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Are You Being Served?


The sound of clinking coins and a ringing till—or cash register as we say in the States—immediately brings a smile to my face. Not because I love shopping, but because it means another episode of Are You Being Served? is coming on. The series originally ran from 1972 to 1985, comprising 69 episodes and 5 Christmas specials. One of the all-time great workplace comedies, it follows the exploits of the staff at Grace Brothers department store. Chock-full of wit and double entendres, some of the most memorable characters in British TV history can be found in the clothing department at Grace Brothers, whether it’s camp Mr. Humphries fitting a suit or Mrs. Slocombe telling another story about her “pussy” (that’s her cat). Are You Being Served? still holds up as a classic British farce with some of the best slapstick comedy this side of Lucille Ball.

Quick Takes

From Nathan Heller at New Yorker:

The show hopscotches between visual gags and arch double-entendre. But the wordplay is as creative as the slapstick, and the most delirious premises come where physical and verbal jokes meet. Full Review

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