Goodness Gracious Me (TV & radio)
Goodness Gracious Me is a BBC sketch comedy show starring four British Asian actors: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir. It was originally made for BBC Radio 4 (1996-1998), and subsequently televised for BBC Two (1998-2001).
All of the following references are from the television series.
Mr. Cheque Please (played by Bhaskar)
- Man: Why don't we skip dessert and get outta here?
- Woman: Why? What have you got in mind?
- Man: Nothing. It's just that you're already quite fat, innit!
- Salesman: A rose for the woman you love?
- Man: Ah, that's a good idea. [to his date] 'Cos I'm seeing her after I drop you off, innit!
- Man: It's appalling that women are under all that pressure to be thin, to do their hair, to have the right nose and that.
- Woman: Oh, absolutely. I agree.
- Man: That's what's so great about you. You make no effort at all!
Christmas Special (1998)
- Man: Your parents must be very beautiful people.
- Woman: Aww.
- Man: 'Cos it often skips a generation, innit!
- Woman: [to the waiter] I'd like a 12-inch spicy hot one, please.
- Man: [terrified] Cheque, please!
- Woman: If you were an animal, what sort of animal would you be?
- Man: Er, I'd be a tiger. Rrrr!
- Woman: What about me?
- Man: Ah, you'd be a bird of paradise.
- Woman: Aww. Why's that?
- Man: 'Cos you've got a hooky nose like a beak, and your voice is all screechy: "Aar! Aar!" And you've got feathery stuff on your lip, and then your feet are like this [makes claw shapes with hands], and then you've got a wobbly fat arse and…[notices his date has gone] cheque, please!
- Man: I'd really, really love it if you'd come back to my place.
- Woman: And what's the magic word?
- Man: Twenty quid! [she gets up to leave] Thirty? Forty? Forty-f…cheque, please!
- Man: I know it's really old-fashioned, but I think it's really important to get to know a girl's family and that when you're starting a relationship.
- Woman: Aww, that's so sweet!
- Man: Yeah. That's why I'm sleeping with your sister, innit!
- Woman: So, what's your idea of the perfect date?
- Man: Ah. Imagine walking hand-in-hand down a deserted tropical beach. The sun is setting in the horizon, and as we sit on the warm sand we let the waves lap over our bare feet.
- Woman: Wow! I can almost feel it.
- Man: Eh? Well, you're not there, innit!
- Man: I just wanna say those three little words: you're too fat!
Guru Maharishi Yogi (played by Bhaskar)
- Guru: Many people in the west think that in my country (India), because of our religions, because of our history, because of I don't know what, somehow we are more in tune with our spirituality, more at one with the forces of Nature. Well, we are! So well done, all those people who said that!
A house call
- Guru: Hello. I'd like to talk to you about Krishna.
- Woman on doorstep: Oh yes?
- Guru: Have you ever thought of becoming a Hindu?
- Woman: Well, actually, it's something I've always wanted to do.
- Guru: Well, you can't! Sorry. Have a nice day.
Christmas Special (1998)
Three gurus in conversation
- First Guru: And thus it was Shiva, in the heart of the demon's lair, with his celestial weapons.
- Second Guru: With due respect, you are wrong. It was Narasimha, incarnation of Vishnu, in the palace of the evil Rakshas, with his bare hands!
- Third Guru: No. It was Professor Plum, in the library, with the candlestick! I win! Go on, my son!
Advice for the England football team
- Guru: Meditation, meditation. Everybody go: om…om…football's coming om…
A new range of products for spiritual fulfilment
- Guru: You see, it is very important for your soul to be clean, for your spirit to be pure, for your chakras to be whiter than white with a meadowy freshness. Use Omo; it's biological! [smells his sleeve] Heavenly! Also Ashram toothpaste: it's transcen-dental! [ting] And finally, Reincarnation pour l'Homme. [sprays a few puffs] "Mmm. I'll be back!" All these products are available on my website: www.gurumaharishi.yogi.om.
The Coopers and Robinsons (played by all)
- St John: Been following the cricket?
- Dennis: Oh, shocking! We haven't been playing too well at all.
- St John: Well, you know, the cricketing world looks upon us as a developing nation.
- Dennis: Of course they do. But the Indians have been playing very well.
- Charlotte: So, Vanessa, I hear you're something of a wiz in the kitchen. Is that one of your famous curries I smell cooking?
- Vanessa: No, it's roast lamb, roast potatoes, roast vegetables and roast gravy, actually!
Suddenly, a brick comes flying through the window, startling everyone
- Dennis: Oh tuhadi rab day vastay! Aah ki hoya?
- Vanessa: I beg your pardon?
