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Recap / Monty Pythons Flying Circus S 3 E 6

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Title: The War Against Pornography

Original Airdate: 23/11/1972

First it's a newsreel about English housewives contributing to the war effort.

And now, it's: Gumby brain surgeons, a door-to-door documentary narrator tries to sell a couple on a mollusk documentary, several narrators telling a story that transitions from genre to genre, an apology to the audience about portraying politicians negatively, an expedition to Lake Pahoe with the captains getting interviewed by the news, and interviewer gets sick of his interview subject because of how silly he is.

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Tropes:

  • Backhanded Apology: An Overly Long Gag towards politcians.
  • Bile Fascination: The couple are aghast at the 'filthy' habits of molluscs, but it's much more interesting than the dull, drab recitation the presenter started with.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": When Gumby asks if he's the brain specialist, the Gumby doctor says that he's not... until he suddenly remembers that he is.
  • Culture Police: "The Housewives of Britain" show a band of housewives going around imposing their conservative mentality on the British populace. Among their acts of cleaning up society are to cover up nude artwork, interrupt a scene from Othello of Othello and Desdemona in bed, and go on a book burning campaign against foreign literature like Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Gumby doctor yells for his nurse and once she arrives it takes a while for both the doctor and his Gumby patient to realize she's arrived.
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  • The Hat Makes the Man: The head surgeon in the "Gumby Brain Surgery" sketch starts out normal, until he has the nurse put on his glasses, moustache and handkerchief hat; then he starts to act and talk like a Gumby.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: See Suspiciously Specific Denial, below.
  • Literal Metaphor: In the "Housewives of Britain" sketch:
    Announcer: Where do they stand on young people?
    Pepperpot: (standing on the head of a long-haired teen) Just here, dear.
  • Meadow Run: Done with footballers celebrating a goal.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: Gumby Brain Surgery.
  • Mockumentary: John Cleese does a door-to-door TV documentarynote  on molluscs; at first it's a normal documentary, but the people are so bored he switches to talking about the sex life of molluscs, painting the whole phylum as the perverts of the animal kingdom.
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  • Name's the Same: Lampshaded when the interviewer notices that many of the sailors share the names of several Golden Age Hollywood actresses.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: How the episode ends with Michael, Eric, and John deciding to bail.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Sir John: There is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none. And when I say "none", I mean there is a certain amount, more than we're prepared to admit.
  • Talking with Signs: The residents of Lake Pahoe talk to each other with signs about what to do about the visiting royal navy.
  • Tap on the Head: In the "Gumby Brain Surgery" sketch, the anesthesiologist puts the patient under by hitting him with the gas tank.
  • There Was a Door: The anesthesiologist from "Gumby Brain Surgery" ignores the large double doors in the operating room to burst in through the wall.
 
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Monty Python: OPERATE!

The brain surgeon begins his work on Mr. Gumby...by first becoming a Gumby himself!

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