The Banter Sketch
From Monty Python's Flying Circus
(Scene: a wartime RAF station)
Jones: Morning, Squadron Leader.
Idle: What-ho, Squiffy.
Jones: How was it?
Idle: Top-hole. Bally Jerry, pranged his kite right in the how's-your-father; hairy
blighter, dicky-birded, feathered back on his sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his
Betty Harpers and caught his can in the Bertie.
Jones: Er, I'm afraid I don't quite follow you, Squadron Leader.
Idle: It's perfectly ordinary banter, Squiffy. Bally Jerry, pranged his kite right in
the how's-your-father; hairy blighter, dicky-birded, feathered back on his sammy, took a
waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harpers and caught his can in the Bertie.
Jones: No, I'm just not understanding banter at all well today. Give us it slower.
Idle: Banter's not the same if you say it slower, Squiffy.
Jones: Hold on then -- Wingco! -- just bend an ear to the Squadron Leader's banter for
a sec, would you?
Chapman: Can do.
Jones: Jolly good. Fire away.
Idle: Bally Jerry... (he goes through it all again)
Chapman: No, I don't understand that banter at all.
Idle: Something up with my banter, chaps?
GRAMS: AIR RAID SIRENS (Enter Palin, out of breath)
Palin: Bunch of monkeys on the ceiling, sir! Grab your egg-and-fours and let's get the
Chapman (to Idle): Do *you* understand that?
Idle: No -- I didn't get a word of it.
Chapman: Sorry, old man, we don't understand your banter.
Palin: You know -- bally tenpenny ones dropping in the custard! (no reaction)
Palin: Um -- Charlie choppers chucking a handful!
Chapman: No no -- sorry.
Jones: Say it slower, old chap.
Palin: Slower *banter*, sir?
Palin: Um -- sausage squad up the blue end?
Idle: No, still don't get it.
Palin: Um -- cabbage crates coming over the briny?
The others: No, no.
(Film of air-raid)
Idle (voice-over): But by then it was too late. The first cabbage crates hit London on
July the 7th. That was just the beginning.
(Chapman seen sitting at desk, on telephone)
Chapman: Five shillings a dozen? That's ordinary cabbages, is it? And what about the
bombs?... Good Lord, they are expensive.