Friday, September 7, 2007
Are You Being Served?
I copied the following information from our friends at Wikipedia. Are You Being Served? featured mostly obvious humour based on sexual innuendo, misunderstandings, and mistaken identity, as well as sight gags generated by outrageous costumes the characters sometimes wore for store promotions, and gaudy store displays frequently featuring malfunctioning robotic mannequins. The show is well remembered for its prolific use of double entendres. Many jokes also confronted the English class system - especially those built into the interaction between maintenance men Mr Mash or Mr Harman and the ostensibly higher class store personnel. Characters traded-on such stereotypes as the effeminate Mr Humphries, who lived with his mother; Captain Peacock, the haughty floorwalker and the snobbish and boisterous Mrs Slocombe of the ever-changing hair colour. The show spawned the catch phrase "Are you free?", usually said by Captain Peacock to the staff; more often than not, the staff are noticeably free, and each would look solemnly from side to side before saying, "Yes I'm free, Captain Peacock." Mr Humphries often trilled "I'm free!" which became his own personal catchphrase throughout the series.
During its run, the series attracted some mild criticism for its reliance on sexual stereotypes and sexual double entendres, including jokes about Mrs Slocombe's "pussy" (cat). John Inman's camp portrayal of Mr Humphries as an effeminate gay man was supposedly offensive to some gay men, but the character quickly developed a cult gay following.
Above: Captain Peacock & Mrs Solcombe
Above: Miss Shirley Brahms & Mr Humphries
Above: "Young" Mr Grace, the rich, eccentric, sometimes dirty old man who owned Grace Brothers department store.
Here is a great clip of the show:
Check back tomorrow for a special edition of "The Saturday Seven" and my Birthday Extravaganza post!
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