Mr. Luigi Vercotti is a fictional character from the TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus, portrayed by Michael Palin. Vercotti appears in five episodes, three in series one and two in series two. He is portrayed as an East End gangster, presumably with ties to the Sicilian Mafia, and is always seen wearing a mustache, sunglasses and a pin-stripe suit. In the second series, he has a scar running down his left cheek.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Luigi Vercotti first appears in the eighth series one episode "Full Frontal Nudity." Along with his brother Dino (played by Terry Jones), he tries to intimidate The Colonel (played by Graham Chapman) into their service by guaranteeing that not a single armored division would get done over so long as he paid them fifteen bob a week. However, the Colonel finds the premise of the sketch to be too silly and puts a stop to it. Luigi accuses him of not coming up with a proper punchline, which the Colonel denies.

Luigi next appears in the tenth series one episode as the manager of Ron Obvious (played by Jones), trying to help him achieve some form of celebrity and fame. He further explains to a BBC reporter (played by John Cleese) that his role as manager is to also secure funding through sponsorship. He first sets Ron up to attempt to become the first man to completely jump over the English Channel. When this fails, he sets Ron up to eat Chichester Cathedral to disastrous results. He next has him trying to tunnel from Godalming to Java, but it is abandoned after Ron only manages to dig two feet six inches lacking a spade. The reporter brings up alligations that Vercotti is merely exploiting Ron for personal gain, but he denies this. This is happening while Ron attempts to split a railway carriage with his nose, which does not end well. Vercotti then has the terribly injured Ron, who at this point is wrapped from head to toe in bandages and requires a crutch, attempt to run to Mercury, reasoning that it should be no trouble once he manages to leave Earth's orbit. When this becomes fatally unsuccessful, Vercotti finally tries to have a now-dead Ron break the world record for remaining underground. The sketch ends with the camera zooming away while he tries to play up Ron's potential for success.

Luigi has a non-speaking cameo in the last series one episode "Intermission." He appears in an advertisement for his restaurant La Gondola. As the ad progresses, it becomes apparent that it is actually a cover for illegal pornography when a police raid takes place. Luigi merely smiles to camera, pretending that nothing is amiss while half-dressed women are being taken away along with his accomplices before he is finally arrested at the end.

Luigi returns in the first series two episode "Face the Press." He appears in the Piranha Brothers sketch where he reveals to a reporter (played by Jones) his encounter with the more dangerous Doug Piranha. During the interview, Luigi gets a phone call that is clearly intended to be an order for a prostitute under his employ, but tries to cover it up through carefully spoken words as if he was merely fixing a "Chinese watch" for "his mother." Vercotti displays seemingly genuine fear of Doug, explaining that men would rather pull their own heads off than meet with him due to Doug's merciless use of sarcasm, dramatic irony, metaphor, pathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire.

Luigi's last appearance was a non-speaking cameo in series two, in the fourth episode "The Buzz Aldrin Show." In The Bishop sketch, he and other members of the Vercotti family are partaking in the baptism of Francesco Luigi Vercotti, presumably his son. The priest performing the baptism turns out to be the target of an assassination with the baby revealed to actually be a bomb, which explodes when he says its name. It is not made clear whether Luigi or any other member of the Vercotti family is actually responsible for the assassination, though it is assumed that they had to be aware given the baby was not real.

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