The Cheeseshop Sketch
(a customer walks in the door.)
Customer (John Cleese): Good Morning.
Owner (Michael Palin): Good morning, Sir. Welcome to the National Cheese Emporium!
Customer: Ah thank you my good man.
Owner: What can I do for you, Sir?
C: Well, I was, uh, sitting in the public library on Thurmon Street just now, skimming through 'Rogue Herrys' by Hugh Walpole, and I suddenly came over all peckish.
O: Peckish, sir?
C: 'Ee I were all 'ungry-like!
O: Ah, hungry!
C: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, 'a little fermented curd will do the trick', so, I curtailed my Walpoling activites, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles!
O: Come again?
O: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bouzouki player!
C: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Terpsichorean muse!
C: 'Ooo, Ah lahk a nice tune, 'yer forced to!
O: So he can go on playing, can he?
C: Most certainly! Now then, some cheese please, my good man.
O: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?
C: Well, eh, how about a little Red Leicester.
O: I'm, a-fraid we're fresh out of Red Leicester, sir.
C: Oh, never mind, how are you on Tilsit?
O: I'm afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday.
C: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Caerphilly, if you please.
O: Ah! It's beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.
C: 'T's Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Bel Paese?
O: Sorry, sir.
C: Red Windsor?
O: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down.
C: Ah. Stilton?
C: Gruyere? Emmental?
C: Any Norwegian Jarlsberger, per chance?
C: White Stilton?
C: Danish Blue?
C: Double Gloucester?
O: (pause) No.
C: Dorset Blue Vinney?
C: Brie, Roquefort, Pont-l'Eveque, Port Salut, Savoyard, Saint-Paulin, Carre-de-L'Est, Boursin, Bresse Bleu, Perle de Champagne?
C: Camembert, perhaps?
O: Ah! We have Camembert, yessir.
C: (suprised) You do! Excellent.
O: Yessir. It's ah... it's a bit runny.
C: Oh, I like it runny.
O: Well,.. It's very runny, actually, sir.
C: No matter. Fetch hither the fromage de la Belle France! Mmmwah!
O: I...think it's a bit runnier than you'll like it, sir.
O: Oooooooooohhh........! (pause)
C: What now?
C: (pause) Has he?
O: She, sir.
C: Smoked Austrian?
C: Japanese Sage Darby?
O: No sir.
O: (brightly) Of course, sir. It's a cheese shop, sir. We've got-
C: No no... don't tell me. I'm keen to guess.
O: Fair enough.
C: Uuuuuh, Wensleydale.
C: Ah, well, I'll have some of that!
O: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mister Wensleydale, that's my name.
C: Greek Feta?
O: Uh, not as such.
C: Uuh, Gorgonzola?
C: Pippo Creme?
C: Danish Fimboe?
C: Czech sheep's milk?
C: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?
O: Not -today-, sir, no.
C: Aah, how about Cheddar?
O: Well, we don't get much call for it around here, sir.
C: Not much ca--It's the single most popular cheese in the world!
O: Not 'round here, sir.
C: (slight pause) and what IS the most popular cheese 'round hyah?
O: 'Illchester, sir.
C: IS it.
O: Oh, yes, it's staggeringly popular in this manusquire.
C: Is it.
O: It's our number one best seller, sir!
C: I see. Uuh... 'Illchester, eh?
O: Right, sir.
C: All right. Okay. 'Have you got any?' He asked, expecting the answer 'no'.
O: I'll have a look, sir.. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.
O: Finest in the district sir!
C: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.
O: Well, it's so clean, sir!
C: It's certainly uncontaminated by cheese.
O: (brightly) You haven't asked me about Limburger, sir.
C: Would it be worth it?
O: Could be.
C: Have you --SHUT THAT BLOODY BOUZOUKI OFF!
O: Told you sir...
C: (slowly) Have you got any Limburger?
C: (deliberately) Have you in fact got any cheese here at all?
O: No. Not really, sir.
C: You haven't.
O: Nosir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time,sir.
O: Right-0, sir.
(The customer takes out a gun and shoots the shopkeeper)
C: What a senseless waste of human life.
Continue to the next sketch... Philip Jenkinson on Cheese Westerns