Live from the Grill-O-Mat

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"Live from the Grill-O-Mat" is the fifth episode of Series 2 of Monty Python's Flying Circus. This show aired October 27, 1970 and was recorded 10 September 1970. The episode featured sketches including "Blackmail", "Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things", "Accidents Sketch (Prawn Salad Ltd.)" and "The Butcher Who is Alternately Rude and Polite".[1]


The program begins with a host (John Cleese) speaking from a table at the Grill-O-Mat snack bar in Paignton followed by the opening credits.


This sketch features Michael Palin wearing a leopard-print jacket as the host of a television show which attempts to blackmail its viewers by showing pictures or film of them engaging in compromising acts of a sexual nature. The address to where the blackmailed viewers are to send their payments is "Behind The Hot Water Pipes, Third Washroom Along, Victoria Station".

"Accidents Sketch (Prawn Salad Ltd.)"[edit]

Eric Idle plays an innocent-looking but seemingly accident-prone man who enters an establishment called 'Prawn Salad Ltd', and is blamed for setting off a series of catastrophic events.[2]

During the course of about a minute of sketch time, Idle's character breaks an expensive mirror, knocks over an ornate bookcase, fatally stabs the maid (Carol Cleveland), causes the handy man to fall out the window to his death, induces an investigating policeman into a fatal heart attack, collapses the roof in on the butler who was trying to help the policeman, and finally, causes the entire 'Prawn Salad Ltd' building to explode.

The punchline of the skit is that while everyone in the sketch is convinced of the Idle character's complicity, the viewer is perfectly aware of his innocence in the series of events.

"The Butcher Who is Alternately Rude and Polite"[edit]

Michael Palin plays a customer at a butcher's attempting to buy a chicken and some stuffing, but is confused by the butcher (Eric Idle) who is alternately rude ("Don't give me that posh talk you nasty stuck-up twit") and polite ("That's all right sir, call again.") Palin's character attempts to ignore the rude comments at first, but later confronts the proprietor about his behavior. The sketch ends after Idle's characters' last rude comment by going back to Cleese's narrator character at the eponymous Grill-O-Mat, who has appeared between most of the sketches as a method of linking the sketches.

The sketch is preceded by an animation of two identical United States Civil War generals, one of whom expresses his desire to "hunt piggy banks". The figures are actually photographs of U.S. military figure and Massachusetts governor Benjamin Franklin Butler.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bowker's Complete Video Directory 2002, New Providence, N.J.: R.R. Bowker, 2002, p. 956, ISBN 978-0-8352-4478-7 
  2. ^ written and conceived by Graham Chapman ... (1989), The complete Monty Python's flying circus, Pantheon, ISBN 978-0-679-72647-0 

External links[edit]