Bruces Sketch is a sketch that appears in "How to Recognise Different Parts of the Body," the twenty-second episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. It is also on the album "The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief."


It involves a group of stereotypical Australians (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and Michael Palin) who are members of the Philosophy Department at the fictitious University of Woolloomooloo, and all named Bruce, with a common fondness for beer and a hatred of "pooftahs." A "pommie" professor, Michael Baldwin (Terry Jones), joins the department and meets his colleagues for the first time. Since his name is different from that of everyone else, Baldwin is given the moniker "New Bruce" to avoid confusion.

Cleese's character (who in a later sketch is called Bruce Beer) recites the seven faculty rules at the University of Woolloomooloo:

  1. No Poofters.
  2. No member of the faculty is to maltreat the "Abos" in any way whatsoever—if there's anyone watching.
  3. No Poofters.
  4. I don't want to catch anyone not drinking in their room after lights out.
  5. No Poofters.
  6. There is no rule 6.
  7. No Poofters.

An aboriginal walks in carrying a large platter of steaks and Idle's character exclaims "Sidney Nolan! What's that?" pointing to the ear of Bruce Beer and a voiceover says "number nine, the ear."

Bruce beer

Bruce Beer in How Not to Be Seen


The sketch is one of the most quoted sketches from the series, partly due to the fact it also featured regularly in the team's stage shows, where it would be capped with a performance of The Philosophers' Song. The song does not feature in the original TV version.

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