Sunday, July 29, 2012


“I’m just showing them what the bell sounds like!!!!”

Poor Basil. He’s trying to perform a fire drill but the hotel guests misunderstand and get the fire bell mixed up with the burglar alarm that went off accidentally, and then there’s a real fire and nobody believes it because of all the confusion, and then Basil gets hit on the head with a frying pan and suffers a concussion…

It’s just another hilarious segment of Fawlty Towers, the British sitcom from the 70’s, starring John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) as highly-agitated hotel owner Basil Fawlty. PBS has been rerunning this show recently and we’ve been watching it on Sunday nights. We’ve seen it numerous times but it’s always fun to watch the whole series once every few years—especially since there were only twelve episodes! In 2000, the British Film Institute named Fawlty Towers the best British television series of all time.

Here is a link to the fire drill segment, from the episode entitled The Germans. Be sure and listen closely so that you can hear that the fire bell is a semitone higher than the burglar alarm. But there’s no fire, only bell! Or is it?

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