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Mr Creosote

Terry Jones as Mr Creosote

Mr. Creosote is a fictional character in Monty Python's Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, played by Terry Jones. In the sketch, Mr Creosote dines at a French restaurant. The entrance of this morbidly obese middle-aged man is accompanied by ominous music and is followed by a short dialogue with the maître d', played by John Cleese:

Maître d' Ah, good afternoon, sir; and how are we today?
Mr. Creosote   Better.
Maître d' Better?
Mr. Creosote Better get a bucket - I'm gonna throw up.

Creosote is then led to his table, and once seated starts vomiting, failing to hit the bucket he had requested a moment before. The floor quickly becomes covered in vomit, and so do the cleaning woman and the maître d's trousers. He listens patiently while highlights of the evening's menu are recited to him; after vomiting on the menu held open right in front of him by the maître d', he orders them all served in a bucket with quail eggs on top, and for apéritifs he has six bottles of Château Latour 1945, a double jeroboam of champagne, and half a dozen crates of brown ale (half his usual allowance). He finishes the lot, vomiting profusely all over himself, his table, and the other diners throughout the duration (causing other diners to leave in disgust). Finally, after being persuaded by the smooth (and possibly vengeful) maître d' to eat a "wafer-thin mint", he explodes in a huge torrent of innards and partially digested food, making everyone else in the restaurant vomit.

When the explosion clears, Creosote is still alive, but his chest cavity is now blasted open, revealing his spread ribs and still-beating heart. As he looks around, seemingly confused by what has just happened, the maître d' calmly walks up to him and presents "the bill, monsieur."

It has been suggested that the scene is one of the most repulsive in twentieth-century cinema. Director Quentin Tarantino has confessed to being nauseated by this scene, but critics with stronger stomachs have praised its dark humour. (Leonard Maltin noted it as "an unforgettable scene, like it or not.") It was filmed in the Porchester Centre, a public building owned by the City of Westminster on Porchester Road, London.

It was revealed at the "U.S. Comedy Arts Festival - Tribute to Monty Python" that the scene, penned by Jones, was initially not going to be in the film, but Cleese was taken with the unflappable maître d' character. Jones at first thought Creosote should be played by fellow Python Terry Gilliam, but Gilliam convinced Jones to play it himself. [1]

In popular culture[]

  • In an episode of Gilmore Girls, an over-due Sookie worries that her baby will just get bigger and bigger until it explodes à la Mr Creosote.
  • In another episode of Gilmore Girls, a hung-over Paris warns Loreli and Rory to stop using the word "vomiting" unless they want a "Mr Creosote situation here."
  • In the comic strip FoxTrot, Paige wakes up with a hugely distorted head, and complains that she shouldn't have crammed for school finals after watching "that Monty Python film". Her brother Jason torments her by waving some notes at her and saying "It's only a wafer-thin math formula!"
  • The band Doctor and the Crippens recorded a song titled "Mr Creosote".
  • In Stranger than Fiction, Harold Crick is seen watching the Mr Creosote scene in a movie theater.
  • In Sourcery by Terry Pratchett, the ruler of Al Khali is named Creosote.
  • In the computer game Sim Theme Park, in the "Halloween World" scenario, there is a fountain called the "Creosote Kid", which is a person in a straight jacket with a rotating head that vomits. This is likely a tribute to the character.
  • The "Moon Zero Two" episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 uses Mr Creosote (as well as Regan from The Exorcist) for an example during a display of the Mad Scientists' new Mouth-to-Mouth toothpaste tubes, toothpaste nozzles that combine with the concept of the heads on Pez dispensers.
  • In the 2001 video game "Conker's Bad Fur Day", there is a scenario involving a mouse character who must be dealt with in order to advance in the game. The titular character Conker proceeds to feed the mouse three wedges of cheese, which causes the mouse to become very bloated and explodes much like Mr. Creosote. Also like Creosote, he is shown to have survived bursting, being stitched back together by the end of the game.


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