Great Comedy Lives On

Sunday, June 07, 2020

We’re nearing this year’s midpoint and also it’s longest day, and the weather in this part of the country is cold! Last evening, in a ski jacket and wool hat, I shivered while feeding the large animals. There’s an old joke about Bend, that it has only two seasons: winter and the 4th of July. Very believable nowadays.

Escaping the weather, I turned to my old buddy, streaming television, and found on Hulu another old buddy–a British sitcom, “Absolutely Fabulous”, which first aired in the early 90s and stopped around 2012. In the early days, I never missed an episode and along with many friends ranked it the funniest satire ever. Since then, I’ve wondered occasionally if by today it would seem funny still or instead be very dated and obsolete.

A new viewing provides the answers. It’s back, still funny, and a reminder of much that years ago was fresh. Nothing’s obsolete because great humor, being just that, always makes us laugh out loud. The series has Edina, Patsy, Saffron, Bubble, and other memorable characters attempting to face-up-to, ignore, or try fitting-into modern times. Great humor is a stable product.

The show’s primary creator, Jennifer Saunders (nothing less than a modern-day Charlie Chaplin), plays Edina, specializing in PR and operating a modeling agency. Edina’s side-kick is Patsy, drunken, drugged-out, and man-crazy, played by the gorgeous Joanna Lumley (in reality, Lumley totally is Patsy’s opposite, she’s memorable as one of 1970’s original “New Avengers”). A young woman, Julia Sawaltha, plays Saffron, who’s Edina’s straight-laced, superego daughter. The series has spots using famous models and actors (e.g., Twiggy, Helen Bonham Carter).

The TV series concluded after the production of “Absolutely Fabulous, the Movie”, which starred the television cast. I recall Rosanne Barr buying the rights to “Ab Fab”, intending to turn it into an American television series. That didn’t happen, perhaps because it might be very difficult to translate effectively British humor into American humor, although all humors share commonalities.

The series consisted of five seasons and included several additional “special episodes”. During this area’s midsummer chilly evenings, I’ll be inside, rewatching the lot and laughing bunches.

Dear Friends: A gem, it stresses friendship and laughs at self-critique and social angst. Diana

2 thoughts on “Great Comedy Lives On

  1. I loved that show! In the late 70’s I lived in London, just around the corner from Joanna Lumley. I would often bump into her out walking or in the local store. She was always friendly, with no airs a graces.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just posted on FB a recent video with Lumley faux-explaining what made her Absolutely Fabulous. I understand she’s very different from the AbFab person, and would love to know her decision process for taking the Patsy role. Of course, Saunders’ pure genius work probably was irresistable.


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