Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (BBC1, 1973-1978)
This is one of the most successful sitcoms of the mid-70s. This is also one that didn’t rely too much on there being many situations really, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em was more of a showcase to enter the world of Frank Spencer, and some of his rather spectacular stunts. His portrayal by Michael Crawford must’ve gone on to be one of the most imitated comedy characters.
It seems that there was a period when just about every other comedian and impressionist would put on their beret and coat and do their routine. Because there weren’t a huge amount of episodes, some people probably played Frank for longer than Crawford himself did. We do know a little about his family life, he is married to Betty (there can’t be many better examples of a “long-suffering” wife).
And we also do know that he has a cat, who seemingly has an inability to be able to use the toilet in the correct place, which is a cause for much concern. But even that becomes the least of Frank’s problems when he gets into some rather strange situations, and finds that they have a rather remarkable conclusion. When I saw some of them for the first time myself, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
And there seemed to be a desire to take things into ever more spectacular areas, the idea of being “accident prone” to the next level, and Frank seemed to have something of a fearless streak, which came in rather useful really. And most episodes would end with Frank stood rather shocked by the things that he has created. Falling off cliffs and the like is just an everyday occurrence for him.
Betty also gave birth to a daughter, which was exciting. There were only 22 episodes in three series of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, which have been released on DVD, there were repeat runs for many years afterwards, and even a stage show with Joe Pasquale, proof of how popular this sitcom remains. After the end, Crawford went on to have further success as a singer in theatre musicals, and various comedy films, including Condorman.