5 November 2010

Jeeves & Wooster

Watching the TV series 'Jeeves & Wooster' which completely passed me by and I'm keen to fill in a cultural blank. I'm not sure it aired on Australian television at all and the first I heard about it was glimpsing a VHS copy at my local library.

I'm struck by a couple of things about Hugh Laurie's performance as the bright young thing Bertie Wooster. It's not the least surprising that he is a great and gifted comic actor. That was obvious since his turn as the idiot Prince Regent in the second series of Blackadder, but just how good he is is a constant revelation, particularly doing pure physical comedy. At these times, his resemblance to Stan Laurel is amazing, especially while doing a certain gormless, self-satisfied smirk.

I'm reminded of Stephen Fry's comment during his recent Sydney appearance that he was surprised, upon meeting young Hugh during their Footlights days, by his assured comedic chops. Laurie was a natural comedian who seemed to have been born with a full comic toolbox at his disposal.

The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say 'when!'

Bertie attempting to describe a Member of Parliament upon making his acquaitance in Wodehouse's 'Jeeves and the Impending Doom'.

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