Happy Families

1985 TV comedy series written by Ben Elton

Happy Families is a farcical comedy series written by Ben Elton, and produced and directed by Paul Jackson. BBC1 aired six episodes from 17 October to 21 November 1985.

In the story, Guy Fuddle is a lonely young man who was raised by his wealthy grandparents. When his grandfather dies, he confronts his grandmother with the question that has plagued him since childhood: What became of his four sisters? His grandmother, a cold-hearted woman, refuses to discuss the matter, and ejects Guy from the house. However, after her doctor tells her that she has nine months to live, she sends Guy on a mission to find his sisters and bring them back home. Guy, believing that his grandmother has finally joined him in his desire to reunite the family, begins his search with joy and enthusiasm.

Adrian Edmonson plays Guy Fuddle, and Jennifer Saunders plays the roles of Mrs Fuddle and her four granddaughters.

Episode 1 edit

Doctor De Quincy: Experts! Look at me: I'm a doctor, and I hope I'm man enough to admit I can't tell a urine sample from a bottle of Lucozade. Haha! Toodle-pip.

Flossie: She had no more love for Mister Harold than she has for Master Guy. All she loves is her granddaughters, but they're gone, aren't they. Why did they go, Cook? Why did they leave?
Cook: There's some things be'er left unsaid, Flossie, and that's one o' them. So's "plop", and another one is the f-word.

Mother Superior: Novice Joyce!
Joyce: Toodle-pip-pip, Supermum! Ooh, sorry. Good day to you in Christ, Mother Superior.

Jim: I say, Plum-Plops, you were an age on your silly rounds. I had to have supper with Mrs Miggs. She knows absolutely nothing about organised sport.
Doctor De Quincy: Terribly sorry and all that, Pimple. I had to drop in on that dreadful Fuddle woman and her cook. Had to pick up a couple of urine samples. I've just been testing them now, and I'm afraid that, in Mrs Fuddle's case at least, there can be no doubt. The tests prove positive.
Jim: It definitely is urine then?
Doctor De Quincy: I'd stake my reputation on it.

Doctor De Quincy: Ah, Guy. And how are we: jidgery-boo or not so pucker?
Guy: Not so pucker, I'm afraid, Doctor. My grandmother's blown up my car and thrown me out without telling me the true history of my unhappy family.
Doctor De Quincy: Women, eh? Haha! Bless 'em.

Episode 2 edit

Doctor De Quincy: I'm glad I've got you alone, Cook. I've been seeking an opportunity for days.
Cook: Doctor! You rogue, you! And here's me with not a scrap of makeup on and me knickers on their last legs.

Sammy: Let me tell you, lady, you are number one. I mean it, girlfriend: numero uno.
Cassie: Thanks, Sammy. I know I'm number one, but even number ones can feel like number two sometimes.

Sammy: You are a great artist. Did I say "great"? You are the greatest. Superbissimo. Why, I've seen you wear eyelashes that would've torn a lesser woman's lids off.

Madeleine: Oh, Dalcroix, Dalcroix, friend, poet, guide.
Dalcroix: Oh, Madeleine, Madeleine, my little [hesitates; sees bulrush] bulrush.

Episode 3 edit

Guy: Hello, matey boy. I'd like a ticket to France, please.
Ticket man: This is Liverpool. The ferry doesn't go to France. It goes to Birkenhead.
Guy: Oh. Um, well, do you think you could drop me off?
Ticket man: Hang on. I'll go and ask.
[Ticket man walks away from the ticket window, then returns.]
Ticket man: No.

Sister Ophelia: Novice Joyce, do you think—as a personal favour to us all—you could try to be a little less cheerful for awhile?
Joyce: I say, what a super idea! We could form a sort of secret club, couldn't we? [chuckles] And we could all go 'round sort of pulling comical frowns. And we'd be called the Frowners, and old Mother Superior would never realise that underneath it all we're just as jolly as young larks!

Episode 4 edit

Joyce [thinking]: Three hundred million thoughts raced through Joyce's head as she sprinted down the wing. Everybody loved Joyce and her sparkling eyes; her healthy, ruddy cheeks; and her infectious high spirits. The goal was now wide open. Go for it, Joyce!

Cook: Oh, such comings and goings! There's me up to me elbows in Flossie's duff, and there's another of them dispatch riders with a tape from Master Guy!
Mrs Fuddle: What's it say?
Cook: It says that he's found Miss Joyce, and that she's become a nun, which is absolutely lovely because I'd like to have become a nun myself—but I don't think they take Satanists.

Guy: Ah, um, hello, Mrs Nun. I'm a bloody bishop. Um, so, um, if you don't let me in, you're all excommunicated. And I really mean that.

Guy [fumbling in his vestments]: Nobody move, because I'm a bloody bishop, and I insist that you—and—I insist that you return Joyce to the bosoms of her family immediately.

Episode 5 edit

Joyce Nightstick, Head of Prison Security: I must say, I never knew working-class people could be so much fun until I discovered strip searches.

Episode 6 edit

Flossie: Treating you like that! You're almost as ill as her!
Cook: Well, you mustn't mind her being a complete bastard, Flossie. That's just her way.

Jim: … God knows I'm no expert. Anything I know about women I got from the novels of John Buchan—and he seldom goes into detail.

Joyce: Oh, the excitement, Joyce! What joys will the summer bring? Perhaps you'd nurse a wounded puppy back to ruddy health, or become the first nun to swim the Channel!

Cast edit

Main edit

Supporting edit

External links edit