Tip jar

If you like CaB and wish to support it, you can use PayPal or KoFi. Thank you, and I hope you continue to enjoy the site - Neil.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Support CaB

Recent

Welcome to Cook'd and Bomb'd. Please login or sign up.

July 19, 2024, 07:24:16 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Are You Being Served?

Started by Virgo76, February 09, 2024, 07:22:27 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

TheAssassin

Quote from: xxxx xxx x xxx on March 03, 2024, 10:15:26 PMThe film version's on fairly often on freeview.  They all.....wait for it.....go on holiday together.

They remade it in Australia, with Inman reprising his role.

Slocombe is now Crawford
Peacock is now Wagstaff
Old guy is Mr Bone
Young guy is Mr Cocker
Janitor is Mr Randle
Brahmes is Buxton

https://youtu.be/5UYiINPEFvE?feature=shared

Quote from: TheAssassin on March 03, 2024, 11:52:15 PMThey remade it in Australia, with Inman reprising his role.

Slocombe is now Crawford
Peacock is now Wagstaff
Old guy is Mr Bone
Young guy is Mr Cocker

Janitor is Mr Randle
Brahmes is Buxton

https://youtu.be/5UYiINPEFvE?feature=shared

They're subtle folk, those Aussies.

Glebe

Obligatory mention of the time Slocombe and Humphries went punk:


dissolute ocelot

Quote from: Glebe on March 04, 2024, 09:52:20 AMObligatory mention of the time Slocombe and Humphries went punk:


Trying to remember exactly what chain of events led to that (episode "Calling all customers", guest starring  Nosher Powell, Ron Tarr, Robbie Coltrane and Vicki Michelle, thus combining stars of both The Comic Strip and Allo Allo!) IMDb suggests they're recording a radio commercial to be broadcast on CB radio. Does that make any sense? And does it explain why they're dressed as punks for the radio? Oh there must have been some zany misunderstanding there.

The mention of CB radio seems designed for this exchange:
QuoteMrs. Slocombe: On the mantelpiece in my parlour, I've got a whole row of silver cups.
Manly trucker: Oh. And what are they for?
Mrs. Slocombe: They're for my pussy. Do you know, it wins a prize every time I show it!
[a crash is heard]

Disappointed by the lack of detail on AYBS on the internet, to be honest.

Glebe

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on March 04, 2024, 10:31:03 AMTrying to remember exactly what chain of events led to that

They've come straight from a fancy dress party is what it is!

Jockice

#35
Quote from: gilbertharding on February 09, 2024, 09:01:09 PMSo this afternoon I read about the backstory of 'Grace and Favour'

Fucking hell...

On my one visit to America in 1996 ,while flicking through the TV channels one evening (I was on a houseboat and the weather was shit, so I was pretending I was on the Titanic) I saw Are You Being Served? advertised. It turned out to be Grace And Favour. Or is that Favor?

So there we go. Additional comedy fact, that night was the first time I ever saw Friends.

Brundle-Fly

Quote from: TheAssassin on March 03, 2024, 11:52:15 PMThey remade it in Australia, with Inman reprising his role.

https://youtu.be/5UYiINPEFvE?feature=shared

AGENT: Oh, and my client requests top billing and wants to write the feem tune and sing the feem tune or it's a non-starter. I know, I know, I've had Ronnie Hazlehurst screaming down the phone at me only this morning.

Glebe

Whenever I see Harold Bennett in Dad's Army it's just Young Mr. Grace, I can't picture him as anyone else.

Frank Thornton had a great run, what with playing Truly in Summer Wine up until the series finished in 2010.

Arthur English went on to play Alf Garnett's mate (also called Arthur) in In Sickness and in Health.

Mike Berry, who played Mr. Lucas' replacement Mr. Spooner, of course had a bit of a music career (and did those Blue Riband ads in the '80s!) and was played the dad of the two kids in Worzel Gummidge.

thr0b

There's nothing to dislike about Are You Being Served, is there? It's just a load of daft laughs performed by a decent company.

Glebe

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on March 04, 2024, 10:31:03 AM(episode "Calling all customers", guest starring  Nosher Powell, Ron Tarr, Robbie Coltrane and Vicki Michelle, thus combining stars of both The Comic Strip and Allo Allo!)

Ooh hang on I didn't know that lot were in it! Think I've only seen the beginning of that episode.

