Sep 5, 2009

Next in line of succession: The glint in the milkman's eye

India loves its dynasties, doesn't it? Monarch or Politician, it doesn't matter. What does is lineage and the 'name'. This state of affairs always reminds me of the Blackadder episode 'Dish and Dishonesty' from the third edition of that superb series. In this, Edmund Blackadder (a remarkably caustic Rowan Atkinson) is butler to the dippy Prince Regent George (a remarkably asinine Hugh Laurie).

William Pitt, The Younger has just became Prime Minister and is determined to bring legislation to provide "a right royal kick up the Prince's backside". Trouble is, the PM is a mere schoolboy elected in the middle of his exams. Soon, both Blackadder (E) & Pitt (P) find themselves plotting to win a Parliamentary seat, which provides the following scene and dialogues (the PM has come to meet the Prince Regent (G), and as usual Blackadder has to intervene in the interests of maintaining sanity):

At Prince's House

E: Your Highness; Pitt the Younger.
G: Why, hello there, young sabre, m'lad! I say, here's one: I've a shiny sixpence here and for the clever fellow who can tell me which hand it's in.
(Pitt just stares.)
G: Hmm? Oh, school, school! On half hols, is it? Yeah, I bet you can't wait to get back and get that bat in your hand and give those balls a good walloping, eh?
E: Mr. Pitt is the Prime Minister, sir.
G: Oh, go on! Is he? What, young Snotty here?
P: I'd rather have a runny nose than a runny brain.
G: Eh?
E: Umm, excuse me, Prime Minister, but we do have some lovely jelly in the pantry, I don't know if you'd be interested at all...?
P: Don't patronise me, you lower middle class yobbo! (aside) What flavour is it?
E: Blackcurrant.
P: eeeeuuuuuaaaghhhh!

Pleasantries aside, they get down to the dirty work of accusing each other:
P: You will regret this, gentlemen. You think you can thwart my plans to bank- rupt the Prince by fixing the Dunny-on-the-Wold bye-election, but you will be thrashed! I intend to put up my own brother as a candidate against you.

E: Oh, and which Pitt would this be: Pitt the Toddler? Pitt the Embryo? Pitt the Glint in the Milkman's Eye?
So, sometimes, to know who will be the next CM of a state, you just have to ask the milkman.

Script text from here.

3 comments:

Abhi said...

Just yesterday was watching some sort of retrospective of Blackadder. Guess what, I am utterly pitifully illiterate of the great comedy shows- Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses.
Watching that retro, I realized what a launching pad Blackadder was for so many of the talented writers and actors out there - Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Richard Curtis, Ben Elton etc.

Ramanand said...

Abhi: you need to catch up! :-)
Yes, Blackadder is absolutely brilliant in acting, farce, writing, and wit.

In fact, I was thinking of how Laurie's sarcasm in House MD owes much to the character of Blackadder (where HL was often on the receiving end).

BTW, you might be interested in this list: http://www.it.iitb.ac.in/~ramanand/wiki/doku.php?id=collection:britishtv

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