The Man Who Makes People Laugh Uncontrollably / Army Captain as Clown

(Cut to vox pop of city gent in a busy street.)

City Gent: (Terry Jones) Fivepenny please.

(Cut to stock film of audience rolling about with laughter and clapping. Cut back to vox pop. of city gent in street. He looks rather bewildered. He shrugs, turns and as he starts to walk away the camera pulls out. We see the city gent pass two colleagues.)

City Gent: Morning.

(They collapse laughing and roll about on the pavement. The city gent hurries on, and turns into the door of a big office block. Cut to the foyer. A hall porter is standing behind a counter.)

City Gent: Not so warm today, George.

(A shriek of mirth from the porter who collapses behind the counter. The ciyy gent continues walking into the lift. There are two other dry gents and one secretary already in the lift. The doors shut.)

Man's Voice: Good morning.

Secretary's Voice: Good morning.

City Gents: Voice Good morning.

(Shrieks of laughter. Cut to the doors of the lift on the third floor. Lift doors open and the city gent steps out rather quickly looking embarrassed. Behind him he leaves the three collapsed with mirth on the floor. The lift doors shut and the lift goes down again. Cut to interior of boss's office. A knock on the door. The boss is standing with his back to the door desperately preparing himself to keep a straight face.)

Boss: (Michael Palin) Come in, Mr Horton.

(The city gent enters.)

City Gent: Morning, sir.

Boss: Do - do sit down. (he indicates chair, trying not to look at the city gent)

City Gent: Thank you, sir.

(The boss starts to snigger but suppresses it with feat of self-control.)

Boss: Now then Horton, you've been with us for twenty years, and your work in the accounts department has been immaculate (the city gent starts to speak; the boss suppresses another burst of laughter) No no - please don't say anything. As I say, your work has been beyond reproach, but unfortunately the effect you have on your colleagues has undermined the competence (almost starts laughing) ... has undermined the competence of this firm to such a point that I'm afraid that I've got no option but to sack you.

City Gent: (in a broken voice) I'm sorry to hear that, sir. (the boss giggles, gets up hastily and turning his back on city gent leans against the mantelpiece; his desire to laugh mounts through the next speech) It couldn't have come at a worse time. There's school fees for the two boys coming up, and the wife's treatment costing more now ... I don't know where the money's coming from as it is. And now I don't see any future ... I'd been hoping I'd be able to hang on here just for the last couple of years but... now ... I just want to go out and end it all.

(The boss cannot control himself any longer. He collapses in helpless mirth, falling all over the room. Immediately we cut to stock film of terrific audience laughter.)

(Cut to backdrop of a circus ring. In front of it, as if in the ring, stand the RSM and Mr Man. Mr Man is as before. The RSM is dressed the same except that over his uniform he wears baggy trousers and braces and a funny nose. He is responding to the audience applause. Mr Man has obviously just been drenched with hot water - he is soaked and steam is rising.)

RSM: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you and now for the fish - the fish down the trousers. (the RSM picks up fish and puts it down Mr Man's trousers) It's your laugh mate it's not mine. It's your trousers - not my trousers - it's your trousers - and now for the whitewash. (the RSM pours a bucket of whitewash over him) The whitewash over you - not over me. It's over you. You get the laugh. You get all the laughs. And now for the custard pie in the mush. (more laughter, the RSM puts custard pie in his face and knees him in the balls) It's not my mush - it's your mush. It's your laugh - it's your laugh mate - not mine. It's your bleeding laugh.

(Cut to stock film of Mr Heath laughing followed by stock film of Women's Institute applauding.)

Continue to the next sketch... Gestures to Indicate Pauses in Televised Talk.