'Oh, No! It's Selwyn Froggitt!' was a truly hilarious ITV Yorkshire sitcom, centred on an extremely annoying but chillingly plausible character. American television has no counterpart to Selwyn Froggitt ... the nearest equivalent would probably be Cliff Clavin off 'Cheers', but that's a very distant resemblance.
Froggitt (brilliantly played by veteran comic Bill Maynard) is a hopelessly incompetent labourer in the Public Works department of the Scarsdale town council. Huge of body but tiny of intellect, Froggitt is equally inept whether he's digging a ditch for a water line, wiring a building, or fixing the plumbing. More than one house has burnt to the ground (or exploded outright) after Froggitt made the repairs.
At night, Froggitt can be found propping up the bar at the Scarsdale Working Men's Club, where he is heard expounding on all sorts of subjects he knows nothing about. (These are the scenes in which he most nearly resembles Cliff Clavin.) Froggitt is also the Institute's recording secretary, largely because nobody else wants the job, and he fancies that this confers some sort of status on him.
At home, Froggitt is a constant source of annoyance to his mother (veteran actress Megs Jenkins) and his brother Maurice. 'Oh, No! It's Selwyn Froggitt!' has never (to my knowledge) been shown on American tv, probably because so many of the characters speak in thick 'oop north' Yorkshire accents and the dialogue is full of British references. Still, there's a great deal of physical comedy in this series (largely due to Froggitt's ineptitude), and this sitcom would probably find an appreciative audience if it were shown Stateside.
This series was so popular that it was eventually adapted as a stage play (in Britain only, of course) and followed by a sequel, called simply 'Selwyn', which featured the same character (played by Maynard again) as a director in a holiday camp. This was a much weaker premise: it didn't make sense to have Froggitt in a position of authority (even in a holiday camp), and 'Selwyn' wasn't very funny. But 'Oh, No! It's Selwyn Froggitt' is gut-bustingly hilarious. I split myself with laughter whenever I watch this show.
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