Series 2, Episode 15: Jokes Salesman
BBC MAN John Cleese
REG Graham Chapman
JOHNSON Eric Idle
(The doorbell rings. Reg detaches himself from scene and answers it. Outside there is a dapper BBC man with a suit and a beard, slightly arty.)
BBC Man: Ah, hello, you don’t know me, but I’m from the BBC. We were wondering if you’d come and answer the door in a sketch over there, in that sort of direction… You wouldn’t have to do anything – just open the door and that’s it.
Reg: Oh, well all right, yes.
BBC Man: Jolly good. Come this way. Cut to film of them coming out of the front door of the house and walking to BBC van. Conversation is heard throughout (slightly faintly).
BBC Man: Yes, we’re on film at the moment you see.
Reg: It’s a link, is it?
BBC Man: Yes that’s right, that son of thing, yes, a link. It’s all a bit zany – you know a bit madcap funster… frankly I don’t fully understand it myself, the kids seem to like it. I much prefer Des O’Connor … Rolf Harris … Tom Jones, you know…
(They get into the van. It drives off. They pass an AA sign saying ‘To the Sketch’. Panning shot of them, in which we see them convening and hear…)
Reg: You do a lot of this sort of thing, do you?
BBC Man: Quite a lot yes, quite a lot. I’m mainly in comedy. I’d like to be in Programming Planning actually, but unfortunately I’ve got a degree.
(They arrive outside a suburban house, where the novelty salesman, Mr Johnson, is already waiting outside the front door. BBC man points and gives Reg direction. Reg goes to the door saying: ‘Excuse me’ and goes in, closing the front door. The novelty man rings bell. Reg opens the door.)
Johnson: Joke, sir? Guaranteed amusing. As used by the crowned heads of Europe. Has brought tears to the eyes of Royalty. ‘Denmark has never laughed so much’ – ‘The Stage’. Nice little novelty number – ‘a naughty Humphrey’ – breaks the ice at parties. Put it on the table. Press the button. It vomits. Absolutely guaranteed. With refills. ‘Black soap’ – leave it in the bathroom, they wash their hands, real fungus grows on the fingers. Can’t get it off for hours. Guaranteed to break the ice at parties. Frighten the elderly – real snakes. Comedy hernia kit. Plastic flesh wounds – just keep your friends in stitches. Guaranteed to break the ice at parties. Hours of fun with ‘honeymoon delight’ – empty it into their beds – real skunk juice. They won’t forget their wedding night. Sticks to the skin, absolutely waterproof, guaranteed to break the ice at parties. Amuse your friends – CS gas canisters – smells, tastes and acts just like the real thing – can blind, maim or kill. Or for drinks, why not buy a ‘wicked willy’ with a life-size winkle – serves warm beer. Makes real cocktails. Hours of amusement. Or get the new Pooh-Pooh machine. Embarrass your guests – completely authentic sound. Or why not try a new ‘naughty nightie’ – put it on and it melts – just watch their faces. Guaranteed to break the ice at naughty parties. Go on, go on.
Johnson: Do the punchline.
Reg: What punchline?
Johnson: The punchline for this bit.
Reg: I don’t know it. They didn’t say anything about a punchline.
Johnson: Oh! Oh well in that case I’ll be saying goodbye then, sir… Goodbye then, sir.
(He turns and walks away. Reg looks around desperately. And then runs out of the door. He runs to BBC van as Johnson walks out of piaure. Cut to cabin of BBC van with the BBC man sitting there.)
Reg: What’s the punchline?
BBC Man: Punchline? I don’t think there’s a punchline scheduled, is there? Where are we? A week 39.4 · ·. no, it’s Friday, isn’t it- 39.7. Oh … here we are. Oh! (laughs) Ha, ha, ha, very good. Ha, ha, ha, very good. What a good punchline. Pity we missed that. Still, never mind, we can always do it again. Make a series out of it. Now if you’ll just sign there, I’ll put this through to our contracts department and you should be hearing from them in a year or two.
Reg: Can you give me a lift back?
BBC Man: Ah – can do. But won’t. We were wondering if we could possibly borrow your head for a piece of animation.
BBC Man: Oh jolly good. Thanks very much. You will get expenses.
(BBC staff set on Reg and saw his head off. ANIMATION: Reg’s head starts off by being thrown into picture.)