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Architects Sketch

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The "Architects Sketch" is a Monty Python sketch, first seen in episode 17 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, "The Buzz Aldrin Show".

The sketch is introduced by a group of Gumbies (on film) who keep shouting "The Architects Sketch" over and over again until Graham Chapman's character Mr. Tid throws a bucket of water over them from several stories up.

The sketch proper begins with Tid in an office with two City gents (Michael Palin and Terry Jones). On a table near the window stand two architectural models of tower blocks. Mr. Tid informs the City gents that he has invited the architects responsible to explain the advantages of their respective designs.

First to arrive is Mr. Wiggin (John Cleese), who proceeds to describe his design's neo-Georgian features and modern construction, and then explains that tenants entering the block will be carried on a conveyor belt towards a soundproofed section containing rotating knives. It turns out that Mr. Wiggin mainly designs slaughterhouses and has misunderstood the owners' attitude to their tenants. When Mr. Wiggin fails to persuade them to accept his design ("You wouldn't regret this - think of the tourist trade!") he launches into a long, impassioned tirade against "non-creative garbage" and blackballing Freemasons. When they still reject his design, however, he immediately recants and begs - unsuccessfully - to be accepted as a Mason because "Masonry opens doors".

Once Wiggin has been persuaded to leave the second architect, Mr. Wymer (Eric Idle), arrives. Mr. Wymer proceeds to describe the strong construction and safety features of his design. His model promptly collapses and catches fire, accompanied by a large on-screen caption reading "SATIRE". The City gents assure Mr. Wymer that provided the tenants are "of light build and relatively sedentary" there should be no need to make expensive changes to the design. Meanwhile the model explodes.

The City gents exchange a Masonic handshake with Wymer. Wiggin reappears at the doorway, breaking the fourth wall to tell the audience "It opens doors, I'm telling you".

This leads into a filmed section about "How to Recognise a Mason". This included rather odd footage of the Pythons hopping up a street with their pants down, bizzare handshakes, and an animation of an antlered Graham Chapman in Anti-Masonic therapy.

The sketch makes a fairly obvious satirical reference to the Ronan Point disaster of 1968.

External link Edit

Text of the sketch


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