Anyone like this show? It's old. I looked it up after watching a few episodes on youtube and it started in 1972! A year before I was born. Even though it's old it's kinda funny. I like the old lady, Mrs. Slocomb and the old man, Mr. Graniger. They are hilarious.
I like it, but not as much as Keeping Up Appearances.
I love this show and "on this I am unanimous"
If you like your humor flavored with liberal doses of homophobia and racism, you can't go wrong with this one.
How funny ... I just started watching this gem again on YT.
Despite its bawdy racy humour, it is still so innocent. And perfectly cast.
And there just isn't anything funnier ever than "German Week".
The gloryhole in the Gents
Is the show available to stream anywhere?
Glass of water for R3, please, Mr. Lucas.
I'd love to see outtakes of the show ... although the show seemed to keep some of its flubs in the finished edit. It isn't uncommon to see the actors laughing (or trying not to) or looking off camera. You can even see the microphone overhead pop into view every now and then.
They never managed to find a suitable replacement for Grainger. Tebbs was a strange bumbling old man without Grainger's little-boy charm, Goldberg lasted longest as a suitable presence that parodied the sterotypical Jew, Klein and the other one were the worst.
I hated Mike Berry's Mr. Spooner.
Not streamed anywhere I can find. Although keeping up appearances is on Netflix and amazon.
I did see on amazon you can rent the Are YouBeing Served the Movie from 1976.
No, it's not the most politically correct of shows, but it's a product of its time. The first few seasons were hysterical. It lost something during the revolving door of Grainger replacements and then especially when Trevor Bannister departed.
Cpt. Peacock: Tell me, Miss Brahms, where did you get these [flu] shots?
Miss Brahms: In me bum.
It's the reason I buy Austin Reed menswear!
OP, you really just discovered that show? I am 24 and I've known of the show forever. PBS has been showing reruns for years- along with other older UK sitcoms.
I adored Mr. Humphries, I do not care that he was a stereotypical character, he was the most intelligent, wise, and hilarious on that show.
Mr. Humphries was years ahead of any TV character in the USA as a flamboyant man who was also shown as an active homosexual, not merely a sexless sissy or a married priss. He was an accepted member of the group, one of the "good guys" who the audience is expected to laugh WITH not always just AT.
The closest thing we had here was Jody in SOAP and they ended up marrying HIM off to a woman!
My most adored sitcom ever. Every character was adored by me. I flew to England twice to see John Inman's christmas pantomimes in Woking, 97 & 98. I met Inman at the Pentagon Mall in VA in 95. He was a delight and didn't disappoint. If there is an afterlife, John and Mollie are high on my list of look-ups.
r14 His homosexuality was only inferred. I don't see how it was revolutionary.
Try watching a show from this century.
"You're lucky to have me at all, Captain Peacock. I had to thaw me pussy out before I came."
"Sittin' on my jibbo, toyin' with my couscous!"
r16, it was for the time. You're thinking in present terms. It actually took America a couple of more decades to give us a Jack McFarland as a major flaming character on a popular hit sitcom.
The mere fact that everyone seemed to accept Humphries as an equal was revolutionary enough. Straight Lucas was buddy-buddy with him. There were snide homophobic remarks that were met with Humphries' raised eyebrows and rolling eyes, but it was in good humour. I am convinced AYBS started to help open the doors for bringing the homosexual into the mainstream.
But everything was danced around. I remember a particular episode when the department were on a committee interviewing replacements for Tebbs' position (which went to Goldberg), and a particularly queeny candidate was accepted by everyone else but rejected by Humphries. When asked why, he retorted "We don't want that kind around here." Very funny. The audience and viewer got the irony and hyprocrisy.
The show's creator/writer David Croft actually once claimed that Humphries was not homosexual, but a typical British mommy's boy. I don't know if he was safeguarding the show from criticism, or if they decided to take the character more into flaming territory as it became more propular with audiences.
Uggghhhhh. Hideous stuff, John Inman always lied and said he personally wasn't gay. There was never any admission that the character he played was gay. The show had way too many homophobic incidents and remarks. The scriptwriter lied and sait the caracter easn't ay. And it presented a stereotype of a shallow, screaming, predatory, abusive homosexual. This shiw did nothing to make gays more accepted, it was vile.
