YouTube Transcription #76 Ronnie Corbett

Ronnie Corbett passed away last week, at age 85. He was very popular all through my life, and one of British television’s most loved personalities. Here he is (the customer) with his long-term comedy partner Ronnie Barker in The Two Ronnies.
I have used several other of his videos in this blog before. Please see this one: Four Candles


Woman: This is nice.
Man: It is rather nice, isn’t it?
W: Funny we’ve never seen it before…
M: Well I don’t think it’s been open awfully long, but I…
Waiter: Yes?
M: Well, we’d like a meal, please.
Waiter: Two, is it?
Man: Yes, yes.
Waiter: Have you booked?
Man: No, no…
Waiter: Well, I suppose I can fit you in here if you like.
Waiter: Yes?
Man: Could we… could we have a… could we have a look at the menu, please?
Waiter: Want the bleedin’ menu now!
Woman: Oh, look. The menu’s shaped like a rook!
Waiter: That’s the name of the restaurant, isn’t it? Complete Rook.
Waiter: Eh?
Man: No, sorry. I’m talking to my friend.
Man: Now, look. There’s rook pate here. Rook pate. Do you recommend the rook pate?
Waiter: Only when we’ve got a lot we want to get rid of.
Man: Well, it’s honest at least!
Waiter: What about soup of the day?
Man: What is the soup of the day?
Waiter: Rook soup.
Man: I expect it… I expect… I expect it’s nicer than it sounds!
Waiter: Bleedin’ isn’t! It’s worse than it sounds. Have you ever had camel’s liver marinated in rain for five days and then strained through a balaclava helmet by a pregnant yak?
Man: Yes, I think we had that in Morocco, didn’t we?
Woman: Oh, surely not, darling.
Man: I’m not being serious. We didn’t have it in Morocco. It was Tunis, wasn’t it? No, no, no. Tell me, why… why do you ask?
Waiter: Well rook soup’s worse than that.
Man: Why did you recommend it?
Waiter: Well, it’s going off. Bleedin’ freezer’s on the blink again.
Man: Look, I think the best idea is going to be to choose the main course, you know, and then sort of build round it, really.
Woman: Yes, good idea.
Man: You know, then you know where you are, because you find that… erm… There’s erm… you see there’s erm… there’s roast rook, braised rook, steamed rook, and stuffed rook. What is this? “La carné bulle a la mode de Toulouse”?
Waiter: Boiled rook.
Man: Doesn’t seem to be the sort of restaurant to come to if you don’t like rook!
Waiter: It’s not the sort of restaurant to come to if you do like rook.
Man: Why is that?
Waiter: We serve bloody awful tough old rooks, that’s why. All full of lead shot, break your teeth on them. Terrible really.
Man: Still, I expect the chef has a magic touch with them.
Waiter: Magic touch? Magic touch? What, the chef? Don’t make me laugh! Too much of that. He’s riff raff, he is. Too much of that. Rubbish! I’m the only bloke that keeps the tone of this place up here.
Man: Tell me, what is this? This fascinates me. “???”
Waiter: That’s two rook’s tails stuffed in a shrimp sauce.
Woman: You must admit, you haven’t got a very varied menu.
Man: Nothing to crow over!I’m awfully sorry, but I read in the Reader’s Digest an article on how to relieve tense situations with humour.
Woman: Why don’t you try it?
Waiter: Are you going to make your ruddy minds up or not, then? I’ve got a lot of people waiting to serve.
Woman: I tell you what… why don’t we start with the sweet and work backwards?
Man: That’s better, I think. Now look, we’ve got ice cream there, and ice cream there… tell me, what kind of ice cream is this?
Waiter: Rook and raspberry ripple.
Man: Well, I’m going to… I’m going to plump myself with a rook cocktail, followed by roast rook, with the rook meringue.
Woman: So will I.
Waiter: About bleedin’ time an’ all!
Woman: We could just walk out.
Man: Oh, I don’t like doing that…
Woman: It’s a complete rook!
Man: Well the name of the restaurant told us that, dear. We can’t sue them under the trade descriptions act. I mean it’s…
Waiter: Sorry, rook’s off.
Man: What?
Waiter: Rook’s off!
Man: Oh alright, we’ll go somewhere else, dear. Thank you very much for all the trouble. We’ll probably pop in and have a little Chinese down the road.
Waiter: We’ve got a bit of stewed tortoise left, if you want it.
Man: Stewed tortoise! Why didn’t you say? We’ll have stewed tortoise for two, lovely! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!

Expressions used:
awfully – English speakers, especially British, often use a bad-meaning adjective in the adverb form to mean ‘very’, without any negative image at all.
Complete Rook – in this sketch it is the restaurant’s name, but it is an English expression meaning a con, a sham, a deception.
get rid of – to dispose of, something unwanted
When food is going off, it is becoming bad, inedible, due to it being no longer fresh.
on the blink – not working, out of order
riff raff – unsophisticated, common
Nothing to crow over – an idiom meaning nothing special
plump – decide on
About time – at last; an’ (and) all adds emphasis.
Bleedin’, ruddy – two inoffensive swear words permitted by the BBC in early evening.

The Two Ronnies often had funny sketches with poor endings. That was always their weak point. Monty Python had the same problem, but they made an ironic point of the poor endings; the Two Ronnies, I think, just tried to make a funny ending and failed!

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