The original sketch in Flying Circus featured John Cleese in drag selling an albatross as if it were ice cream (tray and all) at a cinema. Terry Jones tries to order choc ices but Cleese has only the albatross, and so on. Jones's character is later seen sitting in his seat with the bird providing the link between two sketches, at the end of which he becomes the first of a number of characters in the rest of the episode to shout, "Albatross!" for no very good reason.
In the sketch as immortalised in the movie Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, John Cleese, dressed as a cigarette girl with a strap-on sales case, wanders through the audience offering a (stuffed) albatross as if it were a normal part of the venue's concessions. An audience member (again, played by Terry Jones as a bowler-hatted and suited older gentleman) then approaches Cleese in the middle of one of the aisles and attempts to purchase ice cream choc ices from him, but the only thing Cleese/cigarette girl has to offer is the albatross. Jones/audience member inquires as to the flavour of the albatross, to which Cleese protests, "It isn't any bloody flavour!" or "It's bleedin' albatross flavour!" (the responses tended to vary from show to show). Jones tries then to ask if he gets wafers with it, to which Cleese replies "Of course you don't get fucking wafers with it, ya cunt!" Finally, when Jones asks for two albatrosses, Cleese gets upset and replies, "I've only got one, you cocksucker!" At this point, Graham Chapman, dressed as The Colonel, runs onstage and demands that the sketch be stopped because of "filthy" language, and that Jones get onstage and join Eric Idle in the next skit, Nudge Nudge.
The sketch from Live at the Hollywood Bowl is also well-remembered for Cleese's entrance and initial trek down the aisle, as onlookers who are possibly intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs yell out all the lines of the sketch in which he is about to perform. He grows visibly more and more irritated until finally he turns around mid-aisle to address one patron, "You're not supposed to be smoking that!"
In an early version of the albatross sketch on the 1974 album Monty Python Live At City Center, Cleese's ranting is interrupted by the Colonel right after he calls Jones' character a cunt for asking what flavour the albatross is.
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