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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Monty Python on Substantial Performance

From the "Last Supper" sketch.  Michelangelo is played by Eric Idle; the Pope is played by John Cleese.

Michelangelo: Good evening, your Holiness.

Pope: Evening, Michelangelo. I want to have a word with you about this painting of yours, "The Last Supper."

Michelangelo: Oh, yeah?

Pope: I'm not happy about it.

Michelangelo: Oh, dear. It took me hours.

Pope: Not happy at all.

Michelangelo: Is it the jello you don't like?

Pope: No.

Michelangelo: Ah, no, I know, they do have a bit of colour, don't they? Oh, I know, you don't like the kangaroo?

Pope: What kangaroo?

Michelangelo: No problem, I'll paint him out.

Pope: I never saw a kangaroo!

Michelangelo: Uuh...he's right in the back. I'll paint him out! No sweat, I'll make him into a disciple.

Pope: Aah.

Michelangelo: All right?

Pope: That's the problem.

Michelangelo: What is?

Pope: The disciples.

Michelangelo: Are they too Jewish? I made Judas the most Jewish.

Pope: No, it's just that there are twenty-eight of them.

Michelangelo: Oh, well, another one will never matter, I'll make the kangaroo into another one.

Pope: No, that's not the point.

Michelangelo: All right. Well, I'll lose the kangaroo. Be honest, I wasn't perfectly happy with it.

Pope: That's not the point. There are twenty-eight disciples!

Michelangelo: Too many?

Pope: Well, of course it's too many!

Michelangelo: Yeah, I know that, but I wanted to give the impression of a real last supper. You know, not just any old last supper. Not like a last meal or a final snack. But you know, I wanted to give the impression of a real mother of a blow-out, you know?

Pope: There were only twelve disciples at the last supper.

Michelangelo: Well, maybe some of the others ones came along after...
Pope: There were only twelve altogether.
Michelangelo: Well, maybe some of their friends came by, you know?
Pope: Look! There were just twelve disciples and our Lord at the last supper. The Bible clearly says so.
Michelangelo: No friends?
Pope:
No friends.
Michelangelo:
Waiters?

Pope: No.

Michelangelo: Cabaret?

Pope: No!

Michelangelo: You see, I like them, they help to flesh out the scene, I could lose a few, you know I could...

Pope: Look! There were only twelve disciples at...

Michelangelo: I've got it! I've got it! We'll call it "The Last But One Supper"!

Pope: What?

Michelangelo: Well there must have been one, if there was a last supper there must have been a one before that, so this, is the "Penultimate Supper"! The Bible doesn't say how many people were there now, does it?

Pope: No, but...

Michelangelo: Well there you are, then!

Pope: Look! The last supper is a significant event in the life of our Lord, the penultimate supper was not! Even if they had a conjurer and a mariachi band. Now, a last supper I commissioned from you, and a last supper I want! With twelve disciples and one Christ!

Michelangelo: One?!

Pope: Yes one! Now will you please tell me what in God's name possessed you to paint this with three Christs in it?

Michelangelo: It works, mate!

Pope: Works?

Michelangelo: Yeah! It looks great! The fat one balances the two skinny ones.

Pope: There was only one Redeemer!

Michelangelo: Ah, I know that, we all know that, what about a bit of artistic license?

Pope: Well one Messiah is what I want!

Michelangelo: I'll tell you what you want, mate! You want a bloody photographer! That's you want. Not a bloody creative artist to crease you up...

Pope: I'll tell you what I want! I want a last supper with one Christ, twelve disciples, no kangaroos, no trampoline acts, by Thursday lunch, or you don't get paid!

Michelangelo: Bloody fascist!

Pope: Look! I'm the bloody pope, I am! May not know much about art, but I know what I like!

[Meredith R. Miller]

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