Monty Python watch smuggler

The Watch Smuggler is one of the two protagonists of the Monty Python sketch "The Watch Smuggler".

He was portrayed by Michael Palin, who also portrayed the right head of the Three-Headed Giant and one of the Knights Who Say Ni in Monty Python And The Holy Grail


The Smuggler enters customs at an airport with a case full of Swiss watches. When asked if he's read the anti-smuggling notice, he says no, before correcting himself and saying yes. The Customs Officer asks him if he has anything to declare. He answers yes before correcting himself again, this time saying no. The officer asks specifically about watches, to which the smuggler answers four, before correcting himself and saying one, before quickly saying none. The customs man asks him which country he was visiting and he says Switzerland, before claiming that it began with an s, but wasn't Switzerland, and in fact doesn't make watches at all. The officer suggests Spain, before pointing out that his case says "Zurich" on it. The smuggler admits it was Switzerland, where they make the watches, before the customs man asks if he has any Swiss currency. He replies "No, just the watches" before panicking again and hastily saying "Just my watch. I've been keeping a watch on the currency, and I've watched it, and I haven't got any." An alarm clock goes off in the smuggler's case and he thumps it to turn it off, unsuccessfully. The officer asks if he has an alarm clock, to which he replies "No, just vests". He then thumps the case again, successfully this time, and claims it was "a vest going off". More clocks begin going off (Including, conspicuously, a cuckoo clock), prompting him to admit that he's a smuggler. However the customs man does not believe him, stating "You couldn't smuggle a piece of grease-proof paper, let alone a case full of watches". The smuggler takes offence, desperately insisting that he's smuggled watches, bombs, microfilms and many other things. When the officer continues to doubt him, he opens the case to reveal thousands of clocks and watches. The customs man says that he could have bought them in Zurich, despite his insistence that he wouldn't buy two thousand clocks, before having security usher him through customs as he continues to insist that he's a smuggler.


  • In the episode script, he is referred to as "Man"