Marriage Guidance Counsellor

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Carol Cleveland as the stereotypical blonde bombshell in the Marriage Guidance Counsellor sketch.
This article is about the Monty Python comedy sketch. For marriage guidance, see relationship counseling.

The Marriage Guidance Counsellor sketch is from the second Monty Python's Flying Circus episode, "Sex and Violence", first broadcast late on Sunday, 12 October 1969.[1][2][3] It was also featured in the 1971 spinoff film And Now for Something Completely Different.[4]

The sketch features Michael Palin and Carol Cleveland as a married couple (Arthur and Deirdre Pewtey) and Eric Idle as their marriage counsellor.[3][5][6] The marriage guidance counsellor flirts with a receptive Mrs Pewtey rather than giving the couple advice, and Mr Pewtey fails to react to this behaviour and stand up for himself, even to the point where he meekly leaves the room when asked by the counsellor, who is clearly about to make love to Mrs Pewtey.[7] In the television version, an American cowboy (John Cleese) convinces him he must "be a man" while in the film version, the voice of God convinces him.

The television version of the sketch features Mr Pewtey getting hit in the head with a chicken by a knight in a suit of armour (Terry Gilliam).[8] In And Now for Something Completely Different, it instead features a 16-ton weight being dropped onto Pewtey's body.[9] The words "So much for Pathos!" pop up and ends both versions of the sketch.


  1. ^ Marriage Counselor, 
  2. ^ Sex and Violence, BBC 
  3. ^ a b "On this day", Birmingham Post: 8, 5 October 2000 
  4. ^ Douglas L. McCall (1991), Monty Python: a chronological listing of the troupe's creative output, and articles and reviews about them, 1969-1989, p. 13, ISBN 978-0-89950-559-6 
  5. ^ Robert Ross (1999), Monty Python encyclopedia, p. 126, ISBN 978-1-57500-036-7 
  6. ^ Rampton, James (15 December 1994), "What came of the odd Python out?", The Independent 
  7. ^ Cornelia Neumann (2007), "6.2.2 Marriage Guidance Counsellor", Nonsense versus Tiefsinn? Ein interkultureller Vergleich des deutschen und englischen Humors am Beispiel der Fernsehsketche von Loriot und Monty Python, GRIN Verlag, p. 45, ISBN 978-3-638-64095-4 
  8. ^ The complete Monty Python's flying circus, Pantheon Books, 1989, pp. 19–20, ISBN 978-0-679-72647-0 
  9. ^ Alan Parker, Mick O'Shea (2006), And now for something completely digital, pp. 35–36, ISBN 978-1-932857-31-3