Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
1983 musical-sketch comedy film by the Monty Python team
Part I: The Miracle of BirthEdit
- Obstetrician 1: Get the EEG, the BP monitor, and the AVV.
- Obstetrician 2: And get the machine that goes 'ping!'.
- Obstetrician 1: And get the most expensive machine - in case the Administrator comes.
- Patient: What do I do?
- Obstetrician: Nothing, dear, you're not qualified.
- Hospital Administrator: Ah, I see you have the machine that goes 'ping!'. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to - that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.
- [The doctors and onlookers applaud.]
- Hospital Administrator: Thank you, thank you. We try to do our best. Well, do carry on.
- [As the doctors drop the baby into an incubator, the mother looks up.]
- Patient: Is it a boy or a girl?
- Obstetrician: Now, I think it's a little early to start imposing roles on it, don't you? Now, a word of advice. You may find that you suffer for some time a totally irrational feeling of depression. PND is what we doctors call it. So it's lots of happy pills for you, and you can find out all about the birth when you get home. It's available on Betamax, VHS, and Super 8.
- Dad: The mill's closed. There's no more work. We're destitute. I've got no option but to sell you all for scientific experiments.
- [The children protest and cry]
- Dad: That's the way it is my loves. Blame the Catholic Church for not letting me wear one of those little rubber things. Oh, they've done some wonderful things in their time. They preserved the might and majesty, even the mystery, of the Church of Rome, the sanctity of the sacrament, and the indivisible oneness of the Trinity. But if they'd let me wear one of those little rubber things on the end of my cock, we wouldn't be in the mess we are now.
- Mum (singing):
- Hindu, Taoist, Mormon spill theirs just anywhere,
But God loves those who treat their semen with more care.
- Mr Blackitt: When Martin Luther nailed his protest up to the church door in 1517, he may not have realised the full significance of what he was doing, but four hundred years later, thanks to him, my dear, I can wear whatever I want on my John Thomas. And Protestantism doesn't stop at the simple condom. Oh, no! I can wear French Ticklers if I want.
- Mrs Blackitt: You what?
- Mr Blackitt: French Ticklers, Black Mambos, Crocodile Ribs... Sheaths that are designed not only to protect but also to enhance the stimulation of sexual congress.
- Mrs Blackitt: Have you got one?
- Mr Blackitt: Well, no... But I can go down the road any time I want and walk into Harry's and hold my head up high, and say in a loud steady voice: 'Harry I want you to sell me a condom. In fact, today I think I'll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant.'
- Mrs Blackitt: Well, why don't you?
- Mr Blackitt: But they! They cannot. Because their Church never made the great leap out of the Middle Ages, and the domination of alien episcopal supremacy.
- Narrator: But despite the efforts of Protestants to promote the idea of sex for pleasure, children continue to multiply everywhere.
Part II: Growth and LearningEdit
- Headmaster: (supposedly reading from The Bible) And spotteth twice they the camels before the third hour. And so the Midianites went forth to Ram Gilead in Kadesh Bilgemath by Shor Ethra Regalion, to the house of Gash-Bil-Betheul-Bazda, he who brought the butter dish to Balshazar and the tent peg to the house of Rashomon, and there slew they the goats, yea, and placed they the bits in little pots. Here endeth the lesson.
- Chaplain and students:
- O Lord! Ooh, you are so big! So absolutely huge. Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell you.
- Chaplain and students (singing a hymn):
- O Lord, please don't burn us.
Don't grill or toast your flock.
Don't put us on the barbecue
Or simmer us in stock.
Don't braise or bake or boil us,
Or stir-fry us in a wok.
Part III: Fighting Each OtherEdit
- General: Well, of course, warfare isn't all fun. Right — stop that! It's all very well to laugh at the military, but when one considers the meaning of life, it is a struggle between alternative viewpoints of life itself. And without the ability to defend one's own viewpoint against other perhaps more aggressive ideologies, then reasonableness and moderation could, quite simply, disappear. That is why we'll always need an army, and may God strike me down were it to be otherwise.
