"Candid Photography", better known as "Nudge Nudge", is a sketch from the third Monty Python's Flying Circus episode, "How to Recognise Different Types of Trees From Quite a Long Way Away" featuring Eric Idle (author of the sketch) and Terry Jones as two strangers who meet in a pub.
As patrons in a pub, Idle (playing a younger man) asks Jones (as an older gentleman) personal, sexual innuendo-laden questions about his relationship with his wife, such as "Is your wife a 'goer'?", "is she a sport?", "is she interested in photographs?", etc. Jones responds in a confused, non-committal sort of way, appearing not to understand the innuendo, and Idle responds with an enthusiastic "Know what I mean? Know what I mean? Nudge, nudge. Wink wink. Say no more". As the sketch continues, his questions get more and more clearly sexual, and his reactions to Jones's responses get more and more complicated. After a period of time, Jones demands to know what Idle is talking about. Somewhat embarrassed, Idle clumsily asks if Jones has slept with a lady. When Jones says that he has, a fascinated Idle asks, "What's it like?"
In other Monty Python material
The sketch appears in the 1971 spin-off feature film, And Now for Something Completely Different and the 1982 concert film Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl. It was also performed when the Pythons appeared on The Midnight Special.
In its original airing on Monty Python's Flying Circus, the sketch was preceded by a short link in which Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin portray schoolboys being interviewed for television by John Cleese. During the interview, Idle announces that he's written a sketch called "Nudge Nudge."
In And Now for Something Completely Different, the sketch is followed by a cut to a scene in a gym, where Terry Gilliam dressed as a nun on an ergometer replies (dubbed by a female voice), "I think it's overrated." Then, the "Self Defence Against Fresh Fruit" sketch is played in the setting.
Idle's character in the pub makes several cameo appearances in later episodes, referred to as "Arthur Name."
In Monty Python Live (Mostly) the sketch segues into a new opening title song for Blackmail which incorporates samples of Idle's Nudge, Nudge dialogue.
Originally written by Eric Idle for Ronnie Barker in another comedy show, the sketch was then rejected as a script. Eric Idle openly admits the script is confusing, the joke being mostly in the delivery. It is also one of the few Monty Python sketches to end on a clear punch line.
Reception and legacy
Idle reprised the sketch in a TV advertisement for Breakaway chocolate bars, with the punch line changed to include the product name. Reference to this is clearly heard on "Monty Python Live At Drury Lane".
- Identified as "the ITV Frost" by Eric Idle in The Pythons Autobiography By The Pythons, Orion Books, 2003, ISBN 0-7528-5242-6, page 138. Though not given by Idle, the actual title of the show was Frost on Sunday.
- Idle, Eric. Interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation program 7.30 Report, 28 November 2007.
- Turner, Jenny (12 January 1997). "Avoid bodily-function humour (stick to nudge-nudge), know what you like and act your age: June Whitfield on what it takes to be a lady". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Walne, Toby (20 June 2009). "From sad to saucy...British postcards offer a colourful and fascinating investment". The Mail Online. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Lumby, Catherine (14 June 2008). "Mirror on our past". The Australian. Retrieved 21 February 2011.