Monty Python Flying Circus: the Ministry of Silly Walks

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (known during the final series as just Monty Python) is an innovative, highly influential BBC TV sketch comedy programme from the Monty Python comedy team, and the group’s initial claim to fame. The show has been noted for its surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and sketches without punchlines. It also features the iconic animations of Terry Gilliam, which are often sequenced or merged with live action.

The first episode was recorded on 7 September and broadcast on 5 October 1969 on BBC One, with 45 episodes airing over four series from 1969 to 1974, plus two episodes for German TV.

The Ministry of Silly Walks” was a sketch from episode 14, first aired in 1970. This sketch involves John Cleese as a bowler hatted civil servant in a fictitious British government ministry responsible for developing Silly Walks through grants. Cleese, throughout the sketch, walks in a variety of silly ways (including one that briefly imitates the scissor gait of spastic diplegia), and it is these various silly walks, more than the dialogue, that has earned the sketch its popularity.

If you want to read the script of the sketch, just click here: Ministry of silly walks

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