Quote from: thr0b on March 04, 2024, 12:03:14 PMThere's nothing to dislike about Are You Being Served, is there? It's just a load of daft laughs performed by a decent company.

Only that it outstayed its welcome and was running on fumes toward the end. They probably should have ended it after Arthur Brough died and they absolutely should have ended it after Trevor Bannister left.

dissolute ocelot

Quote from: Glebe on March 04, 2024, 12:39:30 PMOoh hang on I didn't know that lot were in it! Think I've only seen the beginning of that episode.
It's only Vicki Michelle's voice according to IMDb, so don't get too excited.

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

Remember the episode where it was revealed that Mrs Slocombe doesn't actually own a cat, and she was talking about her hairy fanny all along?

thr0b

Quote from: Huxleys Babkins on March 04, 2024, 01:45:46 PMOnly that it outstayed its welcome and was running on fumes toward the end. They probably should have ended it after Arthur Brough died and they absolutely should have ended it after Trevor Bannister left.

Aye. Running on fumes just about covers it, but equally can barely criticise that while it continued to be popular.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: thr0b on March 04, 2024, 12:03:14 PMThere's nothing to dislike about Are You Being Served, is there? It's just a load of daft laughs performed by a decent company.

Well.... *end Jack Benny impersonation*

People will react in different ways. Tastes and attitudes change, and we're talking about a sitcom that first started over fifty years ago. Mr Humphries, however, has arguably been a problematic element.

Incorporating blackface is something that a lot of people would take issue with and there are two episodes (I think) of AYBS? that utilised it - both Christmas episodes. In one, Mr Grainger tries to update his act (he entertains at an old people's home at Christmas) from doing an impersonation of Winston Churchill to Al Jolson. In the other, to honour one of the Grace Brothers' heritage, the staff do song tributes - cue stereotypes of Welsh, Scottish and yokels, before parodying The Black and White Minstrel Show; one Grace Brother looks like he's staring in disbelief, the other downs a drink. The context of when they were made is obviously different to today; but then again, like when the likes of Vic and Bob, and David Baddiel were blacking up on TV years later, opinion would not be unanimous at the time of broadcast.

The context of the time, is also useful to consider Mr Humphries and how gay people were portrayed. Darren Little, creator of Benidorm and the writer of the 2016 one-off revival, wrote that '1970's there were no visible gay men on television, just a few very camp, seemingly asexual middle aged men'. Broadly speaking, that's pretty much on the money (although there are the occasional exceptions, I would say) and that point was rather brought home when talking to one of my best mates, who is a few years older from. He absolutely loathes the character because when he was growing up in the 1970s/early 1980s and coming to terms of his sexuality, that kind of character was endemic with no real counterpoint but Inman's was particularly egregious. At the time, there were criticism from activist groups about the portrayal - and more recently, it's a problematic character for some still.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: xxxx xxx x xxx on March 03, 2024, 10:15:26 PMThe film version's on fairly often on freeview.  They all.....wait for it.....go on holiday together.

The film is an adaptation of the stage play, rather than the television series.

The going abroad plot was a very relevant one at the time due to the explosion of overseas holidays, which didn't always go smoothly.

Fambo Number Mive

Quote from: thr0b on March 04, 2024, 12:03:14 PMThere's nothing to dislike about Are You Being Served, is there? It's just a load of daft laughs performed by a decent company.

I seem to remember the character of Mr Lucas having some dubious attiudes to consent. Was there one episode where he told the other staff he removed the door handles from the inside of his car so the girl with him could not get out? I'm sure those attitudes were sadly common in the 1970s but it seems pretty grim now (although I'm sure there are still quite a few Mr Lucases out there).

Although I have Are You Being Served on DVD, I haven't watched it for a few years so I might be wrong.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Fambo Number Mive on March 04, 2024, 06:08:05 PMI seem to remember the character of Mr Lucas having some dubious attiudes to consent. Was there one episode where he told the other staff he removed the door handles from the inside of his car so the girl with him could not get out? I'm sure those attitudes were sadly common in the 1970s but it seems pretty grim now (although I'm sure there are still quite a few Mr Lucases out there).

Although I have Are You Being Served on DVD, I haven't watched it for a few years so I might be wrong.

