As Harold Camping has yet another bid for the "end of the world", here is a sketch from the 1961 "Beyond The Fringe".
The cast are Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett. They are seated, huddled, on the top of a mountain...
Jon :How will it be, this end of which you have spoken, Brother Enim?
All: Yes, how will it be?
Peter :Well, it will be, as 'twere a mighty rending in the sky, you see, and the mountains shall sink, you see, and the valleys shall rise, you see, and great shall be the tumult thereof.
Jon :Will the veil of the temple be rent in twain?
Peter :The veil of the temple will be rent in twain about two minutes before we see the sign of the manifest flying beast-head in the sky.
Alan :And will there be a mighty wind, Brother Enim?
Peter :Certainly there will be a mighty wind, if the word of God is anything to go by...
Dudley :And will this wind be so mighty as to lay low the mountains of the earth?
Peter :No - it will not be quite as mighty as that - that is why we have come up on the mountain, you stupid nit - to be safe from it. Up here on the mountain we shall be safe - safe as houses.
Alan :And what will happen to the houses?
Peter :Well, naturally, the houses will be swept away and the tents of the ungodly with them, and they will all be consuméd by the power of the heavens and on earth - and serve them right!
Alan :And shall we be consumed?
Peter :Con..sum..éd? No, we shall not be consuméd - we shall be up on the mountain here, you see, while millions burn, having a bit of a giggle.
Jon :When will it be, this end of which you have spoken?
All: Aye, when will it be - when will it be?
Peter :In about thirty seconds time, according to the ancient pyramidic scrolls... and my Ingersoll watch.
Jon :Shall we compose ourselves, then?
Peter :Good plan, Brother Pithy. Prepare for the End of the World! Fifteen seconds...
Alan :Have we got the tinned food?
Peter :Ten seconds...
Jon :And the tin-opener?
Peter :Five - four - three - two - one - Zero!
All :(Chanting) Now is the end - Perish The World!
Peter :It was GMT, wasn't it?
Peter :Well, it's not quite the conflagration I'd been banking on. Never mind, lads, same time tomorrow... we must get a winner one day.
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