Serving up this steaming pile of
Celebrity Gossip
Gay Politics
Gay News
and Pointless Bitchery
Since 1995

Are You Being Served?

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.

by Anonymousreply 10810/16/2016

I like it, but not as much as Keeping Up Appearances.

by Anonymousreply 104/23/2013

I love this show and "on this I am unanimous"

by Anonymousreply 204/23/2013

If you like your humor flavored with liberal doses of homophobia and racism, you can't go wrong with this one.

by Anonymousreply 304/23/2013

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".

by Anonymousreply 404/23/2013

Is the show available to stream anywhere?

by Anonymousreply 504/23/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 704/23/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 804/23/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 904/23/2013

It's the reason I buy Austin Reed menswear!

by Anonymousreply 1104/23/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 1204/23/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 1304/23/2013

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!

by Anonymousreply 1404/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 1504/24/2013

r14 His homosexuality was only inferred. I don't see how it was revolutionary.

by Anonymousreply 1604/24/2013

"You're lucky to have me at all, Captain Peacock. I had to thaw me pussy out before I came."

by Anonymousreply 1804/24/2013

"Sittin' on my jibbo, toyin' with my couscous!"

by Anonymousreply 1904/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 2004/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 2104/24/2013

Chanson d'amour


by Anonymousreply 2204/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 2304/24/2013

Love the show like I love Benny Hill. It is of its time.

by Anonymousreply 2404/24/2013

Benny Hill seemed all about boobies! Mega- yawn ...

by Anonymousreply 2504/24/2013

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?

by Anonymousreply 2604/24/2013

"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.)

by Anonymousreply 2704/24/2013

Wow r21, you must be a blast to be around.

God, get a fucking sense of humour.

by Anonymousreply 2804/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 2904/24/2013

No r-26, that was Monty Python.

by Anonymousreply 3004/24/2013

"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."

by Anonymousreply 3104/24/2013

Great show--simpler times.

by Anonymousreply 3204/24/2013

"I respond to no man's finger!"

by Anonymousreply 3304/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3404/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3504/24/2013

[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.

by Anonymousreply 3604/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3704/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3804/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3904/24/2013

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?

by Anonymousreply 4004/24/2013

OP are your initials RD?

by Anonymousreply 4104/24/2013

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 it or don't folks, but don't make more out of it than it really is. It is just fun.

by Anonymousreply 4204/24/2013

Episode one of the "Grace and Favor" revival that R38 was talking about:

by Anonymousreply 4304/24/2013

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!

by Anonymousreply 4404/25/2013

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!"

by Anonymousreply 4509/08/2014

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.

by Anonymousreply 4609/08/2014


by Anonymousreply 4709/08/2014

[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.

by Anonymousreply 4809/08/2014

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.

by Anonymousreply 4909/09/2014

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.)

by Anonymousreply 5009/09/2014

R23's link no longer exists...I want to see it.

by Anonymousreply 5109/09/2014

I prefer the old chestnut, "Are you being Shaved?"

by Anonymousreply 5209/09/2014

New link for R51:

by Anonymousreply 5309/09/2014

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"....

(fidgets uncomfortably)

by Anonymousreply 5409/09/2014

As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Humphreys can go jumphreys!

by Anonymousreply 5509/10/2014

Great show. That era was the best, so many scripted comedies. Enough with the fake reality crap.

by Anonymousreply 5609/10/2014

Molly Sugden and John Inman - especially Inman - made Are You Being Served into a Brit comedy classic. Talent such as theirs is exceedingly rare.

by Anonymousreply 5709/10/2014

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.

by Anonymousreply 5809/10/2014

I like episode with Joanna Lumley as the perfume girl.

by Anonymousreply 5909/10/2014

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.

by Anonymousreply 6009/10/2014

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).

by Anonymousreply 6109/10/2014

In England they call cats, pussy. I wonder if the writers knew in America it has another meaning?

by Anonymousreply 6212/26/2015

The homophobic British press used to tear into John Inman (Mr. Humphries) in the 80s.

It was disgusting.

by Anonymousreply 6312/26/2015

After 40 years still one of the funniest Britcoms.

by Anonymousreply 6412/26/2015

I loved Mr Humphries's and Mr Lucas's buddy-ship.

by Anonymousreply 6512/26/2015

As a singer, John Inman was a threat to Rod Stewart.

by Anonymousreply 6612/26/2015

Mollie Sugden had some of the best comedic timing ever in a sitcom.

I loved the episode where they worked late and she had to call her neighbor Mr. Akbar in order to feed her cat.