I think you're right - and Mr Humphries laughs at the remark. However, in the series, I would say despite such comments, Lucas doesn't seem to really get anywhere with women and he's would-be womaniser, rather than an actual one. He does go on quite a few dates with Miss Brahms (from dipping in the series, so I might be wrong) it seems to be a slightly on-off relationship. From what's discussed, he's in a constant state of frustration and she's more than a match for them.

poodlefaker

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on March 04, 2024, 10:31:03 AMTrying to remember exactly what chain of events led to that

iirc they went to the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in June '76 and that were it: lives changed. They found something they didn't even realise they were looking for. A meeting of wayward souls from all across the city. They formed a band and Richard Boon put them on at the Electric Circus a fortnight later.

I tend towards the " a load of daft laughs performed by a decent company." view on Are You Being Served?

That said ...

QuoteIncorporating blackface is something that a lot of people would take issue with and there are two episodes (I think) of AYBS? that utilised it - both Christmas episodes. In one, Mr Grainger tries to update his act (he entertains at an old people's home at Christmas) from doing an impersonation of Winston Churchill to Al Jolson. In the other, to honour one of the Grace Brothers' heritage, the staff do song tributes - cue stereotypes of Welsh, Scottish and yokels, before parodying The Black and White Minstrel Show; one Grace Brother looks like he's staring in disbelief, the other downs a drink. The context of when they were made is obviously different to today; but then again, like when the likes of Vic and Bob, and David Baddiel were blacking up on TV years later, opinion would not be unanimous at the time of broadcast.

1981's season 8 episode Roots there. I mean ...

Quote'1970's there were no visible gay men on television, just a few very camp, seemingly asexual middle aged men' ... although there are the occasional exceptions, I would say

So, I think Mr Humphreys is one of the most contented characters in the show. Has a good job, hints at a life outside of work, no-one even begins to really question him. He's certainly not asexual from the episodes I've seen.

As for dirty old men, it's Captain Peacock you want to look at. Lock him up.


Ignatius_S

Quote from: Glebe on March 04, 2024, 11:15:06 AMWhenever I see Harold Bennett in Dad's Army it's just Young Mr. Grace, I can't picture him as anyone else.

Frank Thornton had a great run, what with playing Truly in Summer Wine up until the series finished in 2010.

Arthur English went on to play Alf Garnett's mate (also called Arthur) in In Sickness and in Health.

Mike Berry, who played Mr. Lucas' replacement Mr. Spooner, of course had a bit of a music career (and did those Blue Riband ads in the '80s!) and was played the dad of the two kids in Worzel Gummidge.


The series really did benefit from the cast - and I feel that the goodwill that the audience gave the show, was done to them.

Sugden and Thornton were very experienced actors, for instance, adept at supporting roles but made the transition to main ones very well, and I feel rather underrated. Thornton's career was incredible and was involved in a large of amount of great and iconic shows. The Blood Donor episode of Hancock isn't a bad one to be involved in and he appeared in several Steptoe and Son episodes and he was always so good; in 65 today, when he plays the barman, his precise physicality is a joy. Also, he's one of those actors that people seemed to love working with and just seem a great sort (as Sugden was).

I've read that Arthur English was essentially the only one of the cast allowed to contribute lines and create business not in the script. In his autobiography, he's rather diplomatic and says that Lloyd and Croft were very good at letting the cast make suggestions at the first rehearsal, but wonder how many suggestions were allowed to go further; like Croft's partnership with Perry, there's a reputation for being protective of the script and not allowing actors to divert. English was an incredibly experienced and highly regarded comedian, who created his own material and a reputuation for thinking on his feet, and moved into being a skilled character actor, so can readily believe that Croft and Lloyd were prepared to make an exception from him.

In his autobiography, there's a lovely forward by Harry Secombe, which includes the following, which I like:

His career has been a varied one - from the Prince of the Wide Boys at the Windmill to Shaw at Chichester and even opera in 'Die Fledermaus'. Character acting has come naturally to him and he is genuinely very good at it. To shed the persona of the spiv for the discipline of the straight actor is no mean achievement.

I have known him as a friend for nearly forty years and whenever our paths cross it's always a joyous occasion. He has a gentle yet unquenchable spirit and he has created laughter wherever he has played. To him belongs that rare accolade in show business - he's a real 'pro'.

Going from memory, but he was the comedian to perform at The Windmill for the longest time - comedians who worked there had to re-audition regularly in order to remain working there.

