The Ministry of Silly Walks

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John Cleese as the Minister of Silly Walks

"The Ministry of Silly Walks" is a sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus, episode 14, first aired in 1970. A shortened version of the sketch was performed for Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

This sketch involves John Cleese as the Minister of a fictitious British government agency responsible for developing Silly Walks through grants. Cleese, throughout the sketch, walks in a variety of silly ways, and it is this more than the dialogue that has earned the sketch its popularity. As Minister, he's presented with a "walk in progress" by one Mr. Pudey (Michael Palin) — which turns out to be actually not that silly. The Minister tells Pudey that he does not believe the Ministry can help him, as his walk is not silly enough, and funding is short. The government, he explains, is supposed to give equally to Defense, Social Security, Health, Housing, Education, and Silly Walks, but recently has been underfunding his department. The Minister later explains that Mr. Pudey may find work with the Anglo-French silly walk, Le Marche Futile.

There's a brief appearance by Mrs Twolumps serving tea with full silly walk (Carol Cleveland in the Hollywood Bowl version). The result of her style of walking is that there isn't any tea left in the cups by the time she puts them down on the desk.

A reference to this sketch appears in Fawlty Towers episode The Germans, when John Cleese tries to cool things down by offering I'll do the funny walk — impersonating Hitler.

In 2005, the sketch was chosen by a poll taken in that country as the 15th greatest comedy sketch of all time (and one of 5 Monty Python sketches in the top 50).

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