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Sun, 31 Aug 2014
Fawlty Towers - One Of The Funniest Sitcoms Ever
Fawlty Towers with John Cleese is still, today, one of the funniest sitcoms that ever aired on BBC. The British sitcom only ran for two series, with a total of 12 episodes to the thoroughly written script by John Cleese and then wife Connie Booth in 1975. By the time they were constructing the second series in 1979, Cleese and Booth were already filing divorce papers.
Donald Sinclair Was The Real Basil Fawlty
When John Cleese stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, England during the shoot of Monty Python's Flying Circus, he met the man who inspired the character of Basil Fawlty. The character of hotelier Basil Fawlty was created after the Monty Python crew's unpleasant encounter with "wonderfully rude" Gleneagles owner Donald Sinclair.
Sinclair's acts of throwing briefcases out of the hotel ("in case it contained a bomb") and his grumpy manners toward guests encouraged Cleese to turn the hotelier into a madcap TV character. Sinclair immigrated to Florida in the 70s when he was pursued by a British newspaper after John Cleese named him in an interview. He died in 1981 and according to reports, Sinclair's family wasn't happy about the depiction of the hotelier in the British sitcom.
Fawlty Towers A Tribute To Farce
Fawlty Towers is deemed by a lot of people as because of its tribute to farce. Unlike the typical British comedies aired during that time, Fawlty Towers portrayed outlandish themes such as death, psychology, and even phobias to sex as the show depicted Basil and Sybil's sterile marital life.
Basil's comedic genius was shown through his sarcasm and scoffs. But while there's no question about Fawlty Towers' painstakingly hilarious jokes, there were still episodes that boasted of exasperation and embarrassment. Basil's nervous breakdowns just to prove himself to Manuel and his frustration to lose his dignity provided a despondent glee to the audience.
These dark humor presented throughout the series generated laughs among viewers and it's the reason why Fawlty Towers with John Cleese is still, today, one of the funniest sitcoms ever created.
In a recent interview, John Cleese mentioned that BBC didn't immediately warm up to the idea of Fawlty Towers as it came off "dire" and pointless. Cleese revealed that when he and ex-wife Connie Booth sent the first episode to BBC Head of Comedy Jimmy Gilbert, the BBC team gauged the sitcom as "full of clichéd situations and stereotypical characters" that would eventually turn into a disaster.
Don't Mention The War!
Cleese and Booth triumphed in the end though there were still issues as the scripts took six weeks to get done. They promoted to their writing in adverts while working on the next episodes of the show. Cleese thanked the ads as he was able to subsidize his work through commercials.
The show aired in the 70s and starred John Cleese as Basil Fawlty, Prunella Scales as Sybil, and Andrew Sachs as Manuel. The show produced famous punchlines such as "Don't mention the war!" and Manuel's famous plead "Que?"
Fawlty Towers With John Cleese Is Still Today One Of The Funniest Sitcoms
Fawlty Towers is one of the most deranged sitcoms ever created as it portrayed a loveless marriage and undignified dilemmas from Basil Fawlty. The audience of the show found entertainment in Basil's misery and the farce presented in the series. Fawlty Towers is believed to have the most laughs per minute of any classic British sitcom.