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‘New Cooker Sketch’ features Terry Jones as Mrs. Pinnet, a housewife, who at the start of the sketch realizes she is in the wrong house when a clown rings at the door asking for a “Mrs. Rogers”. Immediately shutting the door in his face, Mrs. Pinnet makes a quick exit through Mrs. Rogers’ window into the backyard, over the dividing wall into next door’s backyard, through next door’s window and finally sits down in a cluttered, working-class sitting room to continue watching “Sir Vincent”, when the doorbell rings. A delighted Mrs. Pinnet exclaims to the camera, “That must be the new gas cooker!” and jumps up to opens the door to two gasmen (Michael Palin and Graham Chapman) who are delivering a new gas cooker to Mrs. G. Crump. Mrs. Pinnet insists the gas cooker must be for her and following a back-and-forth about how to resolve the mix-up, with the gasmen insisting they stick to protocol, they finally agree to leave the cooker with her. When she asks if they’ll install it, another discussion about the necessary paperwork ensues, with Palin insisting they can’t install it “unless it’s an emergency,” which, he says, this is not. Palin suggests that if there was a “murder” due to a gas leak from the cooker someone could be round by 2pm that day to connect it up. Enthusiastically, Mrs. Pinnet agrees and lies down for Palin to gas her through the cooker’s pipe, while the various gasmen, who’ve now turned up and are queuing down the street, discuss how to contact head office.
The sketch satirizes the bureaucratic mess caused by the Gas Act of 1948, which nationalized the more than 1,000 national gas concerns into twelve regional gas boards.
‘New Cooker Sketch’ premiered on 15 September 1970 in Series 2, Episode 1 of ‘Monty Pythons Flying Circus’.
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