Series 4, Episode 45: ‘Most Awful Family in Britain’
RADIO VOICE Eric Idle
MR. GARIBALDI Terry Jones
MRS. GARIBALDI Eric Idle
RALPH GARIBALDI Michael Palin
VALERIE GARIBALDI Graham Chapman
KEVIN GARIBALDI Terry Gillam
PRESENTER MIchael Palin
PROFESSOR Eric Idle
LADY ORGANS Terry Jones
FIRST PERSON Eric Idle
SECOND PERSON Michael Palin
THIRD PERSON Graham Chapman
FOURTH PERSON Terry Jones
MOTHER Eric Idle
DAD Terry Jones
SON Terry Gilliam
The sketch:(Cut to a kitchen. Mr Garibaldi is eating a packet of ‘Ano-Weet’. On the back of the packet in big letters it reads ‘Free Inside – The Pope Demonstration Record’. Kevin Garibaldi is stretched out the whole length of the sofa, eating a huge plate of baked beans. His father occasionally flaps the copy of the paper he is reading at him to clear the air. The paper is called ‘The Scum’ and has a pin-up on the front page with big headline ‘What a Searcher! Phew! Can Resist this Miss’; at the bottom of the page in small print ‘China Declares War’. The banner across top reads ‘In the Scum Today “Tits and Inflation” ‘. Ralph Garibaldi is sitting at the table eating. At one point he stretches across the table, and his arm sticks in the butter. He tries to clean it off and knocks the sugar over. There is a large photo of lan Smith on the wall; built around it is a plaster shrine, with flowers in front of it. Mrs Garibaldi is ironing. She irons some underclothes, then she irons a transistor radio. Dotted about the room are a flat telephone, a flat standard lamp, and a flat cat. Valerie Garibaldi is wearing a shiny red miniskirt. She has bright yellow ‘beehive’ hair so stiffly lacquered that it is quite a hazard to various ornaments on the mantelpiece. She is continuously making herself up in the mantelpiece mirror which is shaped like a lavatory. The other member of the family is a very fat old dog. As we see all this, the football commentary is droning throughout on the radio.)
Radio Voice: Pratt… back to Pratt… Pratt again… a long ball out to Pratt… and now Pratt is on the ball, a neat little flick back inside to Pratt, who takes it nicely and sends it through on the far side to Pratt, Pratt with it but passes instead to Pratt, Pratt again, oh and well intercepted by the swarthy little number nine, Concito Maracon. This twenty-one-year-old half back, remarkably stocky for 6′ 3″, square shouldered, balding giant, hair flowing in the wind, bright eyed, pert, young for his age but oh so old in so many ways. For a thirty-nine.year-old you wouldn’t expect such speed. Normally considered slow, he’s incredibly fast as he wanders aimlessly around, sweeping up and taking the defence to the cleaners. Who would have thought, though many expected it, that this remarkable forty-five-year-old, 9’4″ dwarf of a man, who is still only seventeen in some parts of the world, would ever really be… Oh and there was a goal there apparently … and now it’s Pratt… back to Pratt… Pratt again… a long ball to Pratt… (crackle)
(By now mother has succeeded in flattening the radio with the iron. She folds it neatly and puts it on the pile.)
Mr Garibaldi I like this Ano-Weet, it really unclogs me.
(Ralph Garibaldi knocks a bowl onto the floor. It smashes.)
Mrs Garibaldi Oh, do be careful.
Ralph Garibaldi Sorry, mum.
(Kevin opens another can of beans and pours them on to his plate, throwing the tin on the floor. The radio drones on.)
Mr Garibaldi I mean a lot of others say they unclog you, but I never had a single bowel movement with the ‘Recto-Puffs’.
Ralph Garibaldi Now if we… (he knocks the cereal box off the table) Oh, sorry, mum … Now if we lived in Rhodesia there’d be someone to mop that up for you.
Valerie Garibaldi: (turning from the mirror in mid make-up) Don’t be so bleedin’ stupid. If you lived in bleedin’ Rhodesia, you’d be out at bleedin’ fascist rallies every bleedin’ day. You’re a
bleedin’ racist, you bleedin’ are.
Mr Garibaldi Language!
Valerie Garibaldi Well he gets on my sodding wick.
Mr Garibaldi That’s better.
(Mother is now ironing the telephone and the cat. She irons them flat and pins them on the line.)
Mr Garibaldi No, the stuff I liked was that stuff they gave us before the war, what was it – Wilkinson’s Number 8 Laxative Cereal. Phew. That one went through you like a bloody Ferrari…
(The doorbell rings.)
Mrs Garibaldi Now, who’s that at this time of day… (she goes out)
Mr Garibaldi If it’s the man to empty the Elsan, tell him it’s in the hall.
Mrs Garibaldi: Right, dear.
Mr Garibaldi And make sure that you hold it the right way up!
Ralph Garibaldi Dad… ?
(A middle-aged man appears from the broom cupboard.)
Strange Man: Yeah?
Ralph Garibaldi: No no, my dad…
Strange Man Oh… (he gets back into the cupboard again)
Ralph Garibaldi Dad? Why is Rhodesia called Rhodesia?… (he knocks the teapot on to the floor, it smashes) Oh sorry, dad.
(Cut to the doorway in the hall. A man in a dark suit, very smart and well-dressed, is doing strange kung-fu antics.)
Mrs Garibaldi No… no, really, thank you very much… no, thank you for calling, not today, thank you. Good morning.
(She shuts the door on him. As she does so Mr Garibaldi shouts out to her.)
Mr Garibaldi Who was that?
Mrs Garibaldi (coming in again) The Liberal Party candidate, darling… oh… what have you done now?
Ralph Garibaldi Sorry, mum. (he is standing beside the sink which has just split in two) I was just washing up…
Mrs Garibaldi Go and sit down!
Ralph Garibaldi Mum? Do you know why Rhodesia’s called Rhodesia?
Mr Garibaldi Do you remember ‘Go-Eazi’? They were hopeless… (Kevin opens another can of beans; dad notices in disgust and flaps his paper again) little black pellets… tasted foul and stuck inside you like flooring adhesive.
Valerie Garibaldi (she has finally finished her startling make-up) Right, I’m off.
Mrs Garibaldi When are you coming back tonight?
Valerie Garibaldi 3 a.m.
Mrs Garibaldi I think it’s disgusting… you a Member of Parliament.
Mr Garibaldi I heard you in the hall last night, snogging away.
Valerie Garibaldi I wasn’t snogging!
Mr Garibaldi Sounded like snogging to me. I could hear his great wet slobbering lips going at yer … and his hand going up yer…
Mrs Garibaldi Dad!
Strange Man (coming out of the cupboard) Yes.
Mrs Garibaldi No… not you.
Strange Man Oh! (he goes back in again)
Mrs Garibaldi Just mind your language…
(Ralph knock a leg off the table. It collapses entirely.)
Ralph Garibaldi Oh, sorry, mum.
Kevin Garibaldi (too fat and flatulent to get up) I’ve run out of beans!
Valerie Garibaldi We was talking, we was not snogging.
Mr Garibaldi Talking about snogging, I’ll bet…
(The phone rings. Mrs Garibaldi answers it.)
Valerie Garibaldi: If you must know, we was talking about Council re-housing.
Mrs Garibaldi (on the phone) Would it mean going to live in Hollywood?
Kevin Garibaldi: (desperate but unable to move) I run out of beans!
Mr Garibaldi Where to re-house his right hand, that’s what he was interested in!
Mrs Garibaldi And has Faye Dunaway definitely said yes?
Valerie Garibaldi: He is the Chairman of the Housing sub-committee.
(The bell rings.)
Mr Garibaldi Snogging sub-committee, more like…
Mrs Gstribaldi: Ralph, do answer that door will you!
Kevin Garibaldi Beans!!
Mrs Garibaldi Shut up!!
Ralph Garibaldi Yea, mum.
Mr Garibaldi (shouting to Ralph) If it’s the man from the Probbo-Rib, tell him it’s in the bed.
(Ralph gets up. As he goes he knocks the leg off the old-fashioned gas cooker. It falls to one side bringing down shelves next to it, plates, crockery and a section of the wall revealing the hallway the other side.)
Ralph Garibaldi Sorry, mum.
Kevin Garibaldi: (roaring) Beans! Beans!
Mrs Garibaldi Shut up!
(A man in a Tarzan outfit, except with a postman’s hat and a little mailbag, swings in on a liana shouting a jungle yell.)
(A gong sounds. They all stop acting. Cut to stock film of ladies applauding. Pull out from this stock film to see that it is on a screen in a presentation studio. A glitttry compare is also applauding sycophantically at his desk, about which is tht glittery slogan ‘Most Awful Family in Britain, 1974. Sponsored by “Heart Attacko Margarine”‘.)
Presenter: A very good try there, by the Garibaldi family of Droitwich in Worcestershire. Professor…
(Pull out further to pick up a panel of three distinguished rather academic looking people.)
Professor: Well, I can’t make up my mind about this family… I don’t think there was the sustained awfulness that we really need. I mean, the father was appalling…
(Two other members of the panel nod vigorous agreement.)
Lady Organs: Appalling… yes ….
Professor: He was dirty, smelly and distasteful … and I liked him very much … but…
Presenter: Lady Organs?
Lady Organs: Well … they were an unpleasant farally certainly, but I don’t think we had enough of the really gross awfulhess that we’re looking for…
Presenter: Well, harsh words therefor the Garibaldi family of Droitwich in Worcestershire, at present holders of the East Midlands Most Awful Faafily Award – Lower Middle-Class Section but unable today to score more than fifteen on our disgustometer. Well with the scores all in from the judges, the Garlbaldis are number three… and a surprise number two… the Fanshaw-Churnleighs of Berkshire… (he turns to the screen)
(A very elegant breakfast table in beautifully tasteful surroundings. Four upper-class folk – two woman and two men – are talking most incredibly loudly at each other, with quite appalling accents. An appalling din altogether. They talk just about at the same time as each other.)
First Person: What a super meal.
Second Person: Absolutely super. Pat and Max are coming down from Eton to help daddy count money.
Third Person: How absolutely super.
Fourth Person: My man at Poirer’s says I could have my whole body lifted for £5,500
First Person: How super… (etc.)
(Cut back to the panel nodding thoughfully.)
Presenter: Well, some of the wonderful behaviour that made the Fanshaw-Chumleighs the second Most Awful Family in Britain 1974. But the winners, by a clear ten point margin, are once again the awful Jodrell family of Durham. Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to show you some of the performance that won them an award, but I assure you it was of the very highest standard, was it not, Lady Organs?
Lady Organs: Oh, yes, superb … Mr Jodrell – you know, the old grandfather, who licks the …
Presenter: (hurriedly) Yes, yes…
Lady Organs: He’s superb. His gobbing is consistent and accurate. His son is a dirty foul little creature, and those frightful scabs which Mrs Jodrell licks off the cat are…
Presenter: (during this speech we cut to the same image on a TV screen) Well, thank you very much,
Lady Organs: …and from all of us all, well done to the Jodrells… and to all of you, not forgetting those of you who may be halfway in between, without whom, of course, and not forgetting who made it all possible, when, and we’ll be back, until then and so it’s goodnight from me and here’s wishing you a safe journey home, thank you for watching this show, don’t forget it was all great fun, I’ve enjoyed it, and I hope you watching at home have enjoyed it too.
(He is switched off, and fades into a dot. Pull back to reveal that the TV which has just been switched off is in a dirty old sitting room in which all the characters are really unpleaant pepperpots. They are dressed more or less identically, except that son has a school cap and a blazer over his pepperpot gear. He has a satchel and National Health glasses. The father has moustache and glasses and a Fair-Isle jersey.)
Mother: The Jodrells win every bloody year… makes you vomit … dad?
Mother: Get your stinking feet off the bread.
Dad: I’m only wiping the cat’s do’s off.
Mother: Shut yet face, Douglas.
Son: I wanted some corn-plasters.
Mother: Shut up and eat what you got.
(A cat set into the wall, i.e. a glove puppet, screeches as if someone had pulled its tail outside.)
Dad: Some fat bastard at the door! (to the cat) Shut up! (she slaps it; it expires)
(She taka a couple of milk bottles out. Standing on the doorstep is a man with a Nordic accent in female national costume. He has a tray labeled ‘Icelandic Honey Week’)