- [A lightning bolt destroys the general. Cut to outside, where the Hand of God rises into the clouds. Outside, a Sergeant Major stands before his troops.]
- Sergeant Major: Don't stand there gawpin'! Like you've never seen the Hand o' God before!
- [The Sergeant Major has dismissed all his troops to go home, read books, learn the piano, etc.]
- Sergeant Major: Bloody Army, I dunno what it's coming to! Right, then! Sergeant Major, marching up and down the square: go! Left, right, left right...
- Narrator: Democracy and humanitarianism have always been trademarks of the British Army.
- Sergeant Major: RUBBISH!
- Narrator: Shush!
- Ainsworth: During the night old Perkins had his leg bitten sort of... off.
- Dr. Livingstone: Eh? Been in the wars, have we? Well, let's take a look at this one leg of yours. Yes... Yes, well, this is nothing to worry about.
- Perkins: Oh, good.
- Dr. Livingstone: There's a lot of it about — probably a virus. Keep warm, plenty of rest, and if you're playing any football try and favour the other leg.
- Perkins: So it'll just grow back again, will it?
- Dr. Livingstone: Er… I think I'd better come clean with you about this. It's not a virus, I'm afraid. You see, a virus is what we doctors call 'very, very small'. So small, it could not possibly have made off with the whole leg. What we're looking for here for is, I think — and this is no more than an educated guess, I'd like to make that clear — is some multicellular life form with stripes, huge razor-sharp teeth, about eleven feet long, and of the genus felis horribilis — what we doctors, in fact, call a tiger.
- Pakenham-Walsh/Ainsworth/Perkins: A tiger!
- Soldiers: A tiger!
- Pakenham-Walsh: A tiger in Africa?
- Soldier: Here is better than home, eh, sir? I mean, at home if you kill someone they arrest you — here they'll give you a gun and show you what to do, sir. I mean, I killed fifteen of those buggers. Now, at home they'd hang me — here they'll give me a fucking medal, sir!
Part IV: Middle AgeEdit
- Joeline: It's real Hawaiian food served in an authentic medieval English dungeon atmosphere.
- Mrs Hendy: Oh! I never knew that Schopenhauer was a philosopher!
- Mr Hendy: Oh, yeah! He's the one that begins with an s, like Nietzsche.
- Mrs Hendy: Does Nietzsche begin with an S?
- Mr Hendy: There's an s in Nietzsche.
- Mrs Hendy: Oh, wow! Yes there is. Do all philosophers have an s in them?
- Mr Hendy: Yeah, I think most of them do.
- Mrs Hendy: Oh. Does that mean Salena Jones is a philosopher?
- Mr Hendy: Right, she could be. She sings about the meaning of life.
- Mrs Hendy: Yeah, that's right, but I don't think she writes her own material.
- Mr Hendy: No. Maybe Schopenhauer writes her material?
- Mrs Hendy: No. Burt Bacharach writes it.
- Mr Hendy: There's no s in Burt Bacharach.
- Mrs Hendy: Or in Hal David.
- Mr Hendy: Who's Hal David?
- Mrs Hendy: He writes the lyrics, Burt just writes the tunes, only now he's married to Carole Bayer Sager.
- Mr Hendy: Waiter! This conversation isn't very good!
Part V: Live Organ TransplantsEdit
- Mr. Brown: Yeah, I know what it is, but...I'm using it"!
- The Man from the Fridge (singing):
- The universe itself keeps expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whizz,
As fast as it can go,
At the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute,
And that's the fastest speed there is,
So, remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
- Chairman: Item six on the agenda, the Meaning of Life. Now Harry, you’ve had some thoughts on this.
- Harry: That’s right, yeah. I’ve had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we’ve come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One, people are not wearing enough hats. Two, matter is energy. In the Universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person’s soul. However, this soul does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man’s unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.
- Max: What was that about hats again?
Part VI: The Autumn YearsEdit
- Maître-D': Good afternoon, sir. And how are we today?