In an episode of Hancock's Half-Hour, there's a nice nod to his Prince of the Wide Boys persona when Hancock complains how Miss Pugh votes in elections: 'What about the spiv you put in on the council? A right Arthur English he was. When they put the chain of office on him, his shoulders collapsed...'

re: Berry - rather a good music career....

Andy147

Quote from: Jockice on March 04, 2024, 10:39:27 AMOn my one visit to America in 1996 ,while flicking through the TV channels one evening (I was on a houseboat and the weather was shit, so I was pretending I was on the Titanic) I saw Are You Being Served? advertised. It turned out to be Grace And Favour. Or is that Favor?

It was called "Are You Being Served? Again!" in the US.

TheAssassin

Quote from: Fambo Number Mive on March 04, 2024, 06:08:05 PMI seem to remember the character of Mr Lucas having some dubious attiudes to consent. Was there one episode where he told the other staff he removed the door handles from the inside of his car so the girl with him could not get out? I'm sure those attitudes were sadly common in the 1970s but it seems pretty grim now (although I'm sure there are still quite a few Mr Lucases out there).

Although I have Are You Being Served on DVD, I haven't watched it for a few years so I might be wrong.

Trevor Bannister was alternative top billing on that show, not an ensemble character.  His star fell fast and I didn't even know he was a star.

wiki
Shortly afterwards, he was asked to play Mr. Lucas in a Comedy Playhouse pilot called Are You Being Served? and took the part in the series. It was originally intended as a vehicle for him as the average man caught up in the store full of odd characters and baroque customs and, for the first four series, he received top billing every other episode, alternating with Mollie Sugden. However, as it developed into more of an ensemble piece, he found his role (and his billing) being greatly reduced as other characters came to the top. He left the role in 1980, as filming for the show clashed with a lengthy tour for a play.

famethrowa

Quote from: TheAssassin on March 05, 2024, 01:06:54 AMTrevor Bannister was alternative top billing on that show, not an ensemble character.  His star fell fast and I didn't even know he was a star.


Ah, so it's falling into place... the show was conceived as "Tony Hancock has to work in a crazy wacky 70's shop" but pretty soon the lunatics took over the asylum?

TheAssassin

Quote from: famethrowa on March 05, 2024, 01:32:50 AMAh, so it's falling into place... the show was conceived as "Tony Hancock has to work in a crazy wacky 70's shop" but pretty soon the lunatics took over the asylum?

I'm surprised a character wasn't a man named after four body parts - Tony Hancock

Shaky

Spurred on by this thread (thanks, thread!), I watched a random episode of Grace and Favour for the first time in 30+ years and while it obviously isn't good exactly, there's something nice about how comfortable the actors were with the characters and each other by that stage. Probably helped by the fact they were literally all sitting around in pyjamas at one point.

Mr_Simnock

Quote from: famethrowa on February 09, 2024, 08:09:27 AMWell from my farming upbringing, "served" or "servicing" is basically the livestock being inseminated. I can see how it's fallen out of common use, but it means that for an early 70's TV audience, it would literally mean "Are you in the process of getting fucked with all spunk going up inside you, literally at this moment?".

Mrs Slocombe: her orgasms take a while
Capt Peacock: His penis is the size of a tiny vegetable
Mr Humphries: originally scripted as "Mr I'm Free"
Spooner:.... a spoon with cum in it? I don't know
Miss Brahms: got "bra" in her name, comedy

In the meantime, this song from 1977 should answer any other questions you have:


kanye's cover of this is amazing

Glebe

Quote from: Ignatius_S on March 04, 2024, 06:41:54 PMThornton's career was incredible and was involved in a large of amount of great and iconic shows. The Blood Donor episode of Hancock isn't a bad one to be involved in and he appeared in several Steptoe and Son episodes and he was always so good; in 65 today, when he plays the barman, his precise physicality is a joy. Also, he's one of those actors that people seemed to love working with and just seem a great sort (as Sugden was).

I forgot he popped up in Steptoe, and 'The Blood Donor', which I only saw in full a little while ago (could have been Gold's colourised version unfortunately, can't remember!).

