Monday, December 29, 2008

Laugh? I nearly Spam Meself

The Bill Cotton tribute (see Betty, here) included the revelation that Bill didn't find Monty Python funny. This could be construed as the establishment not understanding the new young anarchistic comedians. But the establishment was not alone.

Yesterday I watched the original Spam sketch which gave birth to a song and, eventually, a musical. Maybe I missed something when I first saw it?

A late middle aged/young old aged working class couple are lowered into a greasy spoon cafe in which several vikings are eating. The man asks the cafe worker what's on offer.

The cafe worker talks in a high pitched Monty Python working class woman voice. She reels off the menu.

"There's egg and bacon. Egg, sausage and bacon. Egg and Spam..."

The menu continues for a very long time with more and more Spam being added to each dish.

The high pitched working class woman of the couple asks if there is anything without Spam in it.

If she had been listening she would have picked up on the first two items on the menu. Even so, it seems the thick woman behind the counter has got so caught up in the sketch she has forgotten about the egg and bacon and the egg, sausage and bacon, too.

The woman customer is getting very agitated.

"Look, could I have egg, bacon, Spam and sausage without the Spam?"

Yes, you dim cow! You can have egg, sausage and bacon! There's no fucking Spam there!

It then gets all a bit too surreal for me. The woman behind the counter insists the second thing on the menu she first mentioned isn't available and the crap Vikings start to sing the Spam song. The husband of the couple says he'll eat his wife's Spam as he loves Spam. But he asks for baked beans and is told the baked beans are off less than a minute after they were available!

Then John Cleese enters and does his John Cleese impression and is carted off by a policeman.

Jesus, does this go on!

What next? Oh, Michael Palin gets in on the act as a professor demonstrating the Vikings' invasion of the cafe in Bromley, the screen behind him is lifted and he joins in with the Vikings singing the Spam song. And the sketch is over!

Oh Geoff, you say, what's there not to love?

Ok, I'll give you it's silly. It is very silly. It is very very silly. It is very very very silly. It is very very very very silly. It is very very very very very silly. It is very very very very very very silly. It is very very very very very very very silly. And they are naughty boys. They are very naughty boys. They are very very naughty boys. They are very very.........

Oh fuck, can I stop now?


  1. Anonymous5:31 PM

    Very hit and miss, was Python, mostly miss.

    It's funnier if you went to public school and Cambridge university. Or Oxford.

    One episode of Seinfeld features more laughs than a whole season of Python.

    Word verification is SALLUTO!

  2. Didn't they recycle this sketch with "Rook Soup"?

    And speaking of Rookery Nook, for a generation forced to watch Brian Rix Farces the Monty stuff was hilarious.

    Wordver: rswipe - I've only just realised that's a pun, that's how clever I am!

  3. Anonymous6:34 PM

    I quite like the Vikings but I don't like Spam.

  4. Bob - It's funny how a lot of their humour involved stupid working class women. Hilarious.

    Murph - But surely there were the Goons and Hancock! On second thoughts...

    Billy - I used to have Spam fritters as a lad and won't have anything said against Spam.

  5. Many people feel the same about the Ying Tong Song, not to mention Major Denis Bloodnok's Rock and Roll-call. Maybe it had something to do with novelty and exclusive possession.

    Every time I read one of your posts that I can identify with I feel I'd like to make you a nice cup of tea with a shot of rum in it and see how far we can converse in Cockney rhyming slang before one of us cracks. I don't know why this be so.

  6. "....take Miss Bannister in a steaming love dance while I check her properties...."

    Yep, still drives away those Bloodnok Rock 'n' Roll call blues...


    p.s. is it OK to say "Christopher name but three.."??

    p.p.s. Prune glomoizification: midol....

    Former Spurs striker now stranded in Middlesbrough, perhaps?

  7. You should get this published in some posh magazine 'Monty Python - a reappraisal'.
    Seriously - it's excellent.

  8. Christopher - Teenage boys could remember whole scripts and songs and would repeat them ad nauseam. At least with catchphrases they're over in a few seconds! I'm not sure I could keep up with the rhyming slang, me old china.

    Bob - It's a like a different planet to me, one where Prince Charles is King.

    Kaz - Thank you, but is there a magazine for moaning Minnies like me?

  9. I spent a few years being a hypocritical twat pretending I didn't like Led Zep in the punk era so I'm not about to deny Python now.

    It didn't always work - quite often didn't - but have you listened to The Goons or Hancock lately? Both fine, as long as you forget the last 30 years happened. Dad's Army and Porridge struggle to survive the ghastly cynicism of the modern era. The Spam sketch was very funny in the early 70s, but only remains so as a museum piece. The world has moved on.

    Wolves were terrific in the 1950s, but now I wouldn't pay to watch old films of them clumsily humping the ball upfield.

    Anyhoo -- happy new year to yourself and the lovely Betty.

    PS Seinfeld? Smartarse bollocks.

  10. Morecambe & Wise, Stanley Baxter, Dave Allen, Likely Lads, Reggie Perrin, some of The Two Ronnies are still as funny today as when first shown in the 70s. Python wasn't on the same radar, it was mainly for teenage boys like The Young Ones was in the early 80s. Seinfeld is great and Larry David is a genius.

    Happy new year to you too, Malc. The Star Soccer Highlights of the 70s DVD is on its way.

  11. Hold on, I seem to have been arguing with myself there. Sorry.

    Except the Seinfeld stuff, of course.

    Happy New Year.

  12. It made perfect sense to me LOL.

  13. "...but is there a magazine for moaning Minnies like me?"

    What Python?

  14. I agree it was a much overrated sketch.

    However the word 'spam' remains funny. 'Brown Windsor' soup also cracks me up. I mean what's supposed to be in it anyway - brown and Windsor? A means of getting rid of Windsor's sewerage in sneaky form perhaps.

    Happy New Year!

  15. Istvanski - Why Python?

    Laura - "Spam" is funny. It just doesn't need a silly high voice.

  16. ...and Happy New Year!