Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook
The sketch is set in Britain. A Hungarian enters a tobacconist's shop carrying a phrasebook and begins a dialogue with the tobacconist; he wants to buy cigarettes but his phrasebook's translations have no resemblance in the slightest to what he wants to say. Many of them are plainly bizarre (for example: 'My hovercraft is full of eels') and they become mildly sexual in nature as the skit progresses (for example: 'Do you want to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy?'). After the customer used gestures to convey his desire, the tobacconist looks in the phrasebook to find a Hungarian translation for 'six and six' (i.e. six shillings and sixpence); he reads out a phrase,[note 1] which provokes the Hungarian to punch him in the face. A policeman, hearing the punch from a considerable distance, runs to the shop and arrests the Hungarian, who protests absurdly, 'My nipples explode with delight.'
The publisher of the phrasebook is taken to court. There he pleads 'not guilty' to a charge of 'intent to cause a breach of the peace'. After the prosecutor reads some samples from the book (a mistranslation for 'Can you direct me to the station' actually reads 'Please fondle my bum'), the publisher changes his plea to 'incompetence'.
- John Cleese as the Hungarian and then a barrister
- Terry Jones as the tobacconist and then the magistrate
- Graham Chapman as the policeman
- Michael Palin as the publisher
- Eric Idle as the clerk, prosecutor, and voice-over journalist
The 1970 version is partly filmed in London in Dunraven Road, near the football ground of Queens Park Rangers F.C. The tobacconist exterior location is 107 Thorpeback Road (on the corner of Duraven). This was renovated back into a private residence in 1996. This corner is also used for The Ministry of Silly Walks sketch.
In other Python works
The sketch also appears in the film And Now for Something Completely Different. In this version, another Hungarian tells someone on the street, "Please fondle my buttocks," a mistranslation of "Please direct me to the railway station." The listener then gives the Hungarian directions in English.
- Chapman, Graham; Cleese, John; Gilliam, Terry; Idle, Eric; Jones, Terry; Palin, Michael (1989). Wilmut, Roger, ed. The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: All the Words, Volume Two. New York, New York: Pantheon Books. pp. 16–19. ISBN 0-679-72648-9.
- "Does this Monty Python quote actually translate to anything?". Straight Dope Message Board. Sun-Times Media, LLC. March 16, 2003.
I've checked several sources, including various Python FAQs and a couple of online script repositories and have found nothing concerning the supposedly Hungarian words from the Dirty Hungarian Phrase Book sketch.... I showed ANFSCD [And Now For Something Completely Different] to my students in Hungary. They could not understand what was said in the skit. Hungarien [sic] students. It's gibberish.... It means nothing. (Yes, I am Hungarian).... I will confirm, from my Hungarian director who has seen the skit, that it is nonsensical.
- "As Long as It Sounds Foreign". TV Tropes. TV Tropes Foundation, LLC.
- All the Words, Volume Two, pp. 27-28.
- Handlen, Zack (August 29, 2013). "Review: And Now For Something Completely Different". A.V. Club. Onion Inc.