After doing similar entries for Roz Doyle from Frasier and Joey Tribiani from Friends earlier, it’s been a while since giving a TV character a wider platform. Here then are eight of the short-tempered Basil Fawlty’s best rants and pithy comments regarding the running of his hotel.
Mrs Richards: When I pay for a view, I expect something more interesting than that.
Basil: But that is Torquay, madam.
Mrs Richards: Well it’s not good enough.
Basil: Well may I ask what you expected to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain…
Mrs Richards: Don’t be silly. I expect to be able to see the sea.
Basil: You can see the sea! It’s over there between the land and the sky!
Mrs Richards: I’d need a telescope to see that.
Basil: Well might I suggest you move to a hotel closer to the sea. Or preferably in it.
Basil: I was just doing it, you stupid woman. I just put it down, to come here and be reminded by you to do what I’m already doin’. I mean, what is the point in reminding me to do what I’m already doing? I mean, what is the bloody point? I’m doing it, aren’t I? Yes, yes, I picked it up… Yes… No, no, I haven’t had a chance yet… I’ve been at it solidly ever since I got back. Yes, I will… Yes… No, I haven’t yet, but I will… Yes, yes, yes, I know it is… Yes, I’ll try and get it cleared up… Anything else? I mean, would you like the hotel moved a bit to the left?
Basil: I mean, have you seen the people in room six? They’ve never even sat on chairs before.
Basil: Would you like the hotel moved a little to the left?
Mr Johnson: “Is there anywhere they do French food?”
Basil: “Yes, France, I believe. They seem to like it there. And the swim would certainly sharpen your appetite. You’d better hurry, the tide leaves in six minutes.
Basil: This is typical. Absolutely typical…of the kind of…arse I have to put up with from you people. You ponce in here expecting to be waited on hand and foot, while I’m trying to run a hotel here. Have you any idea of how much there is to do? Do you ever think of that? Of course not, you’re all too busy sticking your noses into every corner, poking around for things to complain about, aren’t you? Well let me tell you something – this is exactly how Nazi Germany started. A lot of layabouts with nothing better to do than to cause trouble. Well I’ve had fifteen years of pandering to the likes of you, and I’ve had enough. I’ve had it. Come on, pack your bags and get out!
Basil: (on phone) No, I don’t want to debate about it, if you’re not over here in twenty minutes with my door I shall come over there and insert a large garden gnome in you.
Basil: A satisfied customer. We should have him stuffed