On the Buses, Stan gets a little annoyed when his Mum and Sister keep buying expensive items on hire purchase, but the money he earns for overtime working as a bus driver means that he can afford it… just! His job is secure, as bus drivers are hard to come by, and his overtime prospects are good, until the bus company decide to revoke a long standing rule and employ women bus drivers. Aghast at the thought of no overtime and, therefore, less wages, he joins forces with his long time work colleague Jack to sabotage the new female employees.
“Cor, not arf”
On the Buses, Dated, but wonderful. “On The Buses” was part of my childhood and ab-so-lutely a product of its time, so i understand (and respect) why many non-Brits or young Brits hate it. Filmed between 1969 and 1973 as a 70 episode tv series and three movies it chronicles the lives of bus driver Stan (Reg Varney), his family, his best mate Jack (Bob Grant) and their constant battles with Inspector Blake (Stephen lewis). It doesn’t sound much on paper but the reality for millions around my own age (40) and older was hilarious comedy and I wouldn’t hesitate to call it a classic. I used to long for Sunday evenings to see the latest episode. Of course it’s sexist and vulgar and anti PC. That’s the way comedy (and life) was back then, and in my opinion we were better for it! It’s also a stunningly accurate portrayal of British working class life in the early 70s. Here’s a little ‘aside’ for those of you who slag off the crudity and sexism of On The Buses. My Granny hated it (for those reasons) and used to watch the sober / religious tv show presented by Jess Yates instead. We later discovered he was “shagging” everything he could get his hands on! At least On The Buses was never hypocritical. It was always well written and the cast were excellent. The talent and depth they brought to the characters puts it right up there with Dads Army and Only Fools & Horses. Michael Robbins had a deadpan style and razor sharp timing that few actors could equal. There’s always a hilarious sense of the famous British ‘repression’ in his character. Some people may remember his guest appearance as a Flea Exterminator in an episode of “The Good Life”. He can never bring himself to say the word “flea” and always refers to them as “the little offendors”. There’s a great chemistry between Stan and Jack and I really felt that Reg Varney and Bob Grant were mates. Of course, the highlight of On The Buses was always the priceless Inspector, “Blakey”. Stephen lewis is a genius and the character he created is second to none, anywhere in British tv. With his Hitler moustache, pained expressions and classic catch-phrases he’s a comedy icon.
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