Saturday, March 10, 2007

John Inman (June 28, 1935 - March 8, 2007)

I usually pay close attention to world (and entertainment) news but have recently been distracted as a result of work and travel. For this reason, it was only this morning that I learned about the death of my favorite television situation comedy actor John Inman. To be honest, I absolutely loathe television and movies as they exist present day. They are feeding you the same garbage over and over dressed up with the latest pop culture trends. Of course you know this, but it just gives me time to collect my thoughts while typing into my Gmail before posting this on the blog. Are You Being Served? was a British sitcom which originally aired in 1972 on the BBC. Much later, the re-runs were made available through PBS here in the states where they received eventual cult status. The episodes continue to air and were a big part of my evening entertainment as a child. John Inman played the role of senior menswear assistant Mr. Wilberforce Claybourne Humphries on the series and, if you ask most fans, was the keystone of success for Are You Being Served? From what I've read, there was a small amount of outrage sparked within gay rights groups regarding Mr. Humphries and his stereotypical portrayal at the time but his role now seems to be embraced as playful humor more often than not. John Inman will definitely be missed...

The song featured today might not make it to your Ipod but is an arguably wonderful step back in time. It was recorded with Mr. Inman backed by The Teddy Bears' Picnic in 1975 and actually reached #39 on British music charts that year. As bonus, I have included the original Are You Being Served? theme song as well as a recording from 1962 of Wendy Richard (Miss Shirley Brahms) at age 15 (allegedly - Michelle) fighting off slap and tickle advances from Mike Sarne. Kind of creepy ah? Finally, in case you are unfamiliar with John Inman and Are You Being Served?, I have attached some links to a few YouTube clips from the show. These should definitely give you a laugh.

MP3: Are You Being Served, Sir? (1975)
Bonus MP3: "Are You Being Served" Theme
Bonus MP3: Mike Sarne - Come Outside

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