- Mr Creosote: Better.
- Maître-D': Better?
- Mr Creosote: Better get a bucket. I'm gonna throw up.
- Maître-D': Today we have for appetisers: moules marinières, pâté de foie gras, Beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tart de poireau — that’s leek tart — frogs’ legs amandine, or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd — c’est-à-dire, little quails’ eggs on a bed of puréed mushroom. It’s very delicate, very subtle.
- Mr Creosote: I’ll have the lot.
- Maître-D': A wise choice, monsieur. And now, how would you like it served? All mixed up together in a bucket?
- Mr Creosote: With the eggs on top.
- Maître-D: But of course, avec les oeufs frites.
- Mr Creosote: And don't skimp on the pâté.
- Maître-D: Monsieur, I can assure you, just because it is mixed up with all the other things we would not dream of giving you less than the full amount. In fact, I will personally make sure you have a double helping. Maintenant quelque chose a boire. Something to drink, monsieur?
- Mr Creosote: Yeah, I'll have six bottles of Chateau Latour '45...
- Maître-D: '45.
- Mr Creosote: ...and a double Jeroboam of champagne.
- Maître-D: Bon, and the usual brown ales?
- Mr Creosote: Yeah. No, wait a minute. I think I can only manage six crates today.
- Maître-D: I hope monsieur was not overdoing it last night.
- Mr Creosote: Shut up!
- Maître-D: And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint.
- Mr Creosote: Bleugh!
- Maître-D: Oh, sir, it's only a tiny, little, thin one.
- Mr Creosote: No. Fuck off. I'm full.
- Maître-D: Oh, sir, hmm? It's only wafer-thin.
- Mr Creosote: Look. I couldn't eat another thing. I'm absolutely stuffed. Bugger off.
- Maître-D: Oh, sir. Just- just one.
- Mr Creosote: Alright. Just one.
- Maître-D: Just one. (feeds it to Creosote) Bon appetit! (legs it, dives behind some plants just before Mr Creosote violently explodes)
Part VII: DeathEdit
- [Geoffrey is confronted by a hooded figure with a scythe.]
- Geoffrey: Yes?
- Geoffrey: Is it about the hedge?
- Grim Reaper: Shut up! Shut up, you American. You always talk, you Americans, you talk and you talk and say 'Let me tell you something' and 'I just wanna say this.' Well, you're dead now, so shut up.
- Grim Reaper: Be quiet! You Englishmen! You're all so fucking pompous. None of you have got any balls!
- American wife: Can I just ask you a question?
- Grim Reaper: What?
- American wife: How can we all have died at the same time?
- [The Grim Reaper points at the salmon mousse.]
- Grim Reaper: The salmon mousse.
- [Everyone except the Grim Reaper is shocked by this revelation.]
- English husband: Darling, you didn't use canned salmon.
- English wife: I'm most dreadfully embarrassed.
- Grim Reaper: Now, follow.
- [The English husband stands up, picks up a pistol and fires three shots, which all pass through the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper turns round.]
- English husband: (sheepishly) Just testing...sorry
- Grim Reaper: Follow.
- American wife: But I didn't eat the mousse...
The End of the FilmEdit
- Lady Presenter: Well, that's the end of the film. Now, here's the meaning of life.
- [She is handed a gold-wrapped booklet.]
- Lady Presenter: Thank you, Brigitte.
- [She clears her throat, then unwraps and examines the gilt booklet.]
- Lady Presenter: Well, it's nothing very special. Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. And, finally, here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises to annoy the censors and to hopefully spark some sort of controversy, which it seems is the only way these days to get the jaded, video-sated public off their fucking arses and back in the sodding cinema. Family entertainment? Bollocks. What they want is filth: people doing things to each other with chainsaws during tupperware parties, babysitters being stabbed with knitting needles by gay presidential candidates, vigilante groups strangling chickens, armed bands of theatre critics exterminating mutant goats. Where's the fun in pictures? Oh, well, there we are. Here's the theme music. Goodnight.