"Mr. Akbar? Mrs. Slocombe here, your neighbor. I was hoping you could do me a favor. Please go next door, squat down, and look through my letterbox..."

Perfect pause.

"And if you see my pussy..."

by Anonymousreply 6712/26/2015

Joanna Lumley was married to producer/writer Jeremy Lloyd. She appeared three times.

Actress Wendy Richard went from the high pitched voice skinny bird on AYBS to the low voiced vicious matriarch Pauline Fowler on EastEnders.

by Anonymousreply 6812/26/2015

[quote]Mr. Humphries was years ahead of any TV character in the USA as a flamboyant man who was also shown as an active homosexual

Active? He was as passive as they come! (Well, GREEK passive, anyway!)

by Anonymousreply 6912/26/2015

Love this show.

by Anonymousreply 7012/27/2015

“You know, animals are very psychic. I mean, the least sign of danger and my pussy’s hair stands on end.”

by Anonymousreply 7112/27/2015

“Well, the central heating broke down. I had to light the oven and hold my pussy in front.”

by Anonymousreply 7212/27/2015

"If there are any leftovers, my pussy gobbles them up in a flash.”

by Anonymousreply 7312/27/2015

“Mr. Humphries, would you hold my pussy while I alight?”

by Anonymousreply 7412/27/2015

"If I'm not home on the stroke of six, my pussy goes mad!"

by Anonymousreply 7512/27/2015

Nicholas Smith, who played Mr. Rumbold, was the only cast member still alive. Sadly, he died just last week.

Th-th-th-th....that's all, folks.

by Anonymousreply 7612/27/2015

This was a brilliantly funny show. And any gay who was offended by Humphries I would never want to associate with in any way, shape or form. People with no sense of humor suck.

by Anonymousreply 7712/27/2015

I love this show in part because it's old fashioned. I love how they have a cafeteria in the store, one of the funniest eps is when they work in there. They have an employee talent show and Christmas parties and take tea breaks and get pay packets and pensions. They call each other by last names. A whole different world.

by Anonymousreply 7812/27/2015

[quote]Nicholas Smith, who played Mr. Rumbold, was the only cast member still alive. Sadly, he died just last week.

Isn't Mr. Spooner still alive and kicking?

by Anonymousreply 7912/27/2015

Yes he is.

by Anonymousreply 8012/27/2015

There really is a case contextually for the Mr Humphreys character being seen as a force for good (35 ), (46) but also shows how times have changed in the fact that humor can no longer be used in such a way .... I witnessed a Facebook argument about a subplot of Kimmie Schmidt ( spoiler alert here ) and the Jane Krakowski character's Native American roots ,which in the show she is ashamed of and has ( as a person who can pass for white ) distanced herself from. It's played for comedy) but has real pathos and you're never in any doubt that she is sad and can imagine how it went down on social media...

by Anonymousreply 8112/27/2015

Any gay offended by Mr. Humphries/Inman needs to grow the fuck up. It was the 1970s. Few people were shouting "I'm gay" to the public and all of you keyboard warriors would've handled your careers the same way Inman did.

Jesus, get over yourselves.

by Anonymousreply 8212/27/2015

Mr Lucas was born in 1934 and Mr Humphries was born in 1935, but Lucas was supposed to be a lot younger.

by Anonymousreply 8312/27/2015

Really!? Good Lord, they were only one year apart!? GTFO

by Anonymousreply 8412/27/2015

The characters in AYBS are all from British Music Hall stereotypes. The old battle axe, the sexy bird, the young Lothario, the pompous military man, the bumbling old man and the mincing prisspot. We in America didn't have that tradition and so don't recognize the stereotypes, but the British wouldn't have batted an eye about Mr. Humphries.

And I love how when Mr. Humphries answers the phone, he lowers his voice, "Menswear." This show had so many funny moments like that.

by Anonymousreply 8512/27/2015


That's why I think Mr Spooner never worked, he was eight years younger than Humphries. Also none of the Grainger replacements ever really worked either. The guy who replaced the first handyman was OK but not as good and Old Mr Grace was a disaster. Young Mr Grace was awesome but the Old Mr Grace was a young guy made up to look old and he was a disaster.

by Anonymousreply 8612/27/2015

This was a great show, but Trevor Bannister was horribly miscast as Mr Lucas.

by Anonymousreply 8712/27/2015

I never understood why the store seemed to be open from 9am - 5pm, isn't everyone working during those times?

by Anonymousreply 8812/27/2015

R88, obviously including the staff of GB. Trade Unions held great sway in the 1970s so that relatively few retail staff worked unsociable hours. Banks also tended to shut at lunchtimes and this was in the era before cash machines. Women (aka housewives) did the bulk of shopping, including buying clothes for their husbands.

