I don’t really have anything to say about Stephen Fry right now, I just felt like drawing his wonderfully wonky face.
Now that I’ve done that though – and as always entirely for my own amusement – I’d like to share with you what I’m sure he’d agree is his most seminal and enduring contribution to the zeitgeist. It is a sketch from A Bit of Fry and Laurie in which the eponymous heroes play a pair of tweedy sports commentators who bring each other to orgasm by … basically just saying things about England.
Of course transcribing the script would be an invidious and artless exercise which can only succeed in rendering the sketch sterile and prosaic, stripping it of all the charm conveyed by Fry’s plums and custard tone, Laurie’s frantic bug-eyed blithery, their comic timing and effortless on-screen chemistry.
So here it is:
Stephen Fry: A glorious July afternoon, what a splendid sight it is.
Hugh Laurie: It’s an absolute picture isn’t it? The sun beating down now.
SF: Wonderful day.
HL: The crowds… not a seat to be had anywhere
SF: Packed house.
HL: Absolutely packed. And the grass looking so lovely.
SF: Green as anything.
HL: Green as you like, absolutely as green as can be, yes.
SF: Grass has never looked greener.
HL: What a scene, what a scene.
SF: Maaaarvellous scene.
HL: Oh, I say look, there’s a bus!
SF: Oh yes look, there’s a beautiful old English – what is that, is that the number 29?
HL: It’s the 29 bus, yes.
SF: Beautiful English 29 bus, yes what a marvellous scene – grass, sun, bus, marvellous.
HL: Yes, yes, that bus making it’s way now along the Garboldisham Road.
SF: Garboldisham, beautiful village, lovely.
HL: Oh an absolutely delightful village, yes.
SF: GarBOLDisham, what a lovely name.
HL: Oh, lovely name. Lovely, English name.
SF: Hullo! Hullo, there’s some people getting off the bus!
HL: Oh look out!
SF: They’re off to enjoy good old English strawberries and cream.
HL: Oh, English, yes, yes. Watch out for those German strawberries!
SF: Yes, not the same.
HL: No, not the same thing at all. English strawberries and cream, 29 bus going down the Garboldisham Road.
SF: The South Downs…
HL: Heaps of … cream; cream and lawnmowers…
SF: Ohh, summer holidays in creamy Cromer…
HL: Vaulting over a stile in a country lane…
SF: Catching sticklebacks in an old tin can..
HL: Honestly, nanny, I never touched them!
SF: Piano lessons! With Mrs Duckworth!
HL: Father’s hands on the steering wheel…
SF: Sit up straight!
HL: Oh going faster and faster!
SF: Locked in the Cupboard!
HL: Oh, for being rude to Mrs Howlett!
SF: Take the Wolseley for a run!
HL: Oh England! Elgar!
SF: South Downs!
HL: Bath Olivers!
SF: Oh, play the game!
HL: Elbows off the table!
SF: Who’s a brave soldier then?
HL: Oh, nanny’s hands all steamy and starched…
SF: England and cream…
HL: Creamy old England!
SF: Custard cream!
HL: STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM!
HL: ENGLISH CREAM!
SF: CREAMY ENGLAND!
HL: THE ROAST CREAM OF OLD ENGLAAAAND!!!
*Moans of orgasmic euphoria*
SF: … and Eric Bristow steps onto the oche now….