- Dennis: Oh, my God.
The Coopers' barbecue
- Charlotte: I believe that mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. And after all, my husband is an Englishman.
- Vanessa: Which must make you the mad...
- St John: [interrupts] Another jug of Pimm's, darling?
Golf, and Dennis has not quite worked out what bunkers are for
- Man: Are any of you lot called Dennis Cooper?
- Dennis: Yes. How do you know?
- Man: Because you've written your name in the sand!
Visiting the Robinsons' stately home
- Butler: May I take your hat, sir?
- Dennis: No, get your own!
- St John: Notice the sixteenth-century floorboards, laid down in 1348 by Edward XXII.
- Charlotte: Yes. The plastic hallway matting complements them perfectly.
- Charlotte: I say, Dennis, this fox-hunting's a bloody good lark, what?
- Dennis: Yes, but I keep falling off mine!
Christmas Special (1998)
- Charlotte: Well, we love our traditional English Christmases. Yes, James Bond, the Queen's speech, the smell of nuts roasting on an open fire.
- Dennis: Oh, so sorry! Must've been standing too close to the oven!
Sunday morning at church
- St John: Haven't you read your King James Bible?
- Dennis: Of course, of course. Nearly finished it, but don't tell me what happens in the end!
- Vicar: Hello, there.
- Dennis: Hello, my old chappie. Dennis Cooper. Table for four, please!
- Charlotte: Yes, please. Not too near the band.
- Vicar: Blood of Christ.
- St John: No, no, no. I'm driving.
- Charlotte: Haven't you got any vol-au-vents?
- Vicar: This is not an hors d'œuvre; this is the body of Christ.
- Charlotte: Er, I think I'll wait for the main course then, thanks!
At the airport
- Vanessa: So, what are you fellows up to?
- Dennis: I'm waiting for my mamaji and papaji…oh, tuhadi!
- Charlotte: He means his mater and pater.
- Dennis: Of course. Maker, paper.
In the local pub
- Vanessa: Well, I must say I'm very surprised to see people like you in the pub.
- Charlotte: What do you mean by "people like us"?
- Vanessa: Well, it is a peculiarly British habit, is it not?
- Charlotte: Yes, and we are peculiarly British.
- Dennis: Uh-huh. We're as peculiar as they come.
A song for Eurovision
- Charlotte: I choose Britannia when I fly.
- Vanessa: Puppies and the Queen Mum make me cry.
- St John: I'm upper class 'cos I'm rich and fair.
- Dennis: And I wear ladies' underwear!
Mrs "I can make it at home for nothing!" (played by Wadia)
Life as a student
- Mother: Look, I'm a student. I'm balancing a traffic cone on my head.
- Son: That's not a traffic cone; it's a small aubergine.
- Mother: Aubergine, traffic cone. I'm too drunk to tell the difference!
The Competitive Mothers (played by Wadia and Syal)
One of the mothers is proud that her son is a successful pimp with a conviction
- Not just prison; Parkhurst. My son has won a place at Parkhurst!
- My son is so fertile that he doesn't have to be at home to impregnate his wife; he can do it from the office by e-mail.
- So I hear your son is spending Divali at his house instead of visiting you. Very "modern".
- No, no, no, no. You know, you really shouldn't listen to all the gossip you hear…down the docks. My son has a life of his own, you know.
- Well, my son also has a wife and a family of his own, but he just prefers to spend the day with me.
- Hmm, how very Oedipal of him.
- Yes, my son is very Oedipal. In fact, he's much more Oedipal than your son!
- I just hear that your son is living with his "girlfriend".
- I'm surprised the news is being discussed down at the dog track.
- Hmm, so, living with a woman and not married? Funny, I don't remember anything in the Gita about that one. Very New Labour. Very anti-fox-hunting.
- Your information is incorrect, as per usual. My son is not living with his girlfriend; he is living with several girlfriends. My son is a stud!
Nightfall, and stranded by a breakdown, they wait endlessly for one of their sons to pick them up
- So, your son hates you so much that he's leaving you to die of exposure?
- No. My son knows how much I hate you, so he's letting you die of exposure in order to make me happy!
- Well, my son is making me very happy by ensuring that you die a very horrible and slow and painful death, your breath freezing in your lungs until they are nothing but two useless…blocks of…ice!
- My son will take great pleasure in knowing that bits of you will freeze solid and turn gangrenous and drop off, like leaves from a…overweight, badly-dressed tree!
Mr Everything Comes from India (played by Bhaskar)
The words veranda, shampoo, bungalow and jungle are stolen from India
- Father: You see, you have these English people sitting on the veranda's of their bungalow's. looking at the jungle, using their shampoo. And they talk about Western Civilisation! Rubbish!
