12 February 2009

"Putting The Knee In"

Back when I worked at Simon's in high school, PBS was re-running "Are You Being Served". I really thought this show was hilarious, and working in clothing retail made it all the more so.

The other day for some reason I randomly remembered this little bit about "putting the knee in" a suit to jacket to get a better fit. Funny as hell. Skip ahead to 5min30sec. to see what I mean.

The funniest part is, I've actually seen this done in real life. I think this show hit closer to home than many viewers not conversant with clothing retail may have realised. Things like leaving with a pair of pants and returning a few minutes later with the same pair and saying you've found another, or talking a customer out of a checked sports jacket only to find that's all you've got in his size and then talking him back into it. It's all true, don't kid yourselves. At least it was true in a time when stores were staffed by people who attended to their customers (a dying art)."The sleeves will ride up with wear." Pure Comedy Gold!

If you've never heard of this show, I may have just sent you on an hours long Youtube expedition. You can thank me later.

Those of you who may have had similar experiences in clothing retail, I invite your stories.


Unknown said...

take a look at the lapels Mr Lucas and his customer are sporting!

Giuseppe said...

This was 1972 after all.

Cyclo2000 said...

Jesus! I can't believe you liked this show! Bloody Molly Sugden going on abour her pussy and John Inman as a pantomime poof....just awful. (Wendy Craig, who played the dolly bird, was until recently in a primetime soap opera over here called Eastenders. She now looks so bad she looks as if she has flayed her own face and is wearing it as a mask). There was a follow up series (even worse) where the appalling, hammy cast ran a hotel together. " You've all done very well" ... I don't think so.
I realise it was from the 70's but they were still going well into the 80's when contemporaneous shows like the sublimely surreal "Oh No! Here Comes Selwin Froggit!" (in which the peerless Bill Maynard lumbered about knocking things over for half an hour each week) were cancelled.
PS, for high 70's fashion you need to check out Mr. Rodney Bews character Bob in "Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads?" one of the very best programmes on at the time (fondly remembered by all). Oh, and Rising Damp with Leonard Rossitor, Don Warrington (still sexy) and poor old Richard (father of Kate) Beckinsale. Great stuff, unlike AYBS.

Giuseppe said...


My guilty confession is that I enjoy t.v. best when it is either stupid or trashy. I feel that's the most accurate reflection of what the medium is capable of. My favorite show now is Nip/Tuck. Case in point.

Besides, one can't have impeccable taste all the time.

Kim said...

Our PBS station has the Brit Coms on Saturday nights...that one cracks me up in small doses (I prefer Hyacinth's antics in "Keeping Up Appearances"). There's just something about really bad 70's British comedy that takes me back to the fuzzy PBS station when I was a babysitter looking for anything to watch.

I never worked retail because I was afraid I would go home at the end of the week and owe them money.
I prefered tending bar and waiting tables for cash in the hand.

Anonymous said...


Just to let you know that there are others out there who enjoy "Are You Being Served?" and consider it to be a prime example of classic British comedy.

Anonymous said...

Cyclo2000: Wendy Craig didn't play the dolly bird (Miss Brahms)... it was in fact Wendy Richards. Wendy Richards has been fighting breast cancer for the past few years, which is probably why she looked ill during her time on Eastenders - it's not a programme I watch so can't comment whether she did, as you say, look like she'd flayed her own face. She has since made it public knowledge that treatment has failed and she has only months to live. I'm willing to venture that her looks aren't uppermost in her mind at this time.

Toad said...

To answer your question, I worked as a shoe dog for a time, and if someone wanted to see a shoe in cordovan that we only had in brown, it wasn't beyond us to polish the shoe in cordovan polish.

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog, and now that you're posting Are You Being Served? clips, I think I like it more. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...