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Spam (Monty Python)

From Academic Kids

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Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman in the Monty Python skit "Spam."

Spam is a popular Monty Python sketch, first broadcast in 1970. In the sketch, two customers are trying to order a breakfast without SPAM from a menu which includes the processed meat product in every entree. The term spam (in electronic communication) is derived from this sketch.

It features Terry Jones as the waitress, Eric Idle as Mr Bun and Graham Chapman as Mrs Bun. The televised skit also featured John Cleese as "The Hungarian", but this part was left out of audio recordings of the sketch.

Only two minutes long, it builds up into a semi-argument between the waitress who is offering spam and only spam, and Mrs Bun who does not want it. Not even the "Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam."

Waitress: (brightly) "Well, there's spam, egg, sausage, and spam, that's not got much spam in it."
Mrs Bun: (exasperated) "I don't want any spam!"

Mr Bun attempts to mollify his wife:

Mr Bun: "Don't make a fuss, dear. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, and spam."
Waitress: "Baked beans are off."
Mr Bun: (to Waitress) "Well, can I have spam instead?"
Waitress: "You mean spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, and spam?"

At several points a group of Vikings in the cafe drown out all conversation by loudly singing a song about "Spam, lovely spam, wonderful spam." They are interrupted by the waitress many times, but resume singing more and more loudly until at last the song reaches an operatic climax.

The sketch was the final sketch of the 25th show of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and was first aired December 15, 1970. Despite its shortness, the sketch became immensely popular. The word "Spam" is mentioned 94 times.

Oddly enough, the first two items mentioned from the menu do not contain spam, specifically "Egg and Bacon" and "Egg, Sausage, and Bacon."

Spam was one of the few meats excluded from the British food rationing that began in World War II and continued for a number of years after the war and the British grew heartily tired of it, hence the sketch.

The phenomenon, some years later, of marketers drowning out discourse by flooding Usenet newsgroups and individuals' email addresses with junk advertising messages was named spamming after this sketch.

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