CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Greatest TV Comedies - Fawlty Towers (1975, 1979)

Probably one of the funniest short-lived TV comedies of all time. Fawlty Towers ran for two seasons for only 12 episodes but every single one of those are all classics. I know, I've seen them countless times. Star John Cleese of the famous Monty (hey, name check) Python crew heads this cast as Basil Fawlty, an inept English hotel owner, who has to deal with his over bearing wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), an incompent waiter named Manuel (Andrew Sachs) and several hard to please guests. He gets help from Polly the maid/waitress (Connie Booth,who was Cleese's real life wife at the time). And from that simple premise, a comedy classic was born.
 According to legend, the Monty Python troupe once booked rooms at the Gleneagle, in the seaside town of Torquay,which became the basis for Fawlty Towers. Cleese brought to life one of the most manic and hysterically funny shows you will ever see. It's a shame that it only ran for two seasons and only 12 episodes. I would have loved to seen this show go on for another 5 years easy. But at least we have these few episodes to enjoy over and over.
Besides Cleese,who was in top form, the supporting cast was also top notch. Prunella Scales as his wife Sybil played the part to the hilt, matching Cleese with sarcastic one liner, one after the other. The more Basil got frustrated, the more Sybil became relaxed and reveled in her constant take down of him,with nothing more than words. Sachs who portrayed Manuel, was very funny, in the fact that he was so incompetent and his delivery was slow as molasses. Plus that Spanish accent was brutally awful, but in a funny way. Booth also got in on the fun as Polly, as she got to engage with some slapstick and pratfalls. One of the frequent guests at the hotel was Major Gowen (played to perfection by Ballard Berkeley), who was a little batty. And  also the dotty old ladies Miss Gatsby and Miss Tibs. If you were a little off, then you made a perfect resident here at Fawlty Towers.

Check out this funny clip below...

1 comment:

FlickChick said...

Oh my, how I love this series (especially Manuel). Nothing could beat the weekly Fawlty melt down. A perfect evening would be Basil, Patsy & Eddie (AbFab) and some tea with the Bellamys (served by Hudson, of course).


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