Video: What Might Have Happened If The Dead Parrot Sketch Had Been Pitched By Women

Five decades on from the classic Monty Python parrot sketch, this ‘lost audio’ reel imagines what the world would have been like if gender bias was flipped, and the world’s greatest sketch show had never made it to air. 

Comedian Lorelei Mathias (pictured), of sketch group Melon Comedy, explains how this new version came about: "This version is set in a female gaze world, where the current gender bias in comedy is flipped. In 2019 the Writers Guild Association released research that women make up 11% of commissioned comedy writers –  which is frankly a bit of a circus in 2020. 

Obviously a lot of is unconscious bias, and it’s a hugely competitive industry. But when we first started out years ago as writer/performers MelonComedy, we would get friendly emails that went like this: ‘We loved it but unfortunately there’s already a female-led sketch show in the works’. 

We can take rejection but at least make it because we can’t write, or our ideas suck? Do men ever get rejected on the basis that there’s already a male led-sketch show, we wondered? Also: there is so much more to Melon Comedy than that. We’re a female, male, trans, gender-fluid motley crewe of white, black, brown, ginger, neurodiverse clowns. 

Still, rather than get upset or call it out on twitter, we decided to do what we always do when something depressing happens. Whether it’s a break-up or a climate crisis, we look for the joke. Then we push it to the point of silly. What if the best sketch group that ever lived were told they couldn’t have a show because of that?..."

Picture: Katy Dutton

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