Jittlebags

Could do torture porn and cannibal horror based Grace Brothers antics in Are you Being Severed and Are You Being Savoured

Here Miss Brahms - that tall fellow with the cooking pot and headress says he's going to eat my pussy.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: TheAssassin on March 05, 2024, 01:06:54 AMTrevor Bannister was alternative top billing on that show, not an ensemble character.  His star fell fast and I didn't even know he was a star.

wiki
Shortly afterwards, he was asked to play Mr. Lucas in a Comedy Playhouse pilot called Are You Being Served? and took the part in the series. It was originally intended as a vehicle for him as the average man caught up in the store full of odd characters and baroque customs and, for the first four series, he received top billing every other episode, alternating with Mollie Sugden. However, as it developed into more of an ensemble piece, he found his role (and his billing) being greatly reduced as other characters came to the top. He left the role in 1980, as filming for the show clashed with a lengthy tour for a play.

That Wikipedia entry isn't completely accurate and would be hesitate to infer too much from it.

The series was always intended as an ensemble one but there will be some characters that are more important that others in such a set-up. Bannister was cast as one of those roles, but the series meant to be a vehicle for him, it wasn't conceived as star vehicle (i.e. he wasn't a star). I can see that Richard Webber was cited as a source for the quoted bit - my gut feeling is that whoever wrote the entry has misinterpreted what he meant; it's been well documented that the series was intended as 'gangshow' and they had been influenced by Dad's Army (additionally, Croft's sitcoms would always inclined to the ensemble) and he's written a book with Croft and Lloyd.

However, as time went on, despite the original intent,  his function in the series got less important and other characters became very popular. This isn't uncommon - Get Some, about national service recruits, is another 1970s comedy example. Although it could be argued that Tony Selby was the star (and he was tremendous in it) as Corporal Marsh ('That's spelt B-A-S-T-A-R-D'), it was also a vehicle for David Janson (who would become the second Herr Flick in 'Allo 'Allo!, which links nicely here). The series was an ensemble show, yet amongst the recruits, he had the most prominence in terms of script (better storylines etc.) and would say his character was best developed, However, it was Robert Lindsey, who found he had the breakthrough role and became the star. It's how he landed the lead in Citizen Smith and the reason, they had to replace him with Karl Howman after he jumped ship.

In ABYS?, something similar happened where Mrs Slocombe and Mr Humphries were particularly popular with audiences, with the later being perceived as the start. That Wiki article doesn't make it clear but Bannister was still getting top billing in the fifth series (I suspect this was still alternating with Sugden) - it was after Inman came back after leaving and the show put on hold, that the casting changed.

When ABYS? served was cast, all the actors were tremendously experienced, but Bannister, although not a star, had by far, the most public recognition due to The Dustbinmen. It was a massively successful Jack Rosenthal show and through it, Bannister already known to audiences as a name actor and part of the main cast of a sitcom. The role of Lucas built nicely on it (his The Dustbinmen role was a ladies man) and one obituary sums how his character was seen as fitting the series:

QuoteThe character [Lucas] was conceived by the sitcom's creators, David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, as one of the linchpins in the ensemble cast, creating a link between the menswear and ladieswear departments through his constant chasing of the stereotypical dollybird Miss Brahms (Wendy Richard).

Bannister was also adept at portraying Mr Lucas as a rebel who frequently questioned the store's management policies – such as requiring staff to smile more – and made fun of the pecking order, in which he stood at the bottom. He served as a mouthpiece for Lloyd, who had himself sold menswear at Simpson Piccadilly, in central London, but kept his views to himself – although Lloyd was eventually fired for selling soft drinks from a fitting room during a heatwave.
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2011/apr/17/trevor-bannister-obituary
Due to the success of the show, Thames poached Inman from the BBC and signed him up to an exclusive contract and a show of his ownCroft and Lloyd were furious and wanted to write him out - but they were told 'No Humphries, no series' and the show out on hiatus. However, the Vince Powell-penned sitcom, Odd Man Out, was not a success. In it, Inman plays a fish and chip owner, who bears an uncanny similarity to Mr Humphries in character, mannerisms etc etc bloody etc.,  who inherits a half-share in a rock factory (the opening credits includes a cartoon of Inman riding a giant stick of Blackpool rock) with far from hilarious consequences. However, it does benefit from Josephine Tewson and Peter Butterworth.

After cancellation, Inman was back at the Beeb, AYBS? restarted with a credit promotion to him. There was no need for Lucas to act as a link to the menswear and ladieswear departments with the show finding a rhythm of repeating the same beats again and again and again...

Tags: