Cherished but really quite dire British sitcom from the 1960s / 1970s. The main characters were:
Stan, a bus driver, played by Reg Varney
Jack, his 'clippy' (bus conductor)
Inspector Blake ('Blakey'), their arch-nemesis Inspector at the bus station
Olive, Stan's drab sister
Arthur, her workshy husband
Stan's mum.
Stan and Jack were very successful with miniskirted young ladies, especially considering they were both a) old, b) ugly, and c) outspokenly lecherous.
Three feature films were somehow made from the series - On the Buses, Mutiny on the Buses and Holiday on the Buses. These are well worth seeing solely as historical documents.
Despite the fact that most of the jokes are sexist in the extreme, the characters are bona-fide classics: Jack's braying laugh, Olive's glasses and Blakey's strangled groans of anguish have a well-deserved place in the sitcom hall of fame.

Classic early 1970s British comedy set in the London area bus system.

Reg Varney was in his 50s, but played a thirtysomething bus driver named Stan Butler, and his home and work life were the main set pieces of the show. His home life included his sister Olive, played by Anna Karen (as of 2015, the last surviving cast member) - a homely redhead woman missing most of her back teeth and trotted out as the target of "ugly women" jokes. His mother, a widow, held the family together and constantly complained about the price of things in the shops and bemoaned that her housekeeping money wouldn't go far enough.

Rounding out his home life was Olive's husband Arthur, who had no interest in Olive but was victim of a shotgun marriage without any actual sex (he was caught in an inadvertent compromising position with Olive). Sarcastic, lazy, and bald, he was dismissive of everyone in the family, especially Stan.

At work he was accompanied by his ticket taking comrade, union shop steward Jack - as well as the cadaverous, Hitler moustached "Inspector" who was constantly trying to get him fired. 

Some of the performances were quite nuanced - Reg Varney, aware of his limitations and somewhat embarrassed by not having acted in the West End did some method acting, actually traning to become a London bus driver and doing the job for some weeks before filming. It also meant that any shots of him actually driving the bus out in the open didn't have to be staged, as he was both able and licensed to do so. At the other end of the spectrum was the one-dimensional performance of Inspector, whose characterization consisted solely of an "evenin', all" lift and lilt, a Hitler moustache, and a braying creepy laugh.

The humor was generally what you'd expect from an early 1970s programme - both Arthur and Inspector (yes, that's his name and how he's credited, though his last name is "Blake", hence "Blakey") are quite sexually repressed and prudish, Jack is quite the womanizer even though he was balding, had a Tiny Tim hook nose and had severely recessed gums with horse-like teeth. A black bus driver is referred to by his nickname, "Chalkie". Women are brought in to be one-dimensional bearers of breasts.

Some social troubles made it into the scripts, especially the uncomfortably sharp increase in the cost of living - echoed in the two generations of Butlers being forced to share a house, and constant inability to get enough food on their salaries. The labor unrest also was a source of humor - as Jack, the shop steward, often countermanded or otherwise interfered with Inspector's attempts to enforce bus depot discipline.

It was phoned in, easy, journeyman comedy. But though it was a source of easy and cheap jokes - mostly at the expense of Reg Varney's hair-oiled pompadour, Jack's prominent teeth, or referring to Inspector as Dracula but also recycled gags about breasts and so forth - it was quite successful, even after the jumping the shark moment of Reg Varney leaving the series. It also spawned three films. None of the cast, with the exception of Inspector, ever really worked again. Inspector's actor worked as "Smiley" on Last of the Summer Wine, but neither of the actors who played Stan and Jack ever worked again. Varney parlayed it into a career working standup on cruise ships, and Jack's Bob Grant tried suicide multiple times before finally managing to die by carbon monoxide asphyxiation in his home at the age of 71.



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