- Son: (sighs with despair) Well, I don't think you can discount the whole of Western Civilisation just because they borrowed the word shampoo.
- Father: Ah, not just shampoo. Also conditioner.
The son refuses to accept that all haircare products are Indian
- Father: What do you know? You think all we had in India was partition? Not true; we also had side-partition…
- Son: Look, will you just shut up about India! You're always banging on about how everything comes from India, it's all bullshit!
- Father: What?!
- Son: I said bull-shit!
- Father: Also Indian.
They're watching Gone with the Wind
- Father: The fellow in this film, Kina Modha
- Son: (nonchalently) Clark Gable
- Father: Indian.
The father has named several acters that are India. He is now talking about Richard III
- Father: You know, like he said in that Richard the Third,'Now is the winter of our dicontent' (winter pronounced vinter). V-inter. See. Like Indian's pronounce. V.
The British Royal Family is Indian
- Father: They all live in the same family house together – Indian. All work in the family business – Indian. All have arranged marriages – Indian. They all have sons; daughters no good – Indian. Children live with their parents until they are married – Indian!
- Father: They're all Indian! All except Prince Charles... He's African.
- Son: What?
- Father: If he was Indian, he'd have smaller ears!
- Son: Superman's my favourite superhero.
- Father: Ah, well I can understand that. He's so brave, so strong…so Indian.
- Son: What?!
- Father: Superman: Indian.
- Son: No!
- Father: Uh-huh. Come on, you've seen the film. He runs faster than a speeding train. There's only one country where you can run faster than the trains!
- Father: Think about it, yar! He's got two jobs – Indian. Never takes a day off work – Indian. And how does he get around? Cheap flights!
John Travolta is Indian
- Father: Check him out in Saturday Night Fever: white suit, kipper tie, big flares. You can tell by the way he used his walk; he's a Hindi man, no time to talk!
Burying the family pet
- Father: And so we commit brave little Geoffrey to the place where all the little hamsters go when they die.
- Daughter: Is that Heaven, Daddy?
- Father: No! India!
Christmas Special (1998)
Father Christmas is Indian
- Think about it, yar! Big beard, huge belly, terrible suit – Indian!
Christmas carols for his daughter
- Ranjit the Red-nosed Reindeer had a very shiny naak,
- And all the little pixies had to clean up the muck!
- Santa shat in the chimney, really blocked up the flue,
- And the following Christmas, the whole family turned Hindu!
- O little town of Bangalore, how still we see thee lie…
- Deck the halls with bowls of chutney, fa-la-la-la-la…
- We three Singhs of Orient are…
The Mona Lisa is Indian
- Son: No, Dad, not the Mona Lisa! She was an Italian noblewoman from the sixteenth century.
- Father: Son, this is Mina Losa, a Gujarati washerwoman from Bhavnagar!
- Son: Why would Leonardo da Vinci go all the way to Bhavnagar to paint someone?
- Father: Because it's quite near where he lived.
- Son: Florence?
- Father: Faridabad!
So is The Last Supper
- Father: Twelve men sitting around a table for dinner. Where are the women? They're in the kitchen!
In fact, all great artists are Indian, including Picasso
- Father: You've seen his portraits: a nose here, an ear there. Go to Delhi and look at the beggars; they look exactly the same!
The son has decided to become a Christian, which is fine because Jesus was Indian
- Father: He is as Indian as they come. He works for His Father – Indian. Parents have children without having sex – Indian. Fed five thousand people with two loaves and five fishes – Indian picnic!
Everyone else in the Bible is also Indian
- Father: Moses: the people came unto him with their suffering. He went up the mountain, and came back with two tablets, because he was a pharmacist! Noah: came from a land where it rained for forty days and forty nights – he was Bengali! Walls of Jericho: walk around it seven times, blow a trumpet, the whole thing falls down – Indian builders. And that other fellow, Samson. Huh, big strong man, long hair. Cut his hair, nigh as weak as a child, because he was sikh!
Well, all except one: God
- Father: In six days, He created the Heaven and the Earth and everything upon it, and on the seventh day He rested. What kind of Indian doesn't work Sundays?!
- Father: And was Jerusalem builded here, on Jalandhar's brown, unpleasant land?
The Bhangramuffins (played by Ghir and Bhaskar)
The possibilities of travelling in Europe by Eurostar
- Just think of all the places you can get to now with the utmost MASSIVE convenience, innit!
- Anywhere in Europe, man. Turkey, Poland, Netherland…Disneyland.
- Hold on, man. Turkey's in Asia, man.