RA DA DA DA DA!
I've posted this before but thought it deserved another mention ...
This is the digitally restored pilot episode. The original color version was lost due to the widespread practice of wiping videotape, and all that existed for years was the black-and-white kinescope. Video wizards at the BBC restored the color using signal information ("dot crawl") embedded in the film.
Love the show like I love Benny Hill. It is of its time.
Benny Hill seemed all about boobies! Mega- yawn ...
Was Benny Hill the show where a Robin Hood type guy was stealing lupins (flowers) from the rich and giving the lupins to the poor?
"Kinda" OP? Really? How's that GED working out for you?
And R3 would know farce if it hit her in the face with a pie. (Preferably using Minny's chocolate pie recipe.)
Wow r21, you must be a blast to be around.
God, get a fucking sense of humour.
Was brought up on AYBS, Benny Hill, Monty Python, and other British sitcoms. Loved them and would take them anyday over the shit we get today disguised as comedy.
And I have not turned into a self-loathing gay for it.
No r-26, that was Monty Python.
"The last time I was late, a brave fireman had to climb out of my bedroom window, and risk his life on a narrow ledge trying to grab hold of my pussy."
R28, I notice you didn't or couldn't dispute any of my reasons for not liking the show. I grew up with it on TV and it stank, it was offensive and damaging to gays, and I'm not obliged to find it funny. Which says nothing about my sense of humour.
R34, I understand your exasperation with Inman and the show's creators for being coy about Mr. Humphries' gayness. You have to consider that when Inman was a young man in the UK, adults could be imprisoned for having consensual same-sex relations in a private location. You can hardly fault a gay man reared in so repressive an atmosphere for not fully trusting that he could be an outspoken endorser of homosexuality without losing his career. The very concept of "gay rights" was still in its infancy before the AIDS crisis changed everything.
As with Liberace, many of Inman's most devoted fans were older women who felt maternally toward him. Inman came to fame somewhat late in life. The fear of losing his sudden fame was probably very real to him. It was so obvious that his character was a flaming homosexual, why not humor the deluded fools who felt it necessary to believe otherwise? Inman "cried all the way to the bank" the way Liberace did too. He paved the way for Julian Clary and others.
I can laugh at the gay slurs in this show because I think they are no worse than any of the age-, class-, and gender-based humor aimed at any of the other characters. I think it's delightful that a blazingly obvious homosexual is just one of the gang in a series from this era.
It is surprising the jokes about Mrs. Slocombe's pussy are used in a family-friendly show in the UK. Those and other ribald remarks would be considered offensive on network prime-time in the US. Funny how America was introduced to this lowest-common-denominator series via our "cultural and educational" public network.
[quote]I can laugh at the gay slurs in this show because I think they are no worse than any of the age-, class-, and gender-based humor aimed at any of the other characters. I think it's delightful that a blazingly obvious homosexual is just one of the gang in a series from this era.
Thank you. It's amazing to view the stupidity of people who attack any comic who uses gays in a joke but don't even notice jokes about age, class, intellect, etc.
I've been watching it since I was in college (I'm 40) and it still has appeal. It's dated but that what makes it so fun. Campy fun at that.
I have every episode of "AYBS" as well as the movie they made and the sequel "Grace & Favour" better known in the USA by the dumbed down title "Are You Being Served Again".
The initial series was supposed to center around good looking Mr. Lucas, but from episode one it was clear the breakout character would be Mr. Humphries.
Many people aren't aware that Arthur Brough (Mr. Grainger) gave many actors in the UK their starts (including Trevor Banister who played Mr. Lucas)in his long running Arthur Brough Players repertory theater.
