As I’ve mentioned before, growing up our household relied on antenna television. When my school friends were talking about All That and Are You Afraid of the Dark I was thinking about Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances and (recently) Fawlty Towers (to be discussed at a later date!). PBS was the one channel I was thankful for, because when The Simpsons wasn’t on I was relieved to know I could turn to channel 34 for travel, food, and history at any time of the day.
Are You Being Served? was a staple in our household. The raunchy British humor was easy for us. The show ran for a saucy 13 years from 1972-1985. I wasn’t born until ’86, but I never realized I was watching re-runs of a Brit comedy. The humor seemed fresh and edgy to me.
(In case you don’t know) The show was about a fictional store, Grace Brothers, and the sales associates that worked there.
Mrs. Slocombe’s “pussy” jokes not only made us giggle, but it provided downright inappropriate lines to repeat.
As a small child I idolized Mrs. Slocombe. Her love of cats, her colorful personality (and literally her hair), her career as a sales associate, and of course the fashion. I wanted to be just like Mrs. Slocombe, and now that I look back I realize wanting to be an old woman is a little strange for a child.
Mr. Humphries was the gayest man on television that I can recall, for not being outspokenly gay. Sure there were signs, innuendos, and cheekiness, but I don’t recall any episode outrightly mentioning him being gay. Mr. Humphries was the gay friend I always wanted. He was fashion-forward, hilarious, and oh that smile!
The beautiful, cockney-accented Miss. Brahms. She was young, beautiful, and very sarcastic. Just as I thought Ms. Yvonne from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse was gorgeous, I thought Miss. Brahms was a vision of beauty.
The Grace Brothers department store was managed by Mr. Peacock, his role was the quintessential curmudgeon who never laughed at the antics of his employees. I had a strong love/hate relationship with Captain Peacock, mostly because I hated the bags under his eyes.
Mr. Lucas was a womanizer, a playboy, a major HOTTIE! Arguably the original The Office’s “Jim” of his time, playing the role of the handsome, funny, prankster guy. Sure, he wasn’t loved by his workers, but he was loved by 8-year-old me.
There are notably other characters that made this show wonderful, but the ones I listed meant the most to me. I still find myself tuning into Are You Being Served? and laughing at the silly jokes. For an affordable $67.99 I could make the series mine.
How about you? Did you LOVE or HATE Are You Being Served?