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Monty Python's Flying Circus -
"Oscar Wilde"

[ from Monty Python's Flying Circus, third season, first shown 18.01.1973 ]

The Players:
Terry Jones - The Prince Of Wales;
Graham Chapman - Oscar Wilde;
John Cleese - James McNeill Whistler;
Michael Palin - George Bernard Shaw;
The Scene:
London, 1892;
16 Tite Street, Chelsea: The residence of Mr Oscar Wilde.
Hansom cabs gallop past outside. In the drawing room, a crowd of suitably dressed folk are engaged in typically brilliant conversation, laughing affectedly and drinking champagne.
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Ah, my congratulations, Wilde. Your play is a great success. The whole of London's talking about you.
OSCAR WILDE:
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)
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Oh, very witty, Wilde ..... very, very witty.
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
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 WILDE:
I wish I had said that Whistler.
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
Ah, you will, Oscar, you will.

(more laughter)
OSCAR WILDE:
Your Highness, do you know James McNeill Whistler?
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Yes, we've played squash together.
OSCAR WILDE:
There is only one thing worse than playing squash together, and that is playing it by yourself.

(silence)
OSCAR WILDE:
I wish I hadn't said that.
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
But you did, Oscar, you did.

(a little laughter)
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Well, you must forgive me, Wilde, but I must get back up the Palace.
OSCAR WILDE:
Your Majesty, you're like a big jam doughnut with cream on the top.
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
I beg your pardon?
OSCAR WILDE:
Um ..... It was one of Whistler's.
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
I didn't say that.
OSCAR WILDE:
You did, James, you did.
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Well, Mr. Whistler?
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
I- I meant, Your Majesty, that, uh, like a doughnut your arrival gives us pleasure and your departure merely makes us hungry for more.

(laughter and congratulations)
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
Yes, thank you. Right, Your Majesty is like a stream of bat's piss.

(gasps)
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
What?
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
It was one of Wilde's.
OSCAR WILDE:
It sodding was not! It was Shaw!
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Well, Mr. Shaw?
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
I, um, I, ah, I merely meant, Your Majesty, that, ah, you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Oh, ho-ho, very good.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
Right. Your Majesty is like a dose of clap.

(gasps)
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
What?!?
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
Before you arrive is pleasure, but after is a pain in the dong.
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
I beg your pardon?
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
It was one of Wilde's.
OSCAR WILDE:
Wha-
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Well, Mr. Wilde?
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
Come on, Ozzy.
OSCAR WILDE:
Uh ..... uh, wha-, wha- .....
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
Come on, Ozzy, now, tell us all about it.
OSCAR WILDE:
Wha-, what I meant, Your Majesty, uh-h-h .....

(general heckling from the crowd)
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
Let's have a bit of the old wit then!
OSCAR WILDE:
What, what-
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
I'm waiting.
OSCAR WILDE:
What I-, what I meant was .....
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
Come on, Ozzy, .....
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
Give us a bit of the wit, Oz.
OSCAR WILDE:
Um, w-w-what I meant, Your Majesty, w-was ..... oh ..... (blows a raspberry)

(The Prince shakes Wilde's hand. Laughter all round.)
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Oh! Excellent! Excellent, Wilde! Very witty, Wilde.
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:
Nice one, Oz!
THE PRINCE OF WALES:
Can you come and do that up the Palace some time? Extremely funny, ha-ha-ha .....