"Python Dead Parrot is top sketch"
published on on Monday, 29 November 2004
Tuesday, 7 December 2004

Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch has topped a Radio Times poll to find the best alternative comedy sketch.

More than 1,200 people voted in the poll with Dead Parrot getting twice as many votes as its nearest rival.

The Python's Four Yorkshiremen was second with Little Britain's Lou and Andy by the Pool at number three.

But ex-Python John Cleese told the magazine he remembered the sketch less fondly, saying: "I get fed up with it. Repetition kills everything."

Top 10 alternative comedy sketches:

1. Dead Parrot (Python)
2. Four Yorkshiremen (Python)
3. Lou and Andy by the Pool (Little Britain)
4. Going for English (Goodness Gracious Me)
5. Brown baby (Harry Enfield)
6. Ministry of Silly Walks (Python)
7. One Leg Too Few (Dudley Moore)
8. Papa Lazarou (League of Gentlemen)
9. Two Soups (Julie Walters in Victoria Wood)
10. The Spam Song (Python)

He added: "It's not just the parrot, it's the silly walks and all the rest of it."

The poll was commissioned to coincide with a BBC Four documentary marking the 25th anniversary of Amnesty International's ground-breaking fundraiser the Secret Policeman's Ball.

Cleese, with the aid of his address book, helped organise the first show which brought together a host of comedy stars to raise money for the charity.

He described it as "a bit rough round the edges, more in the spirit of a university revue than some enormous multimedia production".

The Python team have four sketches in the top 10 - The Ministry of Silly Walks and The Spam Song making up the quartet of entries.

Michael Palin, who performed the Dead Parrot sketch with Cleese, is among many other stars of the Secret Policeman's Ball who appear in the magazine to share their memories of the Amnesty shows.

"John and I worked hard at making each other laugh, and he always won.

"That was the joy of charity shows - you were more relaxed than in a regular theatrical run, and could have more fun with it."


Remember the Secret Policeman's Ball? will be broadcast on BBC Four on 9 December.