The Oscar Wilde Sketch

(Zoom in to overlay showing some stock film of hansom cabs galloping past. Suitably classy music starts.)



(Mix through to Wilde's drawing room. A crowd of suitably dressed folk are engaged in typically brilliant conversation, laughing affectedly and drinking champagne.)

Prince: (Terry Jones) My congratulations, Wilde. Your latest play is a great success. The whole of London's talking about you.

Oscar: (Graham Chapman) Your highness, there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

(There follows fifteen seconds of restrained and sycophantic laughter.)

Prince: Very witty Wilde. Very very witty.

Whistler: (John Cleese) There is only one thing in the world worse than being witty, and that is not being witty.

(Fifteeen more seconds of the same.)

Oscar: I wish I had said that Whistler.

Whistler: You will, Oscar, you will. (more laughter)

Oscar: Your Highness, do you know James McNeill Whistler?

Prince: Yes, we've played squash together.

Oscar: There is only one thing worse than playing squash together, and that is playing it by yourself. (silence) I wish I hadn't said that.

Whistler: But you did, Oscar, you did. (a little laughter)

Prince: Well, you must forgive me Wilde, but I must get back up the Palace.

Oscar: Your Majesty, you're like a big jam doughnut with cream on the top.

Prince: I beg your pardon?

Oscar: Um... It was one of Whistler's.

Whistler: I didn't say that.

Oscar: You did James, you did.

Prince: Well Mr. Whistler? (The Prince of Wales stares expectantly at Whistler.)

Whistler: I meant, Your Majesty, that uh, like a doughnut your arrival gives us pleasure and your departure merely makes us hungry for more. (laughter) Right, Your Majesty is like a stream of bat's piss.

Prince: What?

Whistler: It was one of Wilde's.

Oscar: It sodding was not! It was Shaw!

Prince: Well Mr. Shaw?

Shaw: (Michael Palin) I... I merely meant, Your Majesty, that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.

Prince: (accepting the compliment) Oh.

Shaw: Right. (to Prince) Your Majesty is like a dose of clap.

Prince: What?!?

Shaw: Before you arrive is pleasure, but after is a pain in the dong.

Prince: I beg your pardon?

Whistler: It was one of Wilde's.

Oscar: Well Mr. Wilde?

Wilde: Um ... what I meant, Your Majesty, what I meant ...

Prince: I'm waiting.

Wilde: What I meant was...

(Wilde blows a raspberry)

(The Prince shakes Wilde's hand. Laughter all round.)

Continue to the next sketch... Charwoman