Cooking the Books | Black Books Season 1 Episode 1 | Dead Parrot

I don’t know, Nick.
You’re the accountant. – These books…
– Yeah, I know. – Hello?
– Maybe. I’m not sure. – Bernard! Excuse me! – Yeah.. – Excuse me. I just wonder if… Hel… It’ll be much simpler this time, Nick.
Honestly. The accounts are in order. OK. Well. I’ll see you in an hour. OK. Bye. – Now.
– Those books, how much? – Hm?
– Those books, leather-bound ones. Yes, Dickens. The Collected Works
of Charles Dickens. – They’re real leather?
– They’re real Dickens. I have to know if they are the real leather, because they have to go with a sofa. Everything else in my house is real.
I’ll give you 200 for them. – 200 what?
– 200 pounds. Are they leather-bound pounds? – No. – Sorry, I need leather-boune pounds to go with my wallet. Next! – Hello!
– Hello. Do you have a Little Book of calm? I need a Little Book of Calm.
Do you have it? I need it. I’m late to work. Uh, Calm…little, little.. Er, is this it? No, no, it’s just…
Too big, too big. Little… just little… – This one, this?
– No! No, calm. – The Little Book of Calm.
– Er, this? That’s the one! Yes! Money…money.. – Two-fifty.
– Two-fifty… – Could I…
– I’ll just get you a bag. No, no – no bag. I don’t need a bag. Just the book! – I’ll do you a receipt.
– No, no, no. I don’t need a receipt. That’s fine! That’s broken. I have to write for that.
Little… Look! I’ll do it!
… of Calm, two-fifty. Thank you. (Muttering frantically) “Let-let-let go once in a while, “you are a loose lily
floating down an amber river.” (Sighs) Sorry. I hate my job. What a strange man. Right, the shop is closed!
Everybody get out! – Time to go home! Come on!
– It’s only quarter to three. Yes, but it’s my shop!
Come on, go home! Bye-bye! – It’s hardly fair.
– It’s not fair at all. Get out! Bye! – I expect better service…
– Expect away. Get out! Bye-bye! Come on, you time-wasting bastards!
Back on the streets! Come on! Bye, bye, bye! Goodbye! Thank you! Bye-bye-bye!
Back to reality. Thank you! (Mechanical knocking) – Bernard, do you want this? Buy this!
– What is it? – It’s a thing.
– Is it? – Yes.
– What does it do? – It’s very in.
– You don’t know what is this, do you? It’s very now. Listen. Would you just pop next door, in my shop for half an hour?
I have to see my accountant. Bernard. Will you get an assistant
so I don’t have to do this all the time. OK, but.. Yeah..actually, I will do this one time. But you have to do the same
for me the day after tomorrow. OK. Why? – You know Julie?
– Yeah. They’re inducing the baby on Wednesday, and… she’s asked me to be birth partner. Ugh. That’s gonna be very intensed, gonna be a lot
of blood and shouting and… Oh. No, no, no. I’ll just get drunk. In fact, she’ll be on drugs,
I’ll be drunk… it’ll be just like the old days. OK, but have a nice time. Bye. Hello? I do sell a lot of wank, don’t I? So, show me your new filing system,
Bernard. This is March… …to, er… Oobely-boo. This is… Misc… And-and-and the rest are,
er… Other. Other what?
Other weeks, other backdated weeks, is it? No. Other… times. So it goes This Week,
Very Recent, and… All Other Times. Are you gonna help me out here, Bernard, I mean period
what does All Other Times cover? I don’t know, Nick! I’m not… Wonder Woman. This new system is very closely modelled
on the old system, isn’t it? I’d go further than that, Nick
I’d say it was more, less exactly the same. Except… No, it’s the same. I mean.. you know It just sort of lied
on the phone, Nick. I lied. Well… – (Did you hear that?)
– What? What? Oh, nothing. I mean, You’re lucky I’m so… accommodating.
Because a lot of other accountants might be paid (Phone) Hello? Yes, Jane. Oh, right. OK, yeah, mm-hm. (Whirring) – I’ve just got to pop off.
– What, now? Yeah, see you soon, all right? Bye. He’s always one step ahead!
The cat has left the basket. The cat has left the basket! (Sirens) Mmm. Yeah, it’s flying, it’s flying.
I’m right on it. I mean, It’ll be in the pipe soon, I tell you.
The best thing is if I… You… Manny… What’s that you’re eating?
Soup? Yes. It’s extra-chunky. – What’s in it?!
– Chunks. Should I be doing something? Do you need the Gleason accounts now?
I have them on disk. I would have e-mailed them, but… …I had a… a lot of clink on…
