Ron Obvious (Monty Python)
Ron Obvious is a Monty Python character played by Terry Jones, appearing in a sketch in episode 10, 'Untitled', of the first series. In the sketch, the extremely naïve Ron Obvious, encouraged by his unscrupulous manager Luigi Vercotti (Michael Palin), undertakes several impossible tasks for publicity, in this order:
- Jumping the English Channel: In the opening scene, Ron Obvious from Neepsend is shown running along the seashore in a track and field uniform. The announcer (John Cleese) says that Obvious hopes to become the first man to jump the Channel, and will be landing in the center of Calais itself. The scene momentarily cuts away to a group of Frenchmen standing under a sign that reads "Fin de Cross Channel Jump" as traditional accordion music plays in the background. When asked how he plans to jump 26 miles (since Obvious's longest jump is almost twelve feet (unofficially)), he says that "You see if you're five miles out over the English Channel, with nothing but sea underneath you, there is a very great impetus to stay in the air." Obvious has his passport checked by a customs officer, and carrying a 56-pound bag full of bricks that is provided by the Chippenham Brick Company, the event's sponsor, he sprints toward the sea and jumps, splashing into the water only a few feet from shore.
- Eating Chichester Cathedral: As the announcer mentions that Obvious is about to attempt to become the first man to eat an entire Anglican Cathedral, Obvious is shown brushing his teeth, putting on a bib and flexing his jaws, before biting into the corner of an old stone building and breaking his jaw.
- Tunnelling to Java: Vercotti shows a map illustrating the route Obvious will use while digging his way from Godalming to Java, which should make Obvious a household name overnight. When the announcer asks him where Obvious is, after a couple of evasive answers Vercotti yells, "Ron, how far have you got?" Obvious sticks his head out of a very shallow hole and replies, "Oh, about two foot six," and inquires if there is a spade he can use.
- Splitting a railway carriage with his nose: Vercotti and the announcer walk along a railroad track discussing Obvious' next endeavour, and allegations that Vercotti is exploiting him. The sound of an approaching train is heard, followed by a loud scream.
- Running to Mercury: Vercotti explains that once Obvious gets out of Earth's atmosphere and is in orbit, he should be able to run straight to Mercury. Obvious, wrapped in head-to-toe bandages from his previous exploits, is shown jumping off a wooden ramp with a crutch under his left arm. The frame freezes in mid-jump, and another loud scream is heard.
- Most time being Underground (Deceased): The next scene shows Ron Obvious' tombstone, born 1941, died 1969, with the legend "Very Talented" written on it. Vercotti says that he hopes to break the world record for remaining underground.
- Ross, Robert (1999). Monty Python Encyclopedia. London, England: Batsford Books. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-57500-036-7.
- Hardcastle, Gary L.; Reisch, George A. (2006). Monty Python and philosophy: nudge nudge, think think!. Chicago, illinois: Open Court Publishing. p. 144.
- Chapman, Graham (1989). The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: All the Words. New York City: Pantheon Books. p. 127.
- "The First Man to Jump the Channel" at PythoNET (via web.archive.org)