The Chuckle
  • Famous pet shop sketch revealed as the nation’s favourite
  • Survey results revealed as legendary comedy troupe take to the stage for the last run of their hugely popular stage shows
  • The Lumberjack Song, The Ministry of Silly Walks and The Spanish Inquisition also feature in top ten


LONDON, Friday 11 July 2014: The dead parrot sketch, which first aired on 7 December 1969 (45 years ago) and featured John Cleese and Michael Palin, has been voted the nation’s favourite Monty Python sketch of all time. 

The survey of 2,000 British adults was commissioned to mark the screening of the very last Monty Python live show on TV channel Gold on Sunday 20th July, and asked respondents to select their top sketch from a long list of over 35 iconic scenes. 

The pet shop scene, which features Cleese as an exasperated customer trying to get his money back from Palin, who is a stubborn pet salesman, has been voted the most popular Python moment by 45% of respondents.  In second place is The Lumberjack Song, which was released as a single in 1975 (28%).  The top three is completed by The Ministry of Silly Walks (23%).

The nation’s favourite top ten Monty Python sketches

  1. Dead Parrot – 45%
  2. The Lumberjack Song – 28%
  3. The Ministry of Silly Walks – 23%
  4. The Spanish Inquisition – 16%
  5. Spam – 15%
  6. Four Yorkshiremen – 12%
  7. Nudge Nudge – 11%
  8. Fish slapping dance – 8%
  9. The Restaurant sketch (dirty fork) – 7%
  10. The killer joke – 6%

Just missing out on the top ten were the Silly Olympics, Hell’s Grannies and Gay Policemen (all with 6%).

The findings also reveal some interesting regional differences with Londoners the most likely to find Monty Python funny (81%), compared with those in the North East (69%). There was a surge of popularity for the Dead Parrot sketch in the East Midlands with over half (55%) voting it their top Python moment, compared to the national average of 45%.  The Lumberjack Song was particularly popular in Northern Ireland (33%) and Scotland (34%), compared with a national average of 28%.  While those living in East Anglia (28%) and Wales (27%) were particularly tickled by The Ministry for Silly Walks (compared with the national average of 23%).

Steve North, General Manager of Gold says, “It’s clear from our research that Monty Python has crossed the generations, 45 years on from the very first series.  We’re honoured to be broadcasting the final Monty Python Live (mostly): stage show on our channel so that fans at home can be part of the last ever performance from the most iconic group of comedians in the world.”

For information please contact Kat Day - or 0208 206 5151

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