Anne Elk's Theory on Brontosauruses is a sketch that appears in "The All-England Summarize Proust Competition," the thirty-first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. This skit was also performed on the album, Monty Python's Previous Record, under the title 'Miss Anne Elk'.

Syopsis[edit | edit source]

This skit features Graham Chapman as a television interviewer, Chris, and John Cleese in drag as the palaeontologist, Anne Elk. The name of Cleese's character could be considered an apt description of Miss Elk's physical attributes. The plot of the skit is that the interviewee, Anne Elk, cannot bring herself to describe the actual crux of her supposed new palaeontological theory on dinosaurs, specifically brontosauruses; she spends a lot of time circuitously leading up to the "theory of dinosaurs by Anne Elk bracket Miss brackets", making assertions like "My theory, which belongs to me, is mine." It turns out that in the end Miss Elk's new theory on brontosauruses is rather shallow, at best. Her true concern is that she receive full credit for devising this new theory stating, "That is the theory that I have and which is mine and what it is, too."

Flying Circus ending[edit | edit source]

The Fire Brigade, the Travel Agents, Smoke-Too-Much, Anne and Chris

During Miss Elk's throat clearing to catch Chris' attention, he answers the phone, gives his shoe size (which is nine and a half) and stalks out of the room down the hallway leading to the travel agency where Mr Smoke-Too-Much is still rambling on, and tells Mr Bounder the fire brigade is coming. Miss Elk enters the travel agency to tell Chris about this other theory, which is hers. The fire brigade (The Fred Tomlinson Singers) enter, ask the secretary (Carol Cleveland) what her shoe size is and they start singing "Proust in his first book wrote about, wrote about", before being interrupted and told to start again. The loony dressed as a clown (Frank Lester) appears on screen and waves as the scene fades out.

Script[edit | edit source]

 A presenter sitting with a guest in a "talk show" type set.

Presenter: Good evening.


Presenter: I have with me tonight Anne Elk. Mrs Anne Elk.

Miss Elk: Miss.

Superimposed Caption: 'Anne Elk'

Presenter: You have a new theory about the brontosaurus.

Miss Elk: Can I just say Chris for one moment that I have a new theory about
the brontosaurus. 

Presenter: Exactly. (he gestures but she does not say anything) What is it?

Miss Elk: Where? (looks around)

Presenter: No, no your new theory.

Miss Elk: Oh, what is my theory?

Presenter: Yes.

Miss Elk: Oh what is my theory that it is. Well Chris you may well ask me what is my theory.

Presenter: I am asking.

Miss Elk: Good for you. My word yes. Well Chris, what is it that it is - this theory of mine. Well, this is what it is - my theory that I have, that is to
say, which is mine, is mine.

Presenter: (beginning to show signs of exasperation) Yes, I know it's yours, what is it?

Miss Elk: Where? Oh, what is my theory? This is it. (clears throat at some
length)  My theory that belongs to me is as follows. (clears throat at great
length) This is how it goes. The next thing I'm going to say is my theory.

Presenter: Yes.

Miss Elk: My theory by A. Elk. Brackets Miss, brackets. This theory goes as
follows and begins now. All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much, much
thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end. That is my theory,
it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too.

Presenter: That's it, is it?

Miss Elk: Spot on, Chris.

Presenter: Well, er, this theory of yours appears to have hit the nail on the head.

Miss Elk: And it's mine.

Presenter: Yes, thank you very much for coming along to the studio. Thank you.

Miss Elk: My pleasure, Chris...

Presenter: Next week Britain's newest wasp farm...

Miss Elk: It's been a lot of fun.

Presenter: Yes, thank you very much.

Miss Elk: Saying what my theory is.

Presenter: Yes, thank you.

Miss Elk: And whose it is.

Presenter: Yes, thank you - that's all - thank you... opens next week.

Miss Elk: I have another theory.

Presenter: Yes.

Miss Elk: Called my second theory, or my theory number two.

Presenter: Thank you. Britain's newest wasp farm...

Miss Elk: This second theory which was the one that I had said...

Presenter: (the phone rings; he answers) Yes, no I'm trying...

Miss Elk: Which I could expound without doubt. This second theory which, with the one which I have said, forms the brace of theories which I own and which
belong to me, goes like this...

Presenter: (looking at his shoe) Nine and a half, wide fitting... Balleys of
Bond Street. What? No, sort of brogue.

Miss Elk: This is what it is. (clears throat)

Presenter: Eight and a half.

Miss Elk: This is it... (lots of noisy throat clearing)

(He rises and leaves the set to go next door to the travel agent set, leaving Miss Elk behind for a moment.)

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.