I mentioned recently that my favorite Monty Python sketch – I actually called it “sublime” – is “Argument”, or as they call it on YouTube, “The Argument Clinic.” With the available technology at my disposal, it occurred to me – I actually heard my “Inner Voice” turn a Cockney kind of British and say,
“‘old ohn, then. I can blah-ee shaw it to ‘em, I can.”
Which is exactly what I’m about to do.
When selecting a favorite, there are a lot of classic Python sketches to choose from. “The Dead Parrot” and “The World’s Funniest Joke” rank way up on my list. Bu if I had a gun to my head, and someone said, “Your favorite Python sketch!” I would have to say “Argument.” And also, “Please take that gun away from my head. It could accidentally go off. And besides, would you really shoot me if refused to respond? That’s blah-ee demen’ed, that is.” (There’s that Cockney guy again.
The reason I rate “Argument” Number One is because it contains the comedic elements I most admire and am most personally tickled by. “Argument” is smart and silly at the same time. And it’s also brilliantly satirical, poking fun at the compulsively orderly way in which the British go about their business.
Smart, silly and satirical. The three “S’s” of comedy. You can’t get much be’a than ‘at, ahm afride. (I cahn’t seem to shike ‘im. Good Lord, he’s infiltrated the brackets.)
Here’s the idea. A man goes to a clinic where, in some bizarre idea of personal amusement, you pay money to engage in an argument with a trained professional.
As I mentioned when I discussed “writing silly”, when doing so, it is essential to remain scrupulously logical within the context of the silly world you are dealing with, which “Argument” delightfully does. Except in one instance.
See if you can detect what that is.
And now, nitpicking aside, please enjoy
We start with a man walking into an office, anticipating that his unique little pleasure will be adequately satisfied.