Fawlty Towers: Season 2, Episode 4

The Kipper and the Corpse (12 Mar. 1979)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
9.2
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Ratings: 9.2/10 from 584 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

One of the guests has died in his sleep, but Basil thinks it's due to serving him spoiled food.

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Title: The Kipper and the Corpse (12 Mar 1979)

The Kipper and the Corpse (12 Mar 1979) on IMDb 9.2/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Mavis Pugh ...
Richard Davies ...
Mr. White
Elizabeth Benson ...
Mrs. White
Ballard Berkeley ...
Gilly Flower ...
Renee Roberts ...
Brian Hall ...
Derek Royle ...
Mr. Leeman
Robert McBain ...
Mr. Xerxes
Pamela Buchner ...
Miss Young
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Storyline

One of the hotel's guests dies in his sleep but Basil doesn't really notice and just goes about his business, delivering the man's breakfast to his room and then complaining that he was rude and didn't thank him. Polly soon realizes he is dead and Sybil asks another guest, Dr. Price, to attend to the situation. Basil thinks the out of date kippers were the cause, but he's been dead most of the night. Pandemonium sets in when they try to remove the body without any of the guests knowing what has happened. It doesn't quite go as planned. Written by garykmcd

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Comedy

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12 March 1979 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr Price's line "I'm a doctor and I want my sausages!" is the favourite line of Andrew Sachs in the whole show. See more »

Goofs

When Basil, Polly and Manuel are trying to hide the body in the cupboard in the guests' bedroom, the door behind them leading to the bathroom opens and closes between shots throughout the scene. See more »

Quotes

[Mr. Leeman asks for breakfast in bed in the morning; Sybil takes a detailed note of what he'd like to have, but Basil, who doesn't like this special request, can't leave it alone]
Basil Fawlty: Rosewood... mahogany... teak?
Mr. Leeman: I beg your pardon.
Basil Fawlty: What would you like your breakfast tray made out of?
Mr. Leeman: I don't really mind.
Basil Fawlty: Are you sure? Fine. Well, you just go down and have a really good night's sleep then. I'm hoping to get a couple of hours later on myself. I'll be up in time to serve you your breakfast in bed. If...
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Featured in The 70s: Goodbye Great Britain, 75-77 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All About Sausages
11 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fawlty Towers was notorious for rotten customer service, and this episode is a dissertation on it. It complements "Waldorf Salad" and "Basil the Rat" (the final episode) quite well - this time, dead bodies with a subplot involving ill-prepared kippers (and sausages) are brought into the mix. A group of executives drop off Mr. Leeman at the hotel - he dies during the night, but the hotel staff think it's a result of food poisoning of that morning's breakfast. Painstaking efforts are made by Basil, Manuel, and Polly to hide the body - carting the corpse up and down stairs, eventually depositing it first in one of the closets in a guest room and then in the kitchen. As Andrew Sachs has mentioned, they cast the Leeman character with a small man (Derek Royle) so as to make all the hauling a bit easier. The supporting cast in this one are especially good (Geoffrey Palmer as the snobby sausage-loving Dr. Price, and Mavis Pugh as Mrs. Chase, owner of the sausage-loving shi-tzu dog). Gilly Flower, who plays Ms. Tibbs, got a fairly big part in this episode after many episodes with one and two-liners, and she did it very well.

This is the episode with the well-known 'Basil pokes Manuel in the eye' scene and a bit where Basil walks in on a guest preparing to have his way with an inflatable sex doll. By episode's end, it seems like just about everyone has 'had it' with the lousy hotel - even Manuel belts out a firm, "Meeester Fawlty, I no wan' to work here anymore! I on strike!" But in the end, Basil is the one who gets the respite and once again, leaves Sybil to solve the day's problems. Personally, I think this would've been a good episode to end the series. Although unintentionally, it rounds out the other episodes nicely and pretty much drives home the fact that Fawlty Towers is a hotel that's beyond help.


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