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 Post subject: Was There Another Salmon Mousse Scene?
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:40 am 
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Recently we got Monty Python's The Meaning of Liff^He on DVD.

I watched it in its entirety last weekend, and watched the "Director's Cut" and all the deleted scenes separately (except for the DVD-ROM features).

Now, as I browse the web, people allude to Death saying, mysteriously

"IT WAS THE SALMON MOUSSE".

However, on the DVD, and also on a VHS recording I happened to find from 1994, he says no such thing. He knocks at the door, and is invited in to the party, and eventually everyone works out they are dead, and Mrs. Eric Idle (or was it Terry Jones?) asks how they all managed to die at once, and then Death rises up and points at the half-eaten mousse, and says "The Salmon Mousse". ("You didn't use canned salmon, did you, dear?").

That's the first mention of "Salmon Mousse" on the DVD.

But I remember another scene. People were sitting at a party, babbling on about niceties, when the camera, and gradually the other guests notice Death sitting quietly in the corner. All he says for a long time is "IT WAS THE SALMON MOUSSE". When people try to get more explanation, he merely repeats it with more resonance. I think the scene ends simply with all the party guests slumping down onto the table, dead.

I recall, but not with absolute certainty, this as also being in The Meaning of Life, perhaps early in the "Death" section. I recall it seeming almost incongruous when the scene was later revisited from a different point-of-view, but then incongruity is not inappropriate for a Monty Python film, and it did allow the previously mysterious scene to be better explained.

Web searches suggest people know of the "IT WAS THE SALMON MOUSSE" quote. Was it from cinematic (i.e. not DVD/TV) versions of the movie only? Or was it in some other show (episode or movie)?

My wife recalls the same quotation, and it was disappointing to not hear Death growling, "IT WAS THE SALMON MOUSSE".

We did see the film in a cinema Canada, during its initial release, or very soon after.

But web searches don't find an explanation.


Last edited by SpringSurprise on Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:01 pm 
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The only other reference to salmon mousse comes at the end of that scene as all the (now dead) guests are leaving to follow Death, and MP's character says in passing "I didn't even eat the mousse". As it is an aside (and actually ad-libbed by MP), many people miss it, but I think it makes the scene a lot funnier

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:10 pm 
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No-one remembers a scene anywhere from Monty Python with Death sitting in corner growling, "IT WAS THE SALMON MOUSSE"??? :cry:


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:08 pm 
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maybe it was another comedy-troupe performing their own sketch on TV, using the salmon mousse as a reference to MP?

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:14 pm 
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No. At the time the I saw the scene, I didn't really know what Death was referring to either, when he repeated at least a couple of times "It WAS the Salmon Mousse". I needed to learn it, the same as the participants in the scene did.

As I say, I first saw the film in a cinema on its first run.

I suppose you won't believe me if I say the cinema was thirty miles away, and we had to walk to it--uphill both ways!


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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:05 pm 
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There are two explanations:
1) Memory is not infallible. People can distort their own recollections. I even heard tell there have been experiments where someone actually 'inserted' some story or fact into a subject's memory.
One cause could be confusing it with another movie or story.

2) The commentary tracks on the DVD would probably tell us more. But I do not like commentary tracks and I do not like MoL, or at least not very much. So I never listened to them.

Try SOTCAA or Gilchirst's page for more (read: too much) information:
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/sotcaa/python ... lms02.html
http://orangecow.org/pythonet/mol2.html

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:13 pm 
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It's really difficult to see how the scene its current rendition could have inspired so much hilarity regarding "Salmon Mousse". Particularly, why would it cause anyone to go "It WAS the Salmon Mousse" in a near-chanting style?

I watched all the additional features, except for the DVD-ROM stuff.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:30 am 
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It isn't in the final draft of the script, anyway.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:28 pm 
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Now, I really do hope everyone gains this same false memory that I have, and would strongly encourage everyone to do so.

John Cleese (anonymous as the Grim Reaper), sitting in a corner repeating, in sort of droning, resonant chant "It WAS the SALMON MOUSSE".

It was hilarious. And even if it didn't happen, I remember it happening. And so I can truly say it WAS hilarious.


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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:03 pm 
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Yes, maybe that is the best way to look at it. If this version makes you laugh really hard, who cares that it does not actually exist? It doesn't make you un-laugh or anything, you had fun with it and that is the most important thing.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:17 pm 
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very good answer, norman! if only i could make myself laugh by thinking of python scenes that maybe don't exist :D
(but i'm a python fan and no python genius ... i'd love to invent such sketches)

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