Even now, most department stores shut at 5:30pm outside of London, except on Thursdays, which has the status of 'long shopping day' where some stores keep open until 8pm.

by Anonymousreply 8912/27/2015

Still shocked we haven't gotten a pron parody called "Are You Being Serviced?" yet.

by Anonymousreply 9012/28/2015

With Luke Adams as Mr. Humphries. And Michael Lucas as Mrs. Slocombe.

by Anonymousreply 9112/28/2015

Jeffrey Dahmer had a show called Are You Being Severed?

by Anonymousreply 9212/28/2015

[quote]Still shocked we haven't gotten a pron parody called "Are You Being Serviced?" yet.

I assume it's because porn producers think their demographic doesn't watch Britcoms and wouldn't get the reference.

by Anonymousreply 9312/28/2015

Remember the time when Mr Humphries came into work dressed funny?

by Anonymousreply 9412/28/2015

Ha ha, R92 !! I love it!

How do they know that Jeffrey Dahmer smoked?

They found lots of butts under his bed.

by Anonymousreply 9512/28/2015

Mrs Brahms was OK the first year and rapidly went downhill. When they brought her back for Are You Being Served Again, she looked worse than Mrs Pussy or whatever her name was.

by Anonymousreply 9612/28/2015

Did you ever see her on EastEnders? Yikes!

by Anonymousreply 9712/30/2015

[quote]Did you ever see her on EastEnders? Yikes!

The first time I ever saw EastEnders was in 2002. I couldn't believe that was Miss Brahms. It looked and sounded nothing like her. Wendy Richard must have been smoking 10 packs a day and drinking a gallon of vodka.

by Anonymousreply 9812/30/2015

My first real job was in 1979 in a bank. The bank manager was an out (to his friends) gay guy. In the bank, he was so far in the closet the soles of his shoes could only be seen with binoculars.

This guy was gayer than Gay Gayerson. He had a lot of the effeminate gestures of Mr Humphries. A lot of the staff partied together after hours, so everybody knew about his personal life. But when it came to interactions with management, no way would he have come out. Not if you wanted to keep your job in those days. He brought a beard to every office party. She was not remotely his type, they displayed no affection. She was an acquaintance. Everyone understood that he had to do this. It was part of having a job at a conservative company.

Don't be too hard on the show or the characters because they act this way. It was taken for granted that this was the way to handle things back then.

by Anonymousreply 9912/31/2015

I loved AYBS! Whoever said the German Week episode was great, was right. It's not quite as funny to me as Keeping Up Appearances, but it was my second favorite of all of the British comedies at the time.

by Anonymousreply 10012/31/2015

These shows didn't seem as repetitive to viewers when they first came out because the BBC only produced them in short batches of six to twelve episodes at a time, often with years in between batches. An American show with the same number of episodes would have only run two or three seasons. But AYBS appeared intermittently from 1972 to 1981.

by Anonymousreply 10112/31/2015

Don't worry if the sleeves are too long. You'll find they ride up with wear.

by Anonymousreply 10212/31/2015

Mr. Goldberg was such a stereotype about J's being obsessed with money that it was offensive. The Milo Sperber replacement (forget the character's name) was BEYOND pathetic. Spooner was cute.

by Anonymousreply 10312/31/2015

[quote]Mr. Goldberg was such a stereotype about J's being obsessed with money that it was offensive.

Any man of the Jewish persuasion who has a devil-may-care attitude toward money is welcome to throw coins at my pussy.

by Anonymousreply 10412/31/2015

[quote]The first time I ever saw EastEnders was in 2002. I couldn't believe that was Miss Brahms.

You couldn't believe a woman had aged in 30 years?

by Anonymousreply 10512/31/2015

[quote]You couldn't believe a woman had aged in 30 years?

Not to the point of being completely unrecognizable. Her face changed and so did her voice.

by Anonymousreply 10612/31/2015

I liked Mrs Slocomb better when she played Hyacinth

by Anonymousreply 10710/16/2016

R107 – No, dear, Mrs. Slocombe was played by Mollie Sugden. Patricia Routledge was our Hyacinth. I'd say that was a natural mistake, but of course it wasn't, as the two are nothing alike.

by Anonymousreply 10810/16/2016
Need more help? Click Here.

Follow theDL catch up on what you missed

recent threads by topic delivered to your email

follow popular threads on twitter

follow us on facebook

Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!