If you haven't seen the spin-off "Grace & Favour" which was produced 7 years after AYBS ceased production, you should look it up. The central cast members, (Sugden, Inman, Brahms, Peacock, Rumbold & young Mr. Grace's secretary) inherit an old country house hotel after young Mr. Grace dies while swimming with his secretary after her top popped off. They all move to the country and live together in the manor house which Mr. Rumbold has been appointed manager (much to the disgust of the others once they find out) because their retirement money has not ended up providing much of a life for them, and they end up only getting £60 each per month. They all end up working as hotel staff (when they have guests) because Rumbold pissed the former staff off when he arrived and they all quit. It only lasted 2 seasons but it's a joy to watch.
I find it funny sometimes, but it was very lowbrow and repetitive. God, how many episodes were there that featured the entire cast dressed up in funny costumes? The show got tedious for me very fast.
Who the fuck gives a crap if the show was offensive or not. It was damn funny. Are you seriously going to squabble over the merits of a 40-year-old sitcom? Has it come to that?
OP are your initials RD?
Thank you R40! I could not agree more with you. It is a 40 year old British comedy that is enjoyable for the characters and some very witty dialogue. Jeeze Louise.........watch it or don't folks, but don't make more out of it than it really is. It is just fun.
Episode one of the "Grace and Favor" revival that R38 was talking about:
r23, thanks for that pilot episode. Most of the characters were already well in place, and you can see the opportunity for growth in each of them.
And it was a shock to see how young Mrs Slocombe was in the early years!
Love Mrs. Slocombe and Mr. Humphries--two of the greatest sitcom characters ever!
Anyone who bitches about this show is, as Mrs. Slocombe would say, as "weak as water!"
I've never understood gay men who object to Mr. Humphries. He was both the most beloved character among the other characters working in the department store on the show, and the most beloved character among TV viewers--he was a kind, loyal, and funny man. Objecting to him as being stereotyped misses the point, since he confounded the worst stereotype that gay men are despicable and unlovable.
Accomodations MUST BE MADE FOR MY PUSSY!
[quote]I've never understood gay men who object to Mr. Humphries.
Perhaps it's because they see Mr. Humphries when they look in the mirror.
Mr. Humphries always seemed to have a unique, "innocent" explanation about his various private pleasures and situations. At no time did he ever admit that he was homosexual. The audience was in on the joke, and we loved it all the more. John Inman really did outshine his castmates.
Favorite name on "Grace and Favor"? Mr. Moleturd. Much to Mrs. Slocombe's displeasure.
The closest that Mr. Humphries comes to outing himself is the episode with the transit strike and they all have to stay overnight in the store. Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocumbe are sharing a bed in the furniture department and she asks if he sleeps “as nature intended” (in the nude). He responds, “I’ve never done anything as nature intended.”
(Again, you have to put this in context with the times.)
R23's link no longer exists...I want to see it.
I prefer the old chestnut, "Are you being Shaved?"
Yes, I do! I love that show.
...Uh, except for Mr Humphries. I just to ignore all the bits with him in. Why? Because he's a disgusting queer. Yeah-yeah, they throw that in... because they have to have the "diversity". They have to show "Oh we love everybody"....
As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Humphreys can go jumphreys!
Great show. That era was the best, so many scripted comedies. Enough with the fake reality crap.
Molly Sugden and John Inman - especially Inman - made Are You Being Served into a Brit comedy classic. Talent such as theirs is exceedingly rare.
The bald, jug-eared Nicholas Smith, who played Mr. Rumbold, is the only surviving member of the original cast. Though he looked older, he was only thirty-eight when the show premiered in 1972.
Mr. Tebbs was retired on air because James Hayter, the actor who played him, did commercial voice-overs for a product called Mr. Kipling's Cakes. The company disliked his participation on the bawdy lowbrow TV show. They offered him three times his BBC salary to quit AYBS? and continue to be the voice of their product. Being old and no fool, he took the bigger paycheck for the easier job.
I like episode with Joanna Lumley as the perfume girl.
Who keeps bumping old threads? That being said, just loved this show. I even enjoyed after the department store owner left them his country home and they moved in to try and run the farm.
They were a perfect ensemble cast with excellent writers.
My pussy and I have been watching this show since WGBH in Boston first started airing it in the late 1980s. It was and still is hilarious and it is way better and funnier than the garbage of today (Modern Family is so unfunny).