I should preface this with an admission that I only realised Fawlty Towers was a pun title about 18 months ago, so what follows is hardly surprising.
I was watching the fourth Doctor Who serial Seeds Of Doom last night, and there’s a scene in it where he and Sarah Jane meet a botanical painter called Amelia Ducat. The Doctor calls her Mrs Ducket, and she replies that it’s actually pronounced Doo-car.
For a brief moment, I wondered if this might be the genesis of Roy Clarke’s Keeping Up Appearances. Did he base its most famous joke on this scene? Is he a fan of Doctor Who?
And then a bigger, more troubling thing occured to me.
Let me explain.
I always thought it was funny that she was caled Hyacinth Bucket. As in a bucket of flowers.
And I always thought she was just pronouncing her surname in a pretentious, pseudo-Franco manner, because Bucket sounded so ‘common’.
But last night, for the first time, my stupid brain realised she is saying Bouquet.
As in a bouquet of flowers.
It’s like I got the first half of the joke, got the intent of the joke, but totally missed the joke all at the same time.
And I’m sure I’m the last person on the planet to realise that’s what she is saying.