Drop the Dead Donkey

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Drop the Dead Donkey (1990-98) is a television sitcom created for Channel 4 by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.

Series 1 (1990)[edit]

Sally's Arrival[edit]

Dave: Another big statement from President Bush. From inside a bunker.
George: A bunker?
Dave: Yeah. Just off the thirteenth green. When the going gets tough, the tough go golfing.

A Blast from the Past[edit]

Discussing the case of the Guinness four
George: This story is so difficult to translate so that a layman can actually understand it. I mean, they've been found guilty of theft, false accounting...
Dave: That's theft.
George: Conspiracy to inflate shares...
Dave: That's theft.
George: Then they say they didn't realise they were acting illegally.
Dave: That's bollocks.

Old Father Time[edit]

Henry: I have interviewed every prime minister for the last thirty years. Yes. Alec Douglas-Home: patronising bastard. Wilson: shifty bastard. Heath: stubborn bastard. Callaghan: cunning bastard. Thatcher: cunning, stubborn, shifty, patronising bastard.

The Big Day[edit]

Discussing an impending interview with Margaret Thatcher
Sally: If we call it "Sally meets Margaret". Stress the informality.
Dave: What about "The Sal and Madge Show"?
Sally: What sort of chair do you think I should have?
Henry: One we can plug in.

Series 2 (1991)[edit]

Henry and Dido[edit]

Damien: Well, you are in a good mood, Henry.
Henry: Why not, George? God's in his Heaven, I'm taking the delightful Julia Jane out to dinner, and I've just fed Sally's dog a box of laxative chocolates.

Drunk Minister[edit]

George: I actually think it's rather important that women should have equality in the office place.
Joy: Oh, good. Then you can get your own coffee.

Don't Mention the Arabs[edit]

Dave: I've always liked the Buddhist idea, when you come back but as an animal that's appropriate to the way you've lived your life.
Damien: I wonder what I'd come back as.
Dave, Joy and Alex: A vulture.
Alex: How about Princess Michael?
Dave: Myna bird.
Damien: What about Roy Hattersley?
Dave: Toad.
Alex: Cecil Parkinson?
Dave: Horny toad.
Alex: Yes, but what would he come back as?

The Evangelist[edit]

Earl: George, "Jesus died for our sins" is the biggest news there's ever been, now isn't it?
George: Well, I mean it did happen over two thousand years ago.
Alex: Have you tried the Daily Express?

The Christmas Party[edit]

Damien: You know you kill 300 brain cells with every sip. (Dave takes a swig) That's 600.
Sally: Yes. Well, that's why I don't drink.
George: (tipsy) Very wise. One half of shandy could wipe out your whole brainǃ

Series 3 (1993)[edit]

Sally's Accountant[edit]

Helen raises the question as to whether attending editorial meetings is an effective use of Gus's time
Gus: You see, I have a very important function in those meetings.
Helen: Good. And that is?
Gus: Well, I'm a sort of hands-off, eyes-on, overviewing, non-participatory, sort of hands-off...I'll get back to you on this. Terrific, Helen. You keep up the good work! (mutters) Cunning bitch.

Henry's Lost Love[edit]

Helen has just compared Damien's private life to that of the Emperor Caligula
Damien: Which one was Caligula?
Joy: He murdered his mother, married his sister, and then ate the baby.
Damien: Why can't we have stories like that now, eh? "Charles tops Queen and then eats Princess Anne's love-child".
Dave: Andrew Neil's already run that one, hasn't he?

Helen'll Fix It[edit]

Henry: All I want is a large drink, a warm bed and a loose woman.
Producer: Jean Schafer, Jim'll Fix It.
Henry: I didn't know Jim could fix that.

Sally's Libel[edit]

Henry: Is my hair alright?
Joy: What do you mean, your hair?

Lady Merchant[edit]

Lady Caroline: It's alright, Gus. I know you haven't done this sort of thing very often. If ever. That's why I like you.
Gus: You see, when it comes to sexual interfacing with the female gender group, I've always been caution-orientated due to ongoing problems of an adaptive nature, regarding the gooeyness factor on the physical front.

Gus: Yes, this is absolutely ridiculous. This sexual harassment must stop now. I mean it, Henry. How dare anyone in this office use their power and influence to make sexual advances to these poor, terrified mesmerized, sexually inexperienced men. And women. And I hope that's clear. Anyway, just a thought.

The New Newsreader[edit]

Henry: We've started an office limerick competition. The person who comes up with the most offensively amusing ditty about our beloved proprietor, Sir Royston, wins a bottle of finest Moet Chandon.
Jill: Great. Sounds like fun.
Joy: Well, I've got one.
Henry: Good.
Joy: (reads)
Sir Royston's a horrible bastard.
I hate him, the big ugly bastard.
I'd like to shoot him,
Then smash his head in,
'Cos he's a bastard, the stupid fat bastard.


