Here’s How Monty Python Responded to a Request to Cut a Famous Fart Joke

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper!”

In August 1974, British comedy troupe Monty Python was gearing up to release its Arthurian parody, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, upon an unsuspecting public. The movie is one of the funniest and most endlessly quoted motion pictures of all time. But a few famous lines might have been lost for the sake of a kid-friendly rating had not the Pythons stood their ground. Here’s a letter sent from one of the film’s producers, Mark Forstater, to fellow producer Michael White (credit: Letters of Note):

Monty Python Holy Grail letter

Click for a high-res scan of the letter.

If the scan isn’t clear on your screen, here’s the best part, in which Forstater lays out suggested changes and his reaction thereto:

Lose as many shits as possible
Take Jesus Christ out, if possible
Lose “I fart in your general direction”
Lose “the oral sex
Lose “oh, fuck off”
Lose “We make castanets out of your testicles”

I would like to get back to the Censor and agree to lose the shits, take the odd Jesus Christ out and lose Oh fuck off, but to retain ‘fart in your general direction’, ‘castanets of your testicles’ and ‘oral sex’ and ask him for an ‘A’ rating on that basis.

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