Mrs. Slocome's Pussy (The Are You Being Served? thread)

I knew I had become my mother when I started watching–and enjoying–Are You Being Served? The combination of over-the-top music-hall acting and over-the-top music-hall writing is irresistible.

My favorite, of course, is Mollie Sudgen as the rainbow-coiffed pantomime dame Mrs. Slocombe: someone has compiled a collection of her pussy’s greatest moments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRJlItzalJY

Any other fans, or am I not unanimous in this?

The clockwork mouse was a good bit.

It’s cheesy, badly dated, and chock full of racism, sexism, & homophobia. I’ve loved it since I was a kid and saw it on PBS. :slight_smile:

I’m free!
I actually met a woman once who was one of Mollie Sugden’s bridesmaids.

Believe it or not I was just thinking about Mrs. Slocome’s Pussy last Wednesday, as it was unexpectedly raining out, and I wondered how the weather was playing havoc with people’s pussies.

My whole family watched this show together since I was young enough to remember; me, my father, my mother, someone else and 4 other siblings too many. I didn’t get the ‘pussy’ jokes at the time, only later, in retrospect did it hit. But I still enjoyed the show.

The funny thing is that my mother, a cat person who has always had at least one cat in her home, still to this day refers to them as her pussies. “Oh my little pussy is so wet!”

Maybe she didn’t get the jokes either? :stuck_out_tongue:

I am tempted to shave my head someday and get a different “Madame Beryl” wig for every day of the week. My favorite is her pinkish-orange Creamsicle one.

I love how the “young, sexy” members of Grace Bros. (Mr. Lucas and Miss Brahm) are middle-aged and podgy-looking. Never find *that *in an American show, where even the grannies have to look like *Sports Illustrated *pin-ups!

I have never understood how this show, which was horribly dated and cliched when it first appeared in Britain, acquired such a cult following in America. It makes me embarrassed to be British. Is the cult mainly a gay thing? I suppose that is possible. The show is very camp in the sense of reveling in its artificiality, and Mr Humphries, though a dreadful stereotype, is the nearest thing the show has to a likable or admirable character.

Ho ho ho little boy, have I got a surprise for you!

Don’t you miss the days when pedophile jokes were funny?

Yes, it’s all of the negative things that have been brought up here. It’s old, horribly dated, and reflects badly on its time. However, it will always have a place in my heart, simply because it was my gateway into Anglophilia. I must have watched every episode many times over when I was a youth, which lead me to greater things: Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Monty Python. It’s an obsession I still have, and I have AYBS to thank for it.

I wouldn’t go that far, myself. I remember as a kid, when Are You Being Served was a staple of the BBC schedule, I absolutely hated it. It was the worst example of that whole family of “you have been watching” sitcoms. But, on the rare occasions that I see it these days, it seems a bit funnier than I remember. Some of the actors are pretty good - I think Frank Thornton’s perfomance is great, and actually quite subtle.
They do do that old-fashioned stagy thing of all standing in a line and directing their lines out towards the audience, though, don’t they?

Walk this way! I love the show, haven’t seen it for years though.

I watched Are You Being Served every night on PBS at 10:30 pm for years.

My favorite episode is the one where they stay over night in the store in the camping department.

Loved the befuddled Mr. Grainger the best.

I remember the first time I saw this show as a kid it was dirtiest thing I’d ever seen on TV. I think the first scene I saw involved a man dropping a piece of chalk down a woman’s pants and then digging around in there trying to retrieve it. I honestly thought I would get in trouble if I was caught watching it.

Come to find out my mom loved the show, and grandma actually had every episode recorded on VHS. No one seemed care that I watched it, or even seemed to notice what to my child mind was late night Cinemax level smut.

OK, that is *never *not funny. They run it every Friday night at 9:30 on a local channel here and I never miss it.

I think it is partly a camp thing, and partly an old-lady thing. All my friends’ mothers loved that show, and now that I am my mother’s age (!) so do I. And I agree that, along with the shameless awfulness of the jokes, some of the performers (notably Mollie Sugden, John Inman and Frank Thornton) are great comic talents.

I love their WWII memories, like Mrs. Slocombe meeting the nicest Yank soldier during the Blitz: “'E threw me on me back and said, 'Look out, Betty, 'ere comes a big one!” [Raised eyebrow on part of Mr. Humphries]

It’s also notable that as cringe-making a stereotype Mr. Humphries was, he was an open, sexually active and happy gay character who is accepted by his coworkers!

I love AYBS! I will admit that occasionally the blatant racism (like the Sultan trying to trade pretty women in veils in exchange for pants) will catch me a little off guard, but otherwise there is nothing about the show that I don’t love. I’m a big fan of Brit-coms in general but Are You Being Served will always be one of my favorites.

Absolutely love it! My boyfriend and I recently finished watching every episode of AYBS and Grace and Favour. We own the movie but haven’t watched it recently. It never stops being funny, no matter how many times I watch it - much like Red Dwarf.

I used to always stay up late to watch this show on PBS when I was a kid! I loved it, I thought it was so funny. My favorite characters were Mr. Humphries & Mr Lucas (who I just now found out died in April of this year. :frowning: ). I even remember watching some movies they made of it, something about them all going on holiday to a resort? Hmm, does anyone else remember that? I can’t find a mention of it on the Wikipedia episode list. It was 90 minutes or two hours and took place in a hotel…

Ah, found it.
I can still hear the theme song, I haven’t thought of that in years!

Trivia: John Inman is a prime example of why British gays don’t want to marry and not just have a commitment ceremony or leave it to the individual regions or whatever. Through frugality and good business sense he amassed a considerable fortune- estimates vary but between $5 million-$10 million in U.S.D… He married his longtime partner as soon as it was legal (not long before his death) and bequeathed him most of his estate. Under British law his partner was able to inherit and keep the lion’s share of the estate; had they NOT been married but just “longtime roomies” or whatever, under British tax laws his surviving partner would have lost millions to inheritance taxes that being a spouse he’s exempt from. (Luckily the U.S. is much nicer to its 1%-ers, which is why they return the compliment by keeping the economy going wonderfully.)

The thing is, American sitcoms of the day were so bloody puritanical and condescendingly shitty that anything with a twist of sexual innuendo was revered.

“All in the Family” broke some boundaries but British sitcoms were miles ahead.

“Benny Hill” was popular for the same reasons.

Speaking of which, a favourite of mine was “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.” Any other appreciators out there?

I remember that episode! It was excellent broad farce.

I liked AYBS in the same way that I really like the Carry-Ons. I like broad farce (which phrase would produce a dirty laugh if said in AYBS) and wordplay. There’s often a lot of homophobia and sexism but somehow it doesn’t bother me. At least they acknowledged said homophobia and sexism and managed to create some of the best gay characters while taking the piss out of them. It’s hardly ideal, but with most comedies you’d think gay people didn’t exist at all.

But, since I actually am English rather than an Anglophile, I will never like Keeping Up Appearances.

He’s also an example of why we went for CPs with pretty much all the same rights, with more that have been gradually added over time, rather than holding out for ‘marriage.’