the stuffer… expander, and, er… plug went in some Tizer. Look, just shape up
or ship out, all right? (Phone) Eh? Hi, yih. Yuh. (Muffled)
Yeah, I’m chasing up the, er… …the company account. Yeah? Okay. “Visualise the ocean.” (Yelling) Oh, a calm ocean, right. Right, come on. We’ve got to get
Friday’s invoices in. OK, yeah. Here I come. – (Choking)
– What is it? (Choking)
It’s my Little Book of Calm… I’ve swallowed
my Little Book of Calm! (Siren wailing) Is it some kind of bald Furby? Bernard! Early closing? How’d it go? Nick the accountant…
Nick the accountant… is a fugitive! – I’m not doing my accounts!
– Why? Because you can stick it up your arse! Bernard, you’ll just have
to do them yourself. It’s quite easy. Yeah, give it… give it a go. I’m sure I could muddle along, actually. WHAT? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! THE WHAT?! “If you live in a council flat
beside a river but are not blind…” WHAT?! “What is your mother’s maiden name?” What’s her first name?! I just knew her as Ma!
Ma – that’ll have to do. Ma. Possibly deceased. “Did your non-returnable outgoings
for the first half of the year “exceed your deductions
for quarterly VAT returns?” Right, that’s all of my socks paired. Back to the accounts. OK. “Did your non-returnable outgoings
for the first half of the year “exceed your deductions
for quarterly VAT returns?” Hello, Ma? It’s Bernard. No, nothing’s wrong. Come on, I don’t need an excuse
to call my mother, do I? I know, I am, yeah. I know. Yes. Yes. I will. I know. Ha. Yes. Yes! I know. Yeah. OK.
Goodbye, I have to do my tax! “Did your
non-returnable outgoings for the first half of the year…” – (Knock at door)
– Thank Christ! Yes? Hello, we were wondering if we could talk to you about Jesus? Great! Come in! – What?
– I’d love to hear about Jesus! What’s he up to now? Come on in! Come on! – Er, are you sure?
– Yes! In, in! Come in! It’s a trick! It’s just… generally
people don’t say yes. But I’m not people –
come on in, let’s talk, beliefs! Come in, come in. Grab a pew. Right, let’s go. Well… to be honest
we’ve never actually… thought this far ahead. It’s, uh, it’s nice in here. Indoors. What’s your favourite story
about, er… Our Lord? Money lenders,
it has to be the money lenders. – Chasing them out of the temple.
– It is knock-out stuff, isn’t it? Yeah.. – And yourself?
– Well, it’s all good. I try suppose when he, when you rescued…
when Jesus rescued the Samaritan. No, that’s a story Jesus tells about the Samaritan
who helps somebody else. Really? Wow. I like the one where he went
to dinner with the tax collector. And do you have any literature
or… anything I could look at? Oh, yes! Those books and magazines we have! (Both) Books and magazines! (Beeping) Ah, there you are.
Time for my results? Well, it’s rather bad news, I’m afraid, Mr Bianco. The Little Book of Calm is lodged between
the small intestine and the pancreas. If it rotates a centimetre to the left,
you’ll be dead in seconds. – Oh, my God…
– No, hold on a moment. That’s just a worth case. The other possibility,
and this is far more likely, is that the Little Book of Calm
will move to the right into the renal canal. If this happens, you could live
for anything up to… ten years, one year, who knows? Oh my God! Because of the massive scarring
caused by the Little Book of Calm, however, – it is possible that you’d be in a massive amount of pain…
– Oh, my God… Sorry. …during that time
– Oh, my God! – (Beeping)
– Oh, yes. Sorry, about this. I’m gonna have to go. We’ll operate tomorrow. We’ll see if anything we can do about it There’s a good chance
you’ll survive, a 30% chance I’d say – so try not to worry. As the book itself says… um, “Whenever
you’re in a tight spot, “try to imagine being marooned
on a beautiful desert island.” So he said that because
no one’s without sin, right? Yeah, that’s what he…you know.
But it was hidden. So it’s like God and Jesus
are the one thing? You got it. Yes. Are you sure you won’t stay a bit longer? No, really, we have to go,
it’s very late. OK, all right, whatever. – Call again though, yeah?
– Oh, yes, yes. Yeah, yeah… – Goodbye.
– Yeah, later. Bernard?
Finished with your accounts? Yeah. I’ve turned them
