Rebecca Bernard
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Basil Fawlty Gives New Car A Good Thrashing

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Damn Good Thrashing John Cleese 2

Monty Python’s John Cleese is a comedy legend, and one of his most famous characters is Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers. The show aired in the 1970s, and has lived on through an extensive collection of hilarious YouTube videos posted by the BBC. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, educate yourself because you’re missing out on some good laughs.

One of the more memorable moments in Fawlty Towers comes when Basil Fawlty’s car begins to misbehave while he’s trying to get it to move after driving over a curb. Fawlty talks to his car the way many of us do, I suspect, cursing and yelling at it as if it were an actual sentient being. Finally he has enough, and decides to give the red vehicle a “damn good thrashing” with a branch he finds nearby.

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I’m happy to report that Basil Fawlty (and John Cleese) is back in a new commercial for UK eyewear company Specsavers. In 2016, Fawlty is as clueless as ever, and his car is a bit too smart for him when he is unable to follow the voice commands to turn it on. His frustration leads him to repeat his famous line, and he stalks off to find a branch with which to give his car the damn good thrashing it deserves.

Because this is an ad for an eyeglass company, instead of beating up his own car, Basil Fawlty starts taking all of his rage out on a police car that is the same model as his car (parked behind it). Needless to say, the commercial ends with some very upset police officers and Fawlty trying to escape without a ticket.

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It just goes to show that you should always take a good look at your car before you start thrashing it. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t mention the war.

  • Rebecca BernardEditor

    A Dayton native, Rebecca got her start blogging at the curiously named Harlac's Tongue while studying abroad in the UK. She loves tooling around town with her Ford Focus named Thomas Jerome Newton to the song they're playing on the radio. On any given weekend, you can find her with her camera at area festivals, concerts, and car shows, shopping at flea markets, or just taking a hike in an area MetroPark. See more articles by Rebecca.