The Penultimate Supper

Michaelangelo: (Johnathan Lynne) Good evenin', your grace.

Pope: (John Cleese) Good evening, Michelangelo. I want to have a word with you about this Last Supper of yours.

Michaelangelo: Oh, yes?

Pope: I'm not happy with it.

Michaelangelo: Oh dear, it took hours!

Pope: No, not happy at all.

Michaelangelo: Do the jellies worry you?

Pope: Nope.

Michaelangelo: No, they add a bit of color, don't they? Oh I know, you don't like the kangaroo.

Pope: What kangaroo?

Michaelangelo: I'll alter it, no sweat.

Pope: I never saw any kangaroo.

Michaelangelo: Well it's right near the back. But, I'll, I'll paint it out, no problem. I'll make him into a disciple.

Pope: Ah.

Michaelangelo: All right now?

Pope: That's the problem.

Michaelangelo: What is?

Pope: The disciples.

Michaelangelo: Are they too Jewish? I made Judas the most Jewish.

Pope: No, no, it's just that there are twenty-eight of them.

Michaelangelo: Well, another one would hardly be noticed then. So I'll make the kangaroo into a disciple...

Pope: No, no.

Michaelangelo: Well, all right, all right, we'll lose the kangaroo altogether then. I don't mind. I was never completely happy with it.

Pope: That's not the point. There are twenty-eight disciples.

Michaelangelo: Too many?

Pope: Well of course it's too many!

Michaelangelo: Well in a way, but I wanted to give the impression of a huge get-together, you know. A real Last Supper, not just any old supper, but a proper final treat, a real mother of a blow-out.

Pope: There were only twelve disciples at the Last Supper.

Michaelangelo: Well supposing some of the others happened to drop by.

Pope: There were only twelve disciples altogether!

Michaelangelo: Well maybe they'd invited some friends!

Pope: There were the twelve disciples and our Lord at the Last Supper. The Bible clearly says so.

Michaelangelo: No friends?

Pope: No friends.

Michaelangelo: Waiters?

Pope: No.

Michaelangelo: Cabaret?

Pope: NO!

Michaelangelo: Well you see, I like them. They fill out the canvas. I mean, I suppose we could lose three or four of them. You know, make one or two of them into...

Pope: There were only twelve disciples...

Michaelangelo: I've got it! I've got it! We'll call it the Penultimate Supper.

Pope: What?

Michaelangelo: There must've been one. I mean, if there was a last one, there must have been one before that, right?

Pope: Yes, but...

Michaelangelo: Right! So this is the Penultimate Supper. The Bible doesn't say how many people were there, does it?

Pope: No, but...

Michaelangelo: Yeah, well there you are!

Pope: Look, the Last Supper is a significant event in the life of our Lord. The Penultimate Supper was not. Even if they had a conjurer and a steel band. Now I commissioned a Last Supper from you, and a Last Supper I want.

Michaelangelo: Yeah, but look...

Pope: With twelve disciples and one Christ.

Michaelangelo: ONE?!?!

Pope: Yes, one! Now will you please tell me what in God's name possessed you to paint this with three Christs in it?

Michaelangelo: It works, mate!

Pope: It does not work!

Michaelangelo: It does, it looks great! The fat one balances the two skinny ones!

Pope: There was only one Savior.

Michaelangelo: Well I know that. Everyone knows that. But what about a bit of artistic license?


Michaelangelo: I'll tell you what you want, mate. You want a bloody photographer! Not a creative artist with some imagination!

Pope: I'll tell you what I want: I want a Last Supper with one Christ, twelve disciples, no kangaroos by Thursday lunch, or you don't get paid!

Michaelangelo: BLOODY FASCIST!

Pope: Look, I'm the bloody Pope! I may not know much about art, but I know what I like!