Wilde Times At The BBC

The following script for the Wilde sketch, stolen from Graham Chapman, with his permission, is one whole sketch and a bit censored from programme 12 of the current series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. See also the news story on How They Castrated Monty P.

The script is presented in its original form, as duplicated by the Light Entertainment Group of BBC TV, but we have reset it word for word with its original layout, so that it’s possible to read – the BBC seems a bit mean with duplicating ink.

SUPER CAPTION. LONDON 1895

SUPER CAPTION. THE RESIDENCE OF MR OSCAR WILDE.

SUITABLE CLASSY MUSIC STARTS.

(MIX THROUGH TO WILDE’S DRAWING ROOM. (STUDIO) A CROWD OF SUITABLY DRESSED FOLK ARE ENGAGED IN TYPICALLY BRILLIANT CONVERSATION LAUGHING EFFETELY AND DRINKING CHAMPAGNE (REAL CHAMPAGNE)

PRINCE OF WALES
My congratulations Wilde. Your play is a great success. The whole of London is talking about you.

WILDE
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.

(THERE FOLLOWS FIFTEEN SECONDS OF RESTRAINED AND SYCOPHANTIC LAUGHTER).

PRINCE OF WALES
Very witty. Very very witty.

WHISTLER
There is only one thing in the world worse than being witty and that is not being witty.

(FIFTEEN MORE SECONDS OF THE SAME)

WILDE
I wish I had said that.

WHISTLER
You did Oscar you did.

(MORE LAUGHTER)

WILDE
Your Highness do you know James McNeill Whistler?

PRINCE OF WALES
Yes we play squash together.

WILDE
There is only one thing worse than playing squash together and that is playing it by yourself (PAUSE) I wish I hadn’t said that.

WHISTLER
You did Oscar you did.

(A LITTLE LAUGHTER)

WILDE
More champagne Shaw.

SHAW
If you please.

PRINCE OF WALES
I thought you were a tee totaller Shaw.

SHAW
I am a beer tee-totaller your majesty not a champagne tee-totaller.

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE
Dear Bernard. He hasn’t an enemy in the world and none of his friends like him.

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE
I’m working well tonight.

PRINCE OF WALES
You must forgive me Wilde but I must get back up the palace.

WILDE
Your majesty you are like a big jam doughnut with cream on top.

PRINCE OF WALES
I beg your pardon?

WILDE
(AT A LOSS) Er… er… er … er… er… it was one of Whistlers.

WHISTLER
I didn’t say that!

WILDE
You did James, you did.

(P.O. WALES STARES EXPECTANTLY AT WHISTLER)

WHISTLER
It meant that like a doughnut your arrival gives us pleasure and your departure makes us hungry for more.

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE
Right! Your majesty is like a stream of bat’s piss.

P.O.W.
I beg your pardon!

WILDE
It was one of Whistlers.

WHISTLER
It sodding was not.

SHAW
He merely meant your majesty that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.

(RIPPLE OF AWED APPRECIATION)

WILDE/WHIST.
RIGHT!

WILDE
Your majesty is like a dose of clap.

WHISTLER
Before you arrive is pleasure but after a pain in the dong.

P.O.W.
What!!!

WILDE/WHIST.
It was one of Shaw’s.

SHAW
Right you bastards… I meant er… er… er…

WILDE
We’ve got him Jim.

SHAW
Er… er… er… I meant… er…

WILDE/WHIST
We’ve got him … we’ve got him. Come on Shorey … come on Shorey.

SHAW
(BLOWS HELPLESS RASPBERRY)

(MURMURS OF APPRECIATIVE APPLAUSE)

ALL
Excellent, excellent!

(TO BE ENDED BY ANIMATION WHICH TAKES US INTO…)

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman

1941-1989. Dr Graham Arthur Chapman was most famous for his involvement in BBCtv's 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His partner was fellow Gay News contributor David Sherlock.
Graham Chapman

Latest posts by Graham Chapman (see all)

Author: Graham Chapman

1941-1989. Dr Graham Arthur Chapman was most famous for his involvement in BBCtv’s ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His partner was fellow Gay News contributor David Sherlock.

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