Series 3, Episode 29: Jungle Restaurant
FIRST EXPLORER John Cleese
SECOND EXPLORER Eric Idle
THIRD EXPLORER Graham Chapman
FOURTH EXPLORER Carol Cleveland
AKWEKWE Michael Palin
(A steamy tropical jungle. A native guide leads four explorers in pith helmets and old-fashioned long shorts through the jungle. Cicada sounds and shrieks of predatory jungle birds. Intercut close ups of perspiring foreheads etc. The native guide keeps beckoning them to hurry. The jungle appears to get thicker: they have to push their way through the undergrowth. Finally the guide stops and points, with eyes staring. The four explorers cluster round and look over his shoulder. A neat clearing in the thick of the jungle. Tables set as in a London bistro with check cloths and big wooden pepper mills, candles and menus standing on each table. Sitting at the tables are six other explorers in pith helmets etc., eating and chatting. Clink of coffee cups.
First Explorer: What a simply super little place!
Second Explorer: Yes, they’ve done wonders with it. You know this used to be one of the most swampy disease infested areas of the whole jungle, and they’ve turned it into this smashing little restaurant. (across the restaurant the head waiter appears, dressed in black tie and tails just a bit too big for him; he beckons them to a table) Here you are Omkami, thank you. Hello, Mr Akwekwe.
Akwekwe: Hello, Mr Spare-Buttons-Supplied-With-The-Shirt. Nice to see you again.
Second Explorer: These are some of my fellow explorers: Sir Charles Farquarson, Briar Bailey, Betty Bailey and this is Mr Akwekwe, who started the whole place.
Third Explorer: It really is super.
Fourth Explorer: (who is dressed as a man and has a moustache) Terrific idea.
Akwekwe: May I recommend the alligator purees.
(Suddenly there is a hideous scream. We see a gorilla tear a man from his table at the back of the restaurant, in front of a tree and drag him back into the jungle. Awful shrieks are heard. Akwekwe runs into the jungle shouting, Terrible sounds of the unseen fight. Thrashing about of bushes in the distance. A shot rings out. Then silence also rings out. Akwekwe emerges, dragging the inert body of the cash customer whom he puts back in his chair. He slumps forward. Akwekwe comes back to the table in the foreground which has remained in the foreground throughout this preceding shot, with cut ins of the four explorers looking through the menu. Akwekwe has a bloodstained claw mark right across his face and chest and his dickey is torn and bloodstained.
Akwekwe: Now then, have you decided?
(He produces a notepad such as waiters always carry.)
Second Explorer: Ye-es … Well there’s two avocado vinaigrette here and what are you going to have Briar?
Fourth Explorer: Er quiche lorraine for me, please.
Akwekwe: Right, so that’s two avocado, one quiche …
(Cut to close up of pigmy’s evil face parting leaves and firing a blow-pipe. Cut to another table where two explorers are having coffee and cigars. One of them stiffens and then slumps forward. Cut to Akwekwe at the main table registering what has happened. We pan with him as he rushes over to the bushes. Sound of pigmies retreating into the bushes. Akwekwe shouts after him. We pan with Akwekwe as he walks over to the table where the customer has slumped f0rward. He pulls him up, looks at dart sticking out of his chest, tut tuts with annoyance and lets him slump back on to the table again. He returns to the main table.)
Akwekwe: So, that’s two avocado, one quiche …
Third Explorer: And a soup of the day.
Akwekwe: Right. (sinister sound of jungle drums in distance; close up of look of fear in Akwekwe’s eyes) And to follow?
Second Explorer: Two chicken a la reine, with sauce provencale.
First Explorer: And one scampi desiree.
Third Explorer: And boeuf bourguignon with a green salad.
(Jungle drums getting louder. Akwekwe shouts off towards the back of the clearing where we assume the kitchens mast be.)
Akwekwe: Right on. Two chicken! One scampi! One boeuf with green salad!
(He casts yet another fearful glance in the direction of the ever-increasing drum beats.)
Akwekwe: There may be … a little delay.
Second Explorer: That’s fine but we have to be out by three.
Akwekwe: Yes, sir. Yes, we’ll try.
(The drum beats get louder. Shot of forest, rustling of bushes. Close up of Akwekwe’s eyes. Another shot of forest. Drum beats louder. More rustling. Close up of Akwekwe’s eyes and sweating forehead. Forest again and more noise. Close up of Akwekwe; he now has blood on his face, his eyes dilate with fear, the drum beats became deafening. Sudden cut to BBC world symbol.)