- Nah, man. You're thinking of Bangladesh, innit.
The problems of overeducation amongst Asian schoolchildren
- So, what was the last book you read, man?
- The one about that African leader and his struggle to achieve power for his people. What’s that geezer’s name? Tall, grey…
- Nelson Mandela.
- …trunk…Babar the Elephant, man!
- You mean to say you haven't read a book since you were six?!
- That is my point, man. I don't need to read anything. I am an Asian academic over-achiever; I already know too much!
- It's like being re-released in a new format.
- Ah, I know where you're coming from. Say I'm, like, a 12" jungle track, right, on fire, right, spinning on the eternal wheels of steel…
- Yeah, yeah. Then the gods, right, they check your mix, and if they find it holy and MASSIVE, right, they re-release you as the…
- Both: CD! Woah!
- What happens if they don't like jungle, man?
- Man, then you come back as Peter André tape in a car boot sale in Forest Gate!
The global population of Asians is increasing
- Why's that, man?
- Because everybody's been cross-breeding with each other, innit!
- Not with us they ain't, man.
Soon everyone will be brown, because of interracial mixing
- Oh, that's gonna be a MASSIVE problem, man!
- What are you chattin' about now?
- If everyone in the world is Asian, who can I smoke in front of without my Mum finding out?!
But there are positive aspects
- For example, all shops will be permanently open. And you won't have to spend ages waiting for a doctor, 'cos you'll probably be one!
Why are there never more than five Asians at a football match?
- If you go to football every Saturday, who's gonna look after the shop?
Why does India not have a football team?
- Because of the ball, innit. Man, it's made of leather, right. So your Hindu football team consists of eleven blokes trying not to touch the ball!
There are already genetic mutations walking the earth
- The mule: part horse, part donkey. The husky: part wolf, part dog.
- Uncle Davinder!
- Part newsagent, part minicab driver!
Christmas Special (1998)
- The Three Wise Men came from the East, right?
- Wore turbans, right?
- They was Punjabi!
- They came from Jalandhar, man!
- How d'you figure that one out?
- Check this, man: three strange geezers turn up at a kiddie's party with no invitation. They bring along crappy presents like gold, frankincense and myrrh. What's a little baby gonna do with that?!
- Just because they got crappy presents don't mean nothing, man!
- Alright. What presents d'you get last year?
- Er, well, I got a three-piece suit made out of mirrors, I got a blessing from a holy man who looked like Don King, and a tank top with leg holes!
- And who gave you them presents?
- My uncle Pritam.
- And where's he from?
- Jalandhar…Oh, my God!
- Why are we meeting in the pub, man?
- 'Cos this is it, man. We're finally fifteen: the age at which you're legally tall enough to order your first underage drink, innit!
- Fierce, man!
- Well, go on, then.
- Er, I'll have a lemonade, man!
The Bhangramuffins are hoping to become contestants on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? They have been on hold for one and a half weeks already
- So, what would you do with a million pound?
- Pay my phone bill, innit! But if you had a million pound, right, you could live off the interest!
- Woah! What interest?
- The interest you get from the ras malai when they find out you got a million pounds!
The internet café
- I'm talkin' about travellin' without movin'.
- Oh. So are we gonna get one of Uncle Davinder's cabs?
- Computers are for nerds, man.
- Yeah, man, but some of those nerds sitting in their bedrooms alone, tapping into the night, have turned their hobbies into billion-pound businesses, innit!
- I can't see no one payin' you no billion pounds for your lonely bedroom hobby!
Uncle Fixer (played by Bhaskar)
How to deal with a bank robbery
- Uncle, I was desperate. I needed the money!
- Well, if you wanted to turn to petty crime, why didn't you come to me? [points at stocking disguise] I can get you cheaper, [points at hoodie] I can get you cheaper, [points at gun] I can get you cheaper!
- No, Uncle!
- I do it for you. It is my pleasure.
- Now, beta, don't insult me; just give me the gun.
- Uncle! Uncle!
- DON'T INSULT ME! [wrests the gun out of his hand] Thank you. [turns to other customers] Right. Any of you PRICKS move, I'm going to execute every last motherf***ing one of you!
Malkit X (played by Bhaskar)
The boss phones to find out why his employee has not come in to work
- Malkit: This isn't about work, is it? This is about the colour of my skin! You're picking on me 'cos I'm Asian, you racist bastard! I bet you're not ringing up all your white employees and hurling racial abuse at them, are you?!
- Boss: This is the third time this week, Malkit. I can't let you keep doing this!
