Series 1, Episode 12: Ken Shabby
FATHER Graham Chapman
KEN SHABBY Michael Palin
ROSAMUND Connie Booth
VOICE OVER John Cleese
(Sketch open with a still a of beautiful country home. ‘Hearts of Oak’ type music. The camera tracks into the house and mixes to: close-up of distinguished, noble father and gay, innocent beautiful daughter – a delicately beautiful English rose.)
Father: Now I understand that you want to marry my daughter?
(Pull out to reveal that he is addressing a ghastly thing.’ a grubby, smelly, brown mackintoshed shambles, unshaven with a continuous hacking cough, and an obscene leer. He sits on the sofa in this beautiful elegant lounge.)
Shabby: (sniffing and coughing) That’s right … yeah… yeah…
Father: Yes, you realize of course that Rosaround is still rather young?
Rosamund: Daddy you make me feel like a child. (she gazes at Shabby fondly)
Shabby: (lasciviously) Oh yeah … you know… get ’em when they’re young eh… eh! OOOOH! Know what I mean eh, oooh! (makes obscene gesture involving elbow)
Father: Well I’m sure you know what I mean, Mr … er… Mr… er .. er?
Shabby: Shabby… Ken Shabby…
Father: Mr Shabby… I just want to make sure that you’ll be able to look after my daughter…
Shabby: Oh yeah, yeah. I’ll be able to look after ‘er all right sport, eh, know what I mean,
Father: And, er, what job do you do?
Shabby: I clean out pubhc lavatories.
Father: Is there promotion involved?
Shabby: Oh yeah, yeah. (produces handkerchief and clean throat horribly into it) After five years they give me a brush … eurggha eurgh … I’m sorry squire, I’ve gobbed on your carpet…
Father: And, ah, where are you going to live?
Shabby: Well round at my gran’s… she trains polecats, but most of them have suffocated so there should be a bit of spare room in the attic, eh. Know what I mean. Oooh!
Father: And when do you expect to get married?
Shabby: Oh, right away sport. Right away… you know… I haven’t had it for weeks…
Father: Well look I’ll phone the bishop and see if we can get the Abbey…
Shabby: Oh, diarrhoea. (coughing fit)
(Cut to strange photo caption sequence to be worked out with Terry ‘the sap’ Gilliam)
Voice Over: The story so far: Rosamund’s father has become ensnared by Mr Shabby’s extraordinary personal magnetism. Bob and Janet have eaten Mr Farquar’s goldfish during an Oxfam lunch, and Mrs Elsmore’s marriage is threatened by Doug’s insistence that he is on a different level of consciousness. Louise’s hernia has been confirmed, and Jim, Bob’s brother, has run over the editor of the ‘Lancet’ on his way to see Jenny, a freelance Pagoda designer. On the other side of the continent Napoleon still broods over the smouldering remains of a city he had crossed half the earth to conquer…