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Vocational Guidance Counsellor

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Vocational Guidance Counsellor is a Monty Python sketch that first aired in 1969. Mr. Anchovy (Michael Palin) goes to the counsellor (John Cleese) seeking a career change. The counsellor reveals that Anchovy had done an aptitude test, and that the results showed that the career Anchovy is most suited to is chartered accountancy. However, Anchovy already is a chartered accountant, a career he has done for the last twenty years, and complains that he finds the job dull. The counsellor says that Anchovy is a very dull person, and has traits such as being easily dominated which make him suitable for accountancy. Anchovy reveals that his dream is to be a lion tamer, saying that his qualifications for the job are having seen them at the zoo, and having his own lion taming hat. However, it turns out that he has misidentified an anteater as a lion. The counsellor disabuses Anchovy by telling him how fierce lions really are, and shows him a picture of a lion, which scares him. Anchovy then comes up with the idea of working his way towards lion taming via banking. As he is ranting on about it, the counsellor delivers a public service announcement about the dangers of chartered accountancy.

This sketch also appeared in And Now For Something Completely Different. In this version the counsellor's description of lions is accompanied by stock footage of a lion charging the camera, which causes Anchovy to recoil in terror. At the end of the film version Eric Idle appears as a fairy to grant Anchovy's wish of seeing his name in lights, whereupon he turns into the compère of Blackmail.

It is perhaps worth noting that while Cleese often stated that he was a horrible singer, he hit perfectly the 7th note in the four-part a cappella introduction to the sketch.

YouTube video of "Vocational Guidance Counsellor" sketch


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