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Bruces sketch

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The Bruces sketch is a famous sketch from the TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus, and appears in episode 22, 'How to recognise different parts of the body'. It is also on the album "The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief." It involves a group of stereotypical Australians who are members of the Philosophy Department at the fictitious University of Woolloomooloo, and all named Bruce, with a common fondness for beer and a hatred of "pooftahs." Terry Jones plays a "pommie" professor, Michael Baldwin, joining the department and meeting his colleagues for the first time. Since his name is different from that of everyone else, Baldwin is given the moniker "New Bruce" to avoid confusion.

John Cleese's character (who in a later sketch is called Bruce Beer) recites the seven faculty rules at the University of Woolloomooloo:

  1. No Poofters.
  2. No member of the faculty is to maltreat the "Abos" in any way whatsoever—if there's anyone watching.
  3. No Poofters.
  4. I don't want to catch anyone not drinking in their room after lights out.
  5. No Poofters.
  6. There is no rule 6.
  7. No Poofters.

The sketch is one of the most quoted sketches from the series, partly due to the fact it also featured regularly in the team's stage shows, where it would be capped with a performance of The Philosophers' Song. The song does not feature in the original TV version, which instead ends with the first Bruces saying "Sidney Nolan! What's that?" pointing to the ear of fourth Bruce returning to that episode's running joke, "how to recognise different parts of the body," with the voice over saying, "Number nine. The ear."

Since Heidegger - credited in this sketch with the same prodigious alcohol intake ascribed to other world-famous philosophers from Socrates to Wittgenstein - lived until 1976, the intriguing possibility remains that he might have learnt of the sketch's existence.

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