It's been 35 years since Monty Python last graced our screens, but that doesn't mean we've stopped getting new material (kinda). It was just announced that the British Library -- which last year was given access to Michael Palin's private archives -- has unearthed details of three sketches that were cut from the final draft of Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Remember the Black Knight? The one who fronted up against King Arthur and wound up having his limbs removed one by one?
In the original draft of Holy Grail, he was merely a mini-boss compared to the Pink Knight, an amorous warrior who loved smooches to the same degree that comedy writers in the 1970s didn't know how to write gay characters: very much so. After King Arthur asks to cross his bridge, the Pink Knight ("standing in a camp pose") demands a kiss -- an encounter that ends with the two tussling and falling to the ground.
THE PINK KNIGHT TRIES TO EMBRACE HIM AND AFTER A VERY BRIEF STRUGGLE THEY LOSE THEIR BALANCE AND FALL OVER ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. A COUPLE OF BITS OF THEIR ARMOUR GET CAUGHT.
ARTHUR: Get off! Get off!
P.K: I can't, I'm stuck.
A COUPLE OF MONKS AND NUNS HAVE COME INTO SIGHT AND ARE NOW APPROACHING THE HAPPY COUPLE.
P.K: We might as well now.
ARTHUR: Stop it, will you!
MONKS: Dirty buggers.
ARTHUR: I beg your pardon?
MONKS: Disgusting. You could at least go indoors. You landowners are all the same.
Another sketch sees a news reporter, dehydrated from wandering the deserts, enter an old-timey Wild West saloon, only to find that he's entered "the last bookshop before you get to Mexico" -- a place filled with cowboys who love "rootin', ridin', and readin'." A tough cowboy then enters the bar and demands a copy of Black Beauty, only to find that the store has a single dog-eared copy left.
KID: Listen! We gotta ride south tonight. We got another five days on the trail. This is gonna get all crumpled and bent.
BAR: It's quite strong.
KID: Listen, Mister! When you ride like we do, things get real rough. You don't know what it's like 'til you've settled down round the campfire to the sound of the wild dogs and the rattlesnakes, and you get out a book to read, and it's bent in the cover, and it's got creases right across the pages, and the paper's got all roughed up ...
It might seem weird that a story about medieval knights on a crusade to find the Holy Grail diverges into a sketch about the Old West, but that's pretty much how the movie ends -- with the cast gearing up for a massive battle, only to get arrested by the police before it kicks off proper.
As it turns out, the original draft of the movie ended with that massive battle taking place. When the time came to review the budget, however, the battle scene was too expensive, so they replaced it with this stripped-down version, which we're sure you'll agree is much, much better. Between this and the fact that they were forced to use coconuts to simulate the sound of horses because they couldn't afford real horses, we're starting to think that budget problems aren't always bad.
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