Tag Archives: censors

Que Si At The Bat

One of my favorite Britcoms is Fawlty Towers. It was made quite a while back, but it isn’t dated. It is slapstick though. And like a lot of art it provides a window to the soul. Mostly, that particular program shows how people feel some sympathy for the totally clueless. John Cleese plays Basil Fawlty. If you objectively consider how he acts and how he treats others, he is an awful person. BUT, people LIKE him. I’ve heard speculation that the reason people like him is that he has no control and simply reacts to things. The character of Cybil Fawlty is composed, reasoning, and although reacting is reacting in a more controlled way. Audiences aren’t very sympathetic to her. Andrew Sachs plays Manuel, the bellboy/waiter from Barcelona who understands very little. He is the character audiences like best. It is from a routine between him and a guest with a hearing aid that gave me the title. Kay, see what I mean.

I remember listening to a radio interview program called Fresh Air. I specifically remember the interview with Andrew Sachs. I’ve listened to interviews with John Cleese, but I can’t remember if it was that same program. I think the actors were a little surprised at the sympathy viewers had for Basil. He treats people very badly, yet is a sympathetic character. I wonder if it was that show that inspired John Cleese to do other “Obnoxious” bits like his video “How to Annoy People.”

Cleese is well known to fans of Monty Python as well. Connie Booth plays a major character in Fawlty Towers and was in a number of Monty Python bits. I didn’t realize until much later that she was married to Cleese. Carol Cleveland was in more Monty Python routines, usually in the role of the busty girl. The development of audio and visual media have allowed people to realize just how hot previous generations were. Everybody knows that their parents had sex {I guess nowadays you could be the product of in vitro fertilization}. But do you really think they ENJOYED it? And what about Grandma and Granddad, did they do it too? If you can see them at their prime it’s a little easier to imagine. Imagining it is not a real healthy activity though. If one watches shows that were made quite a while back, it’s still possible to think, WOW, they were HOT! It doesn’t bear considering how old they would be NOW. In my VHS porn collection I had one film from 1918, 2 or 3 from the 20’s, one from the 30’s. Those people are probably all dead now. And didn’t they have dentists in the 20’s? Probably the only equipment was pliers. I recall a Laurel and Hardy film that showed showgirls dancing. By today’s standards they were a little chunky. I prefer women to look like they’ve eaten after puberty. I’ve never been an admirer of the Holocaust look. The tops they were wearing were thin enough to see the dancers nips. They didn’t have the ratings board or much censorship in the early days of film. Some strange trivia is that there was a group complaining about all the swearing in silent films. They were lip readers. Lillian Gish once said that the reason so few stars made the transition from silents to talkies wasn’t because they had weird voices {a few did have weird voices}, but it was because they had to learn lines. In the silents they could go out and party all night and still make a film the next morning. It’s not so easy if you have to study.