Fawlty Towers, also known in my house as Friday Towers (see About Page) is a dry, quick witted, English comedy, aired on the BBC network. It is about a small country hotel owned by Basil Fawlty and his wife Sybil, played by Prunella Scales. Why they ever got into the hospitality business is beyond any of us viewers’ imagination since the character of Basil is “annoyed by the general public who insist on staying at hotels.”
You would think they would be better suited to work in something like the construction industry as a landscaper or Hamilton paving contractor where you don’t have to deal with people every waking minute of the day. Sybil is wound tighter than a cat’s hairball. She always finds Basil to be a complete boob and doesn’t hesitate to tell him so. Sybil can best be described as “harpy” with her screen spouse, but the digs are clever and worth the ear.
The backdrop of the hotel business, of course lends itself perfectly to any number of scenarios where Basil, played by John Cleese, is hoisted by his own petard. The combination of being self-employed in a business that he is fairly inept, and having a partner /aka wife who can’t see him doing anything right paves the way for one convoluted and hilarious disaster after another. The British dry sense of humor is the perfect backdrop for the condescension that Basil shows towards guest and employees alike.