- Malkit: Ooh, and what are you gonna do? Sack me? You'd love that, wouldn't you. You'd love to throw me on the scrapheap, another disillusioned ethnic youth, no job, no hope, marginalised by white society and forced to rot in urban squalor. Is that what you want? 'Cos that's what'll happen! Eh?
- Boss: Alright, Malkit. I'm sorry. Take the rest of today off.
- Malkit: Good. Thanks. And can I borrow the car, please, Dad?
Why is there no Sikh fire brigade?
- Telephone operator: Our regulations state that all our firefighters must wear a helmet, for their own protection.
- Malkit: This is a black thing, innit?!
- Operator: What?
- Malkit: Turbans were good enough for my forefathers, to protect their countrymen from the marauding Moguls. Why aren't they good enough for firemen, eh?
- Operator: Because they're flammable!
- Malkit: Well, if you think that I'm gonna help you discriminate against my Sikh brothers, then you are sorely mistaken. Sat Sri Akaal! [hangs up, notices smoke creeping under bedroom door, and dials again] Hello? Yeah, I'd like the Punjabi ambulance service, please!
The Delhi Students
Great Train Journeys of the World: Fenchurch Street to Southend
- The people here believe the tree to be sacred, so that even if one leaf falls onto the track, the whole line is immediately shut down.
The students have all graduated
- I'm an accountant waiting to start work in my father's business.
- I'm a lawyer waiting to start work in my father's business.
- I'm a structural engineer, waiting to start work in my father's business.
- I failed all my papers. I'm going into politics!
A group of young people in Mumbai are out for the evening, at an English restaurant
- Sanjeev: First up we'll have ten…no twelve BREAD ROLLS. And bring some of that fancy stuff…ah, butter, yeah!
The Six Million Rupee Man has successfully bought some sugar
- Sanjeev: Where are those little plastic stirrers we used to have?
- Oscar: You're standing on them, big guy.
- Sanjeev: You mean they're under my feet.
- Oscar: No. We made your legs out of them.
An Indian couple have just discovered that their son is homosexual
- Son: I'm gay, OK?
- Simon: And so am I.
- Father: What, BOTH of you?!
- Mother: Oh, my God! My son is a lesbian!
- Father: You go to your room, and don't come back until you're not of the gay!
A Muslim couple are trying to cope with the news that their son has converted to Judaism
- Son: I thought you'd be pleased to see me happy through spirituality, unlike most young men of my generation, who find happiness through pornography and drugs…which I'd be tempted to use had we not been related to every pharmacist and newsagent from here to Nuremberg!
Christmas Special (1998)
- Woman: My husband's after me!
- Jacinta: Yes, I might have guessed. Is he stifling you with his phallocentric, patriarchal hate crimes?
- Woman: No, he chased me out of the house with a big knife! Now, come on! He's coming this way!
- Jacinta: OK, just pull up a bean bag and we'll take a few details.
- Woman: But he'll be here any second!
- Jacinta: [smiling broadly] Hmm, and in Indian time that's about half an hour, isn't it, sister?
An Englishman is breaking up with his Asian girlfriend, because her nationality is no longer fashionable
- Woman: My parents are gonna be devastated! I mean, how could you do this to them?
- Man: I know, I know, and I love your Mum and Dad. I mean, they went perfectly with my Rajasthani coffee table.
The Great Escape parody sketch
Everyone will be going on the escape disguised as German soldiers
- Ginger: What about…? [nods towards Asian soldiers]
- Captain: That's a good point, Ginger. Now listen: you chaps will have to be from East Germany. Very East Germany.
Boarding the bus to freedom
- Gestapo official: Wohin fahren Sie?
- British Asian soldier: Stuttgart.
- Official: Danke. [as soldier boards the bus] Good luck!
- Soldier: Shukriya. [realises, then runs]
The Sindi Dolls are comparing engagement rings
- And that's my engagement ring from Ravi Rao!
- Oh. But I've got an engagement ring from Ravi Rao.
- Goddammit, bullshit to hell, yah! Well, one of us is going to have to give it back!
- The Sikhs take days off for Guru Nanak's birthday, Guru Gobind Singh's birthday – fair enough. But Guru Guru Barney McGuru Cuthbert Dibble Grub's birthday is going too far! You Hindus: how many gods do you have? Krishna, Lakshmi I've heard of, but Bunty? Apache? Which gods are these? The Muslims have put down Eid, twice, and somebody has put down "Christmas Eid" and taken a day off! Ramadan, yes; Rama Lama Ding Dong, no! And you Jews: Yom Kippur, yes; Yam Halibut – what, are you taking the piss?!
- If standards do not improve, and soon, you will end up like all the other failed terrorists: as traffic wardens!