Dead Parrot Sketch

The "Dead Parrot Sketch", alternatively and originally known as the "Pet Shop Sketch" or "Parrot Sketch", is a popular sketch or one act from Monty Python's Flying Circus, and one of the most famous in the history of British television comedy. It was written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman and first performed in the eighth episode of the show's first series, "Full Frontal Nudity" (7 December 1969). The sketch portrays a conflict between disgruntled customer Mr Praline (played by Cleese) and a shopkeeper (Michael Palin), who hold contradictory positions on the vital state of a "Norwegian Blue" parrot. It pokes fun at the many euphemisms for death used in British culture.

The "Dead Parrot" sketch was inspired by a "Car Salesman" sketch that Palin and Chapman had done in How to Irritate People. In it, Palin played a car salesman who repeatedly refused to admit that there was anything wrong with his customer's (Chapman) car, even as it fell apart in front of him. That sketch was based on an actual incident between Palin and a car salesman. In Monty Python Live at Aspen, Palin said that this salesman "had an excuse for everything". John Cleese said on the same show that he and Chapman "believed that there was something very funny there, if we could find the right context for it".

Over the years, Cleese and Palin have done many versions of the "Dead Parrot" sketch for various television shows, record albums, and live performances.

Read more about Dead Parrot SketchPlot, Variations of The Sketch, Further Uses, Precedent

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Famous quotes containing the words sketch, dead and/or parrot:

    We criticize a man or a book most sharply when we sketch out their ideal.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    The worst of crimes. All the other crimes are virtues beside it: all the other dishonors are chivalry itself by comparison. Poverty blights whole cities; spreads horrible pestilences; strikes dead the very souls of all who come within sight, sound, or smell of it.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    The island dreams under the dawn
    And great boughs drop tranquillity;
    The peahens dance on a smooth lawn,
    A parrot sways upon a tree,
    Raging at his own image in the enamelled sea.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)