That’s a More

Man About the House

Man About the House

I don’t think that heading really works. By a ‘more’ I mean the word that describes the conventions of social behaviour rather than the first one that most toddlers learn, but that’s the risk you take when you’re trying to be too clever.

I only mention it because I happened to be scanning through the catch-up tv tonight and came across Man About the House, one of the sitcoms of my youth and how things have changed.

It was the In Praise of Older Men episode from series two and I found myself quite shocked that it should open with Robin (Richard O’Sullivan) sitting on the sofa with smoke drifting into shot from his cigarette.

And a few minutes later he wandered into the kitchen to peer over the pan on the cooker to see what Chrissy (Paula Wilcox) is cooking still surrounded by clouds of smoke.

It seemed like another age which I suppose it was since this was January 1974, the same month that Britain switched to the three-day week due to the miners’ strike and Nixon refused to hand over the Watergate tapes.

The Steve Miller Band reached number one in the US with Joker, the Loch Ness Monster was photographed and Peter Benchley published Jaws. If you too remember these things too, doesn’t it make you feel old?

Still the tv wasn’t bad, even if smoking be frowned upon – sorry, forbidden – today. As in the dialogue between Robin and Chrissy when he has her alone on the sofa:

Robin: You know Chrissy, sometimes a man wants something more. He wants something fine and warm. One day he wakes up and realises that it’s right there under his nose.

Chrissy: Are you thinking of growing a moustache?

That wouldn’t sound amiss in Friends would it? And most appropriate for Movember.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

8 comments… Add yours
  • Judith 13th November 2012

    I remember that programme very fondly. Yes, I’m old! Richard O’Sullivan was such a BABE! (well, so it seemed to the teenage me.)

    • Mr Parrot 13th November 2012

      But he had such dodgy sideburns! I suspect I had a bit of a thing for Paula Wilcox. Sally Thomsett may have been the pretty one, but she always seemed a bit wet.

  • Jennyta 13th November 2012

    I remember it well, SP. A lot of comedies from the sixties and seventies have stood the test of time, though and are, in my biased opinion, far superior to the stuff on offer today.

    • Mr Parrot 13th November 2012

      I doubt if Love Thy Neighbour would air today!

  • Roger Green 13th November 2012

    A lot of your old sitcoms appear on Public Broadcasting in the States – Keeping Up Appearances, Are You Being Served?, As Time Goes By, for three. I think Man About the House has been on too.

  • More Pudding 13th November 2012

    That’s a More? ….Do you mean a “folkway” of central importance accepted without question and embodying the fundamental moral views of a group?
    P.S. Smoking Kills!

  • john 13th November 2012

    we are so more sophisticated now are we not….. most of those 1970 sit comes are just not funny anymore……
    only faulty Towers has really lasted the test of time

  • Trevor Rowley 13th November 2012

    Try convincing your grandchildren that seventies TV was “top notch” and I think you’ll find that they would run a mile to avoid it. It was “of its time”, it was what we had developed into believing was quality/funny/smart and we just couldn’t imagine a time when these artists wouldn’t be on our screens. My grandchildren just smirked quietly when I tried to convince them that this ancient stuff was what should appeal to them also. I have now resigned myself to watching backnumbers of “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads” when the rest of the household is either in bed or have trogged off to the Trafford Centre. For me, that series was just what the lads and I were doing in the sixties and seventies. Beer, birds and not much else. In those days, coke came from America in a bottle and for many of us that still applies.


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