into a rather smart casual jacket. Bernard! I mean, it is a very nice jacket,
but what you gonna do about your accounts? I don’t know! Will you do them? Oh – no. Oh, you’ve got that wrong for
stock as you divide by ten there. Oh, no, no, no! I’m not doing this. No, no. I have to give all my attention
to being Julie’s birth partner. Oh! Look, look!
There’s something on the side! 15.99. Oh, no, I wrote that. What am I gonna do now?
Who’s gonna help me? (Doctor) Mr Bianco,
back with us at last. There’s been a… complication. You see, we went in
to remove the book and, um… Well, in medical terms, it’s gone.
To put it another way,
it’s not there. I don’t know how this could happened. The only explanation
is that somehow you assimilated it into your system, over night
which is of course impossible. How do you feel, by the way? Add a drop of lavender
to your bath, and soon,
you will soak yourself calm. I’m sorry? If you want to feel calm,
eat more raw fruit and vegetables, yoghurt, milk and seeds. Er, maybe I should
let you get some rest. When you rest, you are a king
surveying your estate. Look at the woodland,
the peacocks on the lawn. Be the king of your own calm kingdom. Uh… Yes. – I’ve got it!
– I’m doing them! I know what this is, it’s so simple!
it’s for giving up sugar. Yeah, that’s exactly what it’s not. No, that’s absurd, isn’t it? What’s this – blah blah
blah blah blah blah yah yah blah blah…
“Exemption clause, “person suffering from short
or long-term injury or sickness “may defer their returns until those times…” Wait a minute…”Person suffering from short
or long-term injury or sickness “may defer their returns…” No, no, give it up, Bernard. You’d
have to really cripple yourself. You’re hardly gonna do that
just to avoid doing accounts. – I’ve got a special offer on this one.
– Really? Yes, it’s free if you break my legs. – Fair enough.
– Great! – I’ll get the hobbling post.
– Wait, I’ve read this one. That’s the problem with Wodehouse, isn’t it? Yes, it’s terrible. Now break my legs. But I’ve already read it! No, I’m sorry. I’ve gotta go. What is this?! Have you any idea
what the hell this is? (PA) ‘Would the birth partner
of Julie Williams, ‘please report to delivery room one.’ Where’s my birth partner?! I can’t do this
without my birth partner! – Where is she?!
– Julie, we can’t find her. We’ve been calling her all day. When you’re feeling under pressure,
do something different. Roll up your sleeves
or eat an orange. (Dog barking) Is it some kind of fake breast? You know, that dads wear? – What are you talking about?
– You know, for babies. Babies. Oh, my God – Julie! Be on the lookout
for things that make you laugh. If you see nothing worth laughing at,
pretend you see it, then laugh. (Man) Oi! Hairy! What you lookin’ at? Have you ever noticed a calm
person with a loud voice? Try and speak softly once in a while. Add a dab of lavender to milk,
leave town with an orange and pretend you’re laughing at it. Oi! You lot, you better clear off,
I have to do a few…You know I have to… Oh! Skinheads! Perfect! – Do you think you’re funny?
– What happened? Looking for another slap, are ya? Another slap? Which one of you bitches
wants to dance? Hey, you know, when you’re doing the usual
sort of threesome of a weekend you know and the moonlight’s bouncing off
your heads and arses, is that not confusing? Right. Look, this is you, OK? # Tra-la-la la-la
la-la la-la… # Millwall, that’s the one.
Do you know this chant? Millwall, Millwall,
you’re all really dreadful, and your girlfriends
are unfulfilled and alienated. Hmm? Are you in pain? Not enough! Where have they gone?! They got tired and went away. Er, why… why did you do that? That was so incredible,
the way you just… kept letting them
punch you and… Thank you. I’m injured, I don’t have to do
my accounts. You’re a witness. – (Knock at door)
– I could do your accounts. – What?
– I’m an accountant. I was. – It’s the least I could do.
– You mean you could do more? – Yeah.
– Could I have a glass of wine? – OK.
– And a ham sandwich? – If you like.
– With pickle? All right. (Both yell) Right, you get started on that and I’ll begin the…
business of the day. Car won’t start.
Cab number, cab number. Got to get to Julie… (Screams)


  1. bernard black, we got ourselves a mutual relative stuck ina bit of a chain situation and a bit of a while, and a bit of a granny somewhere roughly west of cape town. she used to be a bit of the wrong type of german tho. but she is regretting and wants out to be reborn.

  2. as yes, ill need a fresh shadowwriter for some silly story about a place called NAV. its a public institutsion that is a bit of a robot with legs from icering cleaners. zamboni. thats the word.

  3. I just found myself back again. Every 2-3 months i still watch this series. Such a strong entrance to one of the funniest shows ever.

  4. thank you… since Netflix took it down (stupid) I'ver been looking for this show… one of my all time favorites!

  5. Excuse me? Which one of you leather-bound bitches wants to dance? Dead Parrot and this always make me laugh so loud 😀


  6. This is one of my favorites these guys just connect with a person. I'd like to see " the Scorch" as well, or along with I.T. Crowd.

  7. A Great Show , Brilliant Performances .Brought the Box set Years ago .Hasn't lost any of it Magic. Love It , When the Mormons Turn Up To Talk about the Lord to a IRISH CATHOLIC.. Then they came back & Manny (Bill Bailey) answered the Door . I needed this today. Cheers.

  8. Spanish captions loose sync after 14:30
    Fix please. My wife doesn't understand English and I really want her to know this series.

  9. Almost 20 years now…
    That was..and still heavily funny.
    Now..what s the new 'black books'?
    The latest great tv show was 'Black mirror' the early seasons were amazing..finally something about the sad reality…but we also need to laught..something absurd like 'Hogan's heroes'..'Max Headroom'..'Pure laine'…

  10. …that "Doctor" giving Manny the "health update" – WASN'T THAT BILBO BAGGINS?? (I forgot the name of the actor!) – the same one from "The Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if I'm not mistaken! 🙂

  11. so happy this is available on line, I love it, every once in a while I just rewatch it and admire how fucking awsome it is.

  12. The hesitation of the JW might have been copied from a skit on Absolutely. It’s almost word for word…maybe these guys are the same writers?

  13. Anyone knows the title and the author of music at Manny's Grand Entrance at 17:17 and later on at 20:21 ? Sounds like Mozart…

  14. I’ve swallowed the Little Book of Calm! (I just learned that this is a real book. And it’s small. You can buy it on Amazon. I won’t be, but you could.)

  15. I'm not sure how I missed it all these years, but Bernard's smile and mini-chortle at 1:47 was about 2% Bernard and 98% Dylan.

  16. best intro to any comedy I have ever seen "on phone". seen it 100 times and i lose it every time. Dylan you're the funniest cunt on the planet.

  17. I`ve just found this insanely funny comedy show — where has you been all my life ? Now I cant stop – please mommy , make it go away —


  19. Man, this is still so damn funny. I've seen this episode at least 4 times, and it still cracks me up. I love her scream at the end! lol

  20. "It's a TRICK!" I laughed so hard. Thank you. My husband is in the VA hospital, very, very ill. This was the first laugh I've had for days. Thank you so very much for uploading this.

  21. Over and over people have told me that I was just like Bernard, I never knew if it was a compliment or an insult. 🙄

  22. Bill Bailey's appearance changed quickly within the series. I didn't recognize him in the early episodes, until I saw him in the later episodes.

  23. А почитайте мой рассказ, если нечего делать:

  24. Lolz, he absorbed the book of calm and all the time she was trying to figure out what a cigarette lighter was!

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