Python's Parrot Sketch is utterly ludicrous and silly beyond belief.
Maybe that is why it has become Monty Python's best known sketch. This
sketch has achieved cult status, while to a non-English audience it may seem
rather “weird”. Let’s hope the humour of this sketch is not lost on you!
The English pride themselves a lot on their “sense of humour”, a quality
that – in their eyes (= the eyes of the English) the Germans (= Un-Krauts) sadly lack. So you should at least pretend you find the following
THE SCENE: A customer(C)-enters a pet shop to
complain to the shopkeeper(S).
C: I wish to register a complaint
(clears his throat) Hello? Miss?
S: What do you mean, "miss"? (The
shopkeeper is a man!)
C: Oh, I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint.
S: We're just closing for lunch.
C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what (2) I purchased
(3) not ‘alf (4) an hour ago from
this very (5) boutique.
S: Oh, yes, the Norwegian Blue. What's wrong with it?
C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It's dead, that's what's
wrong with it.
S: No, no, it's resting - look!
C: Look, my lad, I know a dead parrot when I see one and I'm looking at
one right now.
S: No, he's not dead, he's resting.
S: Yeah, resting. Exceptional bird, the Norwegian Blue. Beautiful plumage (6), innit (4)?
C: The plumage don’t (4)
enter into it. It's stone dead!
S: No, it's resting.
C: All right, then: if it's resting I’ll wake it up. Wake up, Polly! Wake
up, Polly Parrot. I've got a nice cuttlefish
you if you wake up, Polly. (Hits
S: There! He moved!
C: No, he didn't. That was you pushing the cage.
S: I didn’t.
C: Yes, you did. Polly, Polly...... Polly, Polly, Polly. Wake up, Polly! Now,
that's what I call a dead parrot!
S: Well, it's stunned (8).
S: You stunned (8) it just as it was waking up. Norwegian Blues stun (8) easily.
C: Look, I've had enough of this. The parrot is definitely deceased (9). When I bought it 'alf (4) an hour ago you
assured me that its total lack of movement was due to its being tired and
shagged out (10) after a long squawk (11).
S: Well, it may be pining for
(12) the fiords.
C: Pining for (12) the fiords? What kind of talk is that? Look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home?
S: Well, the Norwegian Blue prefers kipping
(13) on its back. Beautiful plumage (6)! It's pining
(12), you know!
C: It's not pining (12), it's passed on (14). This parrot is no more. It's ceased (15)
to be. It has expired (16). The parrot has gone to meet its maker (17). This is a late
(18) parrot. It's a stiff (19), bereft of (20) life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch (21) , it would be pushing up
the daisies (22). It's rung down
curtain (23) and joined the choir invisible
(24). It is an ex-parrot!
S: Well, I'd better replace (25) it, then.
C: If you want to get anything done in this country you got to complain
till you're blue in the mouth (26).
S: Er ... I’ve just looked. We don't have any more parrots.
C: I see, I see, I get the picture.
S: I've got a slug (27).
C: Does it talk?
S: Well, not really.
C: Well, it's scarcely a replacement
(25) then, is it?
S: Listen, I tell you what: if you go to my brother's pet shop in Bolton,
he'll replace the parrot for you.
eh? Very well.
C: This is Bolton, is it?
Pet Shop Man's Brother (PSMB): No, it's Ipswich.
C: That's Inter-City Rail for you!
wish to complain, British Railways person!
BR man: I don't have to do this job, you know.
C: I beg your pardon?
BR man: Well, I'm a qualified brain surgeon
(28). I only do this job because I like being me (4) own boss.
C: Excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn't it?
BR man: Oh, yeah, it's not easy to pad these records out (29) to thirty minutes, you know.
C: Well, I want to complain. I got on the Bolton train and found myself deposited (30) here in Ipswich.
BR man: No, this is Bolton.
C: The pet shop man's brother was lying!
BR man: Welt, you can't blame (31) British Rail for that.
C: As this is Bolton, I shall return to the pet shop.
C: I understand this is
C: You told me it was Ipswich.
PSMB: It was a pun (32).
PSMB: No, no, not a pun. What’s that thing that spells the same backwards as
A palindrome (33)?
C: It's not a palindrome! The palindrome of Bolton would be “Notlob”! It
don't (4) work!
PSMB: Well, what do you want?
C: I'm not prepared to pursue
my line of inquiry (35) at the moment, as I
think this is getting too silly.
1) complaint: Beschwerde; to
complain/to lodge/to register a complaint:
2) "what": substandard
speech! The correct form would, of course, be "which"/"that"
(see also #4)
3) to purchase = to buy: kaufen;
noun: purchase: der Kauf
4) ’alf = half (Cockney speech);
it don’t = it doesn’t innit=
isn’t it: substandard speech!
me = my
5) very: genau;
this very boutique = genause diese Boutique
6) plumage: Gefieder (cf.
"Plumeau" = Federbett)
stun: betäuben , benommen machen;
stunning: wuchtig, betäubend; auch: phantastisch,
9) deceased: verstorben; the
deceased: der Verstorbene
"decedere" = to go away")
10) to be shagged out (GB
slang) = völlig erschöpft sein
= about the same as "to be fagged out"
(noun)/to squawk: Schrei, Kreischen/schreien, kreischen [ONOMATOPOEIA/Lautmalerei:"animal noises"]
pine for: sich verzehren nach, sich sehnen
nach, vor Kummer vergehen
to kip (GB slang) = pennen, schlafen
pass on: hinscheiden
15) to cease: aufhören (cf.
"deceased" above #9)
expire: seinen Geist aufgeben; auch: ungültig
werden, ablaufen ("Pass")
meet one’s maker: „seinem Schöpfer
18) late = [hier] verstorben
(e.g. "the late Mr Miller left 50 000 pounds to his wife/widow")
of: "beraubt einer Sache" = ohne
etwas, bar einer Sache
[hier] Stange; auch: Ast,
22) to be pushing up the daisies (infml,
joc): sich die Radieschen von unten anschauen (="to be six feet under")
ring down the curtain: den Vorhang
choir invisible (word order!): [etwa]
Chor der himmlischen Heerscharen
25) to replace: ersetzen; noun:
26) till you’re blue in the mouth/or: blue in the face (infml):
bis zum "Gehtnichtmehr"
27) slug: Nacktschnecke (the other
type is a "snail")
to pad sth. out: etwas ausstopfen,
polstern; hier: strecken,“aufmotzen“
deposit: absetzen, hinlegen, deponieren
noun: Flaschenpfand, Kaution,
31) to blame (sb./sth. ) for: jmd.
/etw. die Schuld für etwas geben
BUT: (sich) blamieren: to make a fool of oneself
32) pun = a play on words: Wortspiel
[QUESTION: "Is life worth living?" ANSWER: 'It depends on the
Palindrom [ENGLISH: Able was I ere I
saw Elba. (Napoleon on Elba!) DEUTSCH:
Ein Neger mit Gazelle zagt im Regen nie.]
34) to pursue (an aim etc.): ein
Ziel verfolgen BUT:
to persecute a minority; to prosecute a criminal: "verfolgen"
35) (to pursue) a line of inquiry: „in eine bestimmte Richtung ermitteln”
see also RAZZAMATAZZ back to more sketches back to homepage