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Dead Bishop

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Monty Python's Dead Bishop sketch, also known as the Church Police or Salvation Fuzz, appeared in the Flying Circus TV Show in Episode 29, "The Money Programme". It was also performed in Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl and featured on the record Matching Tie and Handkerchief.

The skit begins with a couple (Eric Idle and Terry Jones) turning off a radio show and deciding to eat a "dead unjugged rabbitfish", which is followed by a "slice of strawberry tart without so much rat in it" for dessert. Their son (Graham Chapman) enters and informs them that they have a dead bishop on the landing. After a bit of discussion as to why dead bishops keep appearing on the landing, they call for the "Church Police" (led by Michael Palin), who arrive and beseech God to "tell us who croaked Leicester". To the accompaniment of a church organ, a large finger laboriously descends and points at the husband, who admits, "All right, it's a fair cop, but society is to blame". All exit, singing the hymn, "Jerusalem." (On the album version, they sing "All Things Bright and Beautiful," but the final line is changed to "The Church Fuzz nicked [arrested] them all.")

The sketch was infamous among the Pythons for being the one sketch they could not get through live without laughing. Indeed, Terry Jones can clearly be seen barely containing his laughter in the Hollywood Bowl film. That version also has an unintentional bit of slapstick: As the Church Police enter, Idle, Jones and Chapman jump in surprise and turn to face them, and Jones's "pepperpot" wig flies off. Chapman then sidles over to cover him as he picks it up and puts it back on.

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