International Philosophy

The cast:

                                                Football Commentator
                                                                   Michael Palin


The sketch:

Aerial view of München Olympic stadium.

     Football Commentator
          Good afternoon, and welcome to a packed Olympic stadium, München...

          INTERNATIONALE PHILOSOPHIE [International Philosophy]
          Rückspiel [Return match]
     Football Commentator
          ...for the second leg of this exciting final. [German philosophers jog out of the dressing room.] And here come the Germans now, led by their
          skipper, "Nobby" Hegel. They must surely start favourites this afternoon; they've certainly attracted the most attention from the press with their team
          problems. And let's now see their line-up.

          DEUTSCHLAND [Germany]
          1 LEIBNITZ
          2 I. KANT
          3 HEGEL
          4 SCHOPENHAUER
          5 SCHELLING
          6 BECKENBAUER
          7 JASPERS
          8 SCHLEGEL
          9 WITTGENSTEIN
          10 NIETZSCHE
          11 HEIDEGGER

High shot of Germans jogging onto pitch.

     Football Commentator
          The Germans playing 4-2-4, Leibniz in goal, back four Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Schelling, front-runners Schlegel, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche and
          Heidegger, and the mid-field duo of Beckenbauer and Jaspers. Beckenbauer obviously a bit of a surprise there.

Greek philosophers, all in togas, jog from the dressing room.

     Football Commentator
          And here come the Greeks, led out by their veteran centre-half, Heraclitus.

          GRIECHENLAND [Greece]
          1 PLATO
          2 EPIKTET
          3 ARISTOTELES
          4 SOPHOKLES
          6 PLOTIN
          7 EPIKUR
          8 HERAKLIT
          9 DEMOKRIT
          10 SOKRATES
          11 ARCHIMEDES

High shot of Greeks jogging onto pitch, kicking balls about etc.

     Football Commentator
          Let's look at their team. As you'd expect, it's a much more defensive line-up. Plato's in goal, Socrates a front- runner there, and Aristotle as sweeper,
          Aristotle very much the man in form. One surprise is the inclusion of Archimedes.

An oriental referee, holding a large sandglass, walks down the centre line, flanked by two linesmen with haloes.

     Football Commentator
          Well here comes the referee, K'ung fu-tsze (Confucius), and his two linesmen, St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. [Referee spots the ball and the
          captains shake hands.] And as the two skippers come together to shake hands, we're ready for the start of this very exciting final. The referee Mr
          Confucius checks his sand and... [referee blows his whistle] they're off! [The Germans immediately turn away from the ball, hands on chins in
          deep contemplation.] Nietzsche and Hegel there. Karl Jaspers number seven on the outside, Wittgenstein there with him. There's Beckenbauer.
          Schelling's in there, Heidegger covering. Schopenhauer. [Pan to the other end, the Greeks also thinking deeply, occasionally gesticulating.] And
          now it's the Greeks, Epicurus, Plotinus number six. Aristotle. Empedocles of Acragus and Democratus with him. There's Archimedes. Socrates, there
          he is, Socrates. Socrates there, going through. [The camera follows Socrates past the ball, still on the centre spot.] There's the ball! There's the
          ball. And Nietzsche there. Nietzsche, number ten in this German side.

          0 : 0
     Football Commentator
          Kant moving up on the outside. Schlegel's on the left, the Germans moving very well in these opening moments.

International Philosophy - Update


The cast:

                                                                   John Cleese
                                                Football Commentator
                                                                   Michael Palin
                                                                   John Cleese


The sketch:

     Well right now we're going back to the Olympic stadium for the closing minutes of the Philosophy Final, and I understand that there's still no score.

On the pitch, a German is remonstrating with the referee.

Football Commentator
     Well there may be no score, but there's certainly no lack of excitement here. As you can see, Nietzsche has just been booked for arguing with the referee. He
     accused Confucius of having no free will, and Confucius he say, "Name go in book". And this is Nietzsche's third booking in four games. [We see a bearded
     figure in a track-suit is warming up on the touch-line.] And who's that? It's Karl Marx, Karl Marx is warming up. It looks as though there's going to be a
     substitution in the German side. [Marx removes the track-suit, under which he is wearing a suit.] Obviously the manager Martin Luther has decided on
     all-out attack, as indeed he must with only two minutes of the match to go. And the big question is, who is he going to replace, who's going to come off. It
     could be Jaspers, Hegel or Schopenhauer, but it's Wittgenstein! Wittgenstein, who saw his aunty only last week, and here's Marx. [Marx begins some
     energetic knees-up running about.] Let's see it he can put some life into this German attack. [The referee blows his whistle; Marx stops and begins
     contemplating like the rest.] Evidently not. What a shame. Well now, with just over a minute left, a replay on Tuesday looks absolutely vital. There's
     Archimedes, and I think he's had an idea.
     Eureka! [He runs towards the ball and kicks it.]
Football Commentator
     Archimedes out to Socrates, Socrates back to Archimedes, Archimedes out to Heraclitus, he beats Hegel [who, like all the Germans, is still thinking] .
     Heraclitus a little flick, here he comes on the far post, Socrates is there, Socrates heads it in! Socrates has scored! The Greeks are going mad, the Greeks are
     going mad. Socrates scores, got a beautiful cross from Archimedes. The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct
     of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.
     But Confucius has answered them with the final whistle! It's all over! Germany, having trounced England's famous midfield trio of Bentham, Locke and
     Hobbes in the semi-final, have been beaten by the odd goal, and let's see it again. [Replay viewed from behind the goal.] There it is, Socrates, Socrates
     heads in and Leibnitz doesn't have a chance. And just look at those delighted Greeks. [The Greeks jog delightedly, holding a cup aloft.] There they are,
     "Chopper" Sophocles, Empedocles of Acragus, what a game he had. And Epicurus is there, and Socrates the captain who scored what was probably the
     most important goal of his career.