The Hungarian Phrasebook sketch
From Monty Python's Flying Circus
Set: A tobacconist's shop.
Text on screen: In 1970, the British Empire lay in ruins, and foreign nationalists
frequented the streets - many of them Hungarians (not the streets - the foreign
nationals). Anyway, many of these Hungarians went into tobacconist's shops to buy
A Hungarian tourist (John Cleese) approaches the clerk (Terry Jones). The tourist is
reading haltingly from a phrase book.
Hungarian: I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
Hungarian I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
Clerk: Uh, no, no, no. This is a tobacconist's.
Hungarian: Ah! I will not buy this *tobacconist's*, it is scratched.
Clerk: No, no, no, no. Tobacco...um...cigarettes (holds up a pack).
Hungarian: Ya! See-gar-ets! Ya! Uh...My hovercraft is full of eels.
Hungarian: My hovercraft (pantomimes puffing a cigarette)...is full of eels (pretends
to strike a match).
Clerk: Ahh, matches!
Hungarian: Ya! Ya! Ya! Ya! Do you waaaaant...do you waaaaaant...to come back to my
place, bouncy bouncy?
Clerk: Here, I don't think you're using that thing right.
Hungarian: You great poof.
Clerk: That'll be six and six, please.
Hungarian: If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me? I...I am
no longer infected.
Clerk: Uh, may I, uh...(takes phrase book, flips through it)...Costs six and six...ah,
here we are. (speaks weird Hungarian-sounding words)
Hungarian punches the clerk. Meanwhile, a policeman (Graham Chapman) on a quiet street
cups his ear as if hearing a cry of distress. He sprints for many blocks and finally
enters the tobacconist's.
Cop: What's going on here then?
Hungarian: Ah. You have beautiful thighs.
Cop: (looks down at himself) WHAT?!?
Clerk: He hit me!
Hungarian: Drop your panties, Sir William; I cannot wait 'til lunchtime. (points at
Cop: RIGHT!!! (drags Hungarian away by the arm)
Hungarian: (indignantly) My nipples explode with delight! (scene switches to a
courtroom. Characters are all in powdered wigs and judicial robes, except publisher and
Characters: Judge: Terry Jones Bailiff: Eric Idle Lawyer: John Cleese Cop: Graham
(still) Publisher: Michael Palin )
Bailiff: Call Alexander Yalt! (voices sing out the name several times)
Judge: Oh, shut up!
Bailiff: (to publisher) You are Alexander Yalt?
Publisher: (in a sing-songy voice) Oh, I am.
Bailiff: Skip the impersonations. You are Alexander Yalt?
Publisher: I am.
Bailiff: You are hereby charged that on the 28th day of May, 1970, you did willfully,
unlawfully, and with malice of forethought, publish an alleged English-Hungarian phrase
book with intent to cause a breach of the peace. How do you plead?
Publisher: Not guilty.
Bailiff: You live at 46 Horton Terrace?
Publisher: I do live at 46 Horton terrace.
Bailiff: You are the director of a publishing company?
Publisher: I am the director of a publishing company.
Bailiff: Your company publishes phrase books?
Publisher: My company does publish phrase books.
Bailiff: You did say 46 Horton Terrace, did you?
Bailiff: (strikes a gong) Ah! Got him! (lawyer and cop applaud, laugh)
Judge: Get on with it, get on with it.
Bailiff: That's fine. On the 28th of May, you published this phrase book.
Publisher: I did.
Bailiff: I quote on example. The Hungarian phrase meaning "Can you direct me to
the station?" is translated by the English phrase, "Please fondle my bum."
Publisher: I wish to plead incompetence.
Cop: (stands) Please may I ask for an adjournment, m'lord?
Judge: An adjournment? Certainly not! (the cop sits down again, emitting perhaps the
longest and loudest release of bodily gas in the history of the universe.)
Judge: Why on earth didn't you say WHY you wanted an adjournment?
Cop: I didn't know an acceptable legal phrase, m'lord. (cut to ancient footage of old
Judge: (banging + swinging gavel) If there's any more stock film of women applauding,
I'll clear the court.