his lap.)
Colonel Picketing: By jove, he was right.
(Chief Superintendent Lookout enters, with constable.)
Lookout: This house is surrounded. I must ask that no one leave the room. I’m Chief Superintendent Lookout.
Lady Velloper: Look out?
Lookout: (jumping) What, where, oh, me, Lookout. Lookout of the Yard.
Lady Velloper: Why, what would we see?
Lookout: I’m sorry?
Lady Velloper: What would we see if we look out of the yard?
Lookout: . .. I’m afraid I don’t follow that at all. Ah ha. The body. So the murderer must be somebody in this room. Unless he had very long arms. Say thirty or forty feet. I think we can discount that one. Ha, ha, ha, (he starts really laughing) Lookout of the Yard. Very good. Right. Now, we’ll reconstruct the crime. I’ll sit down here. Constable, you turn off the lights. (lights go out, we hear Lookout’s voice) Good. Now then, there was a scream (scream) then just before the lights went up there was a shot.
(There is a shot. The lights go up and Chief Superintendent Lookout is sitting dead, bullet hole, arrow and all. In walks Assistant Chief Constable Theresamanbehindyer.)
Theresamanbehindyer: All right… all right, the house is surrounded and nobody leave the room and all the rest of it. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Assistant Chief Constable Theresamanbehindyer.
Theresamanbehindyer: Ah, you’re not going to catch me with an old one like that. Right let’s reconstruct the crime. Constable you be Inspector Tiger.
Constable: Right, sir. Nobody leave the room ask shall – somebody I leave nobody in the room body shall, take the tablets Tigerbody. Alself me to my duce introlow left body in the roomself.
Theresamanbehindyer: Very good. Just sit down there. Right now we’ll pretend the lights have gone out. Constable, you scream. (constable screams) Somebody shoots you (pulls gun and shoots constable through head) and the door opens…
(The door flies open. Enter policeman.)
Fire: Nobody move! I’m Chief Constable Fire.
All: Fire! Where?
(He jumps. Immediately cut to undertaker as before.)
Second Undertaker: We’re interrupting this sketch but we’ll be bringing you back the moment’ anything interesting happens. Meanwhile here are some friends of mine.
(Film of four undertakers carrying a coffin. They surreptitiously tip the body out of the coffin and go skipping lightly up the road. Letter and voice over.)
Voice Over: Dear Sir, I’m sorry this letter is late, it should have come at the beginning of the programme. Yours, Ivor Bigbottle, (age two).