Helen: We seem to be out of milk.
Joy: Correction: you coffee-drinkers are out of milk. We tea-drinkers have our own milk kitty now.
Dave: How will we know which is your milk?
Joy: Easy. It's the one with "Hands off, you coffee-drinking bastards" written on it.

George and His Daughter[edit]

Helen: We better do something on Major blaming TV for all this violence.
Henry: He's absolutely right. I saw him being interviewed on the Beeb, and I was so incensed by the little turd that I headbutted the catǃ


Gus: Good to see you. Hard luck. I voted for you, mate. We must have lunch sometime.
Neil Kinnock: Yes, sure. (turns away) I'd rather have smallpox.

Series 4 (1994)[edit]

The Undiscovered Country[edit]

Sally: I never realised this novel had such bad language in it.
Helen: Whose is it?
Sally: Mine! I knew I should've read it before it went to the publishers.

Quality Time[edit]

Damien: Did anyone see World in Action? They sneaked inside a maternity ward, to show how poor security was. I mean, I did that two years agoǃ Do you remember that, George?
George: How could we forget(?)
Damien: (defensively) I put the baby backǃ

The Day of the Mum[edit]

Damien asks if his mother watched his reports from wartorn Azerbaijan
Avril: I saw the one where your convoy was attacked. It was extraordinary.
Damien: You thought so?
Avril: Yes. You split four infinitives.
Damien: Yes, well I was under machine gun fire at the time.

Helen's Parents[edit]

Gus: We need a rapid interface in the chin-wag department. I understand Sally is...with child.
Helen: She told you?
Gus: No, I read the graffiti in the lift.

Henry: They're not unemployed any more; they're "job seekers". Presumably we don't have homeless; we have "accommodation seekers". We don't have NHS queues; we have "bed seekers". We don't have Peter Lilley; we have a "smack-in-the-mouth seeker"!

Sally in TV Times[edit]

Workman: The hoist's up and ready.
Gus: Sorry?
Workman: We have an ongoing potential uplift scenario.
Gus: Ah, got youǃ

No More Mr Nice Guy[edit]

George: If you can't stand the kitchen...get out of it.

Henry: Filling in these lottery tickets is harder than I thought. I was going to use the number of times I had sex last month, but the ticket only goes up to 49. (laughs)
Joy: Try limiting it to the number of times there was someone else there.

Henry's Autobiography[edit]

The National Lottery
Dave: What a wonderful symbol of what our society has become(!) There is a fourteen million to one chance of hitting the jackpot, and people are flocking round newsagents like Tory MPs round an arms dealer. And at the centre of it all: Noel bloody Edmonds, poncing about like some hideous cross between God and Peter Stringfellow, while people are reduced to tears of joy at being chosen to pull the handle that operates the machine that selects the balls that will make somebody else rich!
Damien: So you didn't win anything, then.
Dave: No.

Damien and the Weather Girl[edit]

Everyone seems to know about Henry's impotence
Dave: How did this get round? I told Helen in confidence!
Helen: Yeah, well, I just told Joy in confidence.
Joy: Yeah, well, I just told the office in confidence.

Series 5 (1996)[edit]

The Path of True Love[edit]

George meets Helen's new partner Amanda, who works as a dispatch rider
George: Must be hard work spending all day on a great big motor-dyke.

After telling Helen that all homosexual relationships are abhorrent to Nature, Sally is caught in breach of contract
Helen: Well, Sally, abhorrent as it is to my nature, I feel I must submit to an overwhelming biological imperative...to fine your heterosexual tits off!

Series 6 (1998)[edit]

The Newsmakers[edit]

Henry: I'm obviously dim, but why are we bothering to interview Tom when he will simply repeat what I have said?
Gus: Yes, but he'll be repeating it live from the scene.
Henry: Why?
Gus: Because TV's a visual medium, for God's sake! If nothing's happening, you have to show it's not happening, live, as it doesn't happen. Do you know nothing about this business, man?
Henry: [furious] I know a great deal more than you, you [bleep]ing, sh[bleep]ing, pi[bleep]ing...

Beasts, Badgers and Bombshells[edit]

Damien is confident that his job is safe
Damien: When a herd is being culled, they do not shoot the youngest, fittest male.
Dave: They might do, if that youngest and fittest male had just been discovered at a White House reception dressed in drag, in the hope that Clinton might make a pass at him.
Damien: It might have worked. He offered me a cigar.

Melissa: The teenage masturbators of today are the television executives of tomorrow.

But is it Art?[edit]

George has returned from a short flight with Henry's niece
Dave: And at what point did you mention your severe phobia of flying? And violent motion sickness?
George: Well, I didn't mention them. Not strictly speaking.
Dave: And were you okay?
George: Not strictly speaking. I filled up four of those containers, Sue's handbag and the hood of the pilot's anorak. And then we took off.

George Finds Love[edit]

Henry: God, I'm depressed.
Dave: How depressed? Quite depressed, suicidally depressed or Virgin Rail passenger?
Henry: Virgin Rail passenger who supports Man City and is married to Ann Widdecombe.
Dave: Bloody hell!

External links[edit]

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