Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973–1978)
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The Salesman's Job 

Since Frank Spencer's mother died and he married Betty, her mother can't decide what's worst: her girl moving out or the one-man walking -rather stumbling- disaster-area staying, as ... See full summary »





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Episode cast overview:
Jane Hylton ...
Mrs. Fisher
Joe Dunlop ...
Mr. Conway
James Wardroper ...


Since Frank Spencer's mother died and he married Betty, her mother can't decide what's worst: her girl moving out or the one-man walking -rather stumbling- disaster-area staying, as everything he touches is doomed. A salesman job interview demonstrates Frank's inverse Midas-touch on the iron mongery company lift and his social skills being both scary and scared, his mental age embryonic. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

15 February 1973 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michelle Dotrice (Betty Spencer) starred in The Blood On Satan's Claw (1971) with Linda Hayden, who plays the receptionist Linda in this episode. See more »

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User Reviews

"Knock, knock, card, card, case, case, anyone can do it!"
14 February 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Surprisingly, 'Some Mothers Do Ave Em' was not networked on its first screening in 1973. B.B.C. Wales ignored it in favour of programmes of 'local interest', shows watched by a few farmers in Carmarthen and no-one else. I first became aware of the sitcom when impressionists such as Mike Yarwood began mimicking 'Frank Spencer'. It was easy to do

  • all you needed was a beret, a mackintosh, a crooked smile, and the
ability to say "Oooh, Betty!" ( did he ever say it in the show though? ) in a whining voice. Easy peasy. Along with Tommy Cooper and Max Bygraves, Frank became the most frequently impersonated person ( albeit fictional ) on British television. Yarwood's show would even feature his Frank in mini-sketches, with 'Betty' played by the lovely Cheryl Kennedy.

The first episode of Season 1 proper begins at the home of Mrs.Fisher ( the late Jane Hylton ), Betty's mother. The poor woman is at the end of her tether. Her daughter ( Michele Dotrice ) and new son-in-law, Frank ( Michael Crawford ), are living with her ( Frank's mother has died ), and the latter is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. His attempt to fix the broken coal shed door ( using a hammer that came free with a magazine ) ended in disaster - he has managed to lose the door. Betty defends her husband by stating he is due to go for a job interview later that day.

Said interview is at the firm of Lewis and Co., high street ironmongers. Betty hands him an executive briefcase and tells him to smile. Frank practices smiling in the store window, and one of the staff ( Joe Dunlop ) is so startled he falls backwards into a display stand.

Frank is late because the lift has broken down. Mr.Lewis ( George Baker ), the manager, is a hot-tempered Yorkshireman who does not suffer fools gladly. As the interview progresses, he gets angrier and angrier. Frank fails to grasp even the basic rules of salesmanship. Lewis urges him to remember the three main points: "Knock, knock, card, card, case, case!". Frank keeps repeating this endlessly as though it is part of his sales talk.

The staff hand in their notices, and Lewis sits at his desk, talking to himself, clearly out of his mind with frustration.

It is a good opener, but the best was to come. No elaborate stunts as such, although Lewis throwing Frank out of his office sees the latter do an impressively executed cartwheel. As 'Lewis', George Baker is hilarious, the first in a long line of authority figures to crumble after spending some time in Frank's company, Bernard Hepton in 'The Psychiatrist' is another example. Lovely Linda Hayden ( another of my pin-up girls around that time ) plays his secretary. The two maintenance men are played by the late John Ringham ( very good as Jan Francis' father in 'Just Good Friends' ) and James Wardroper ( the dimwitted 'Eric' in another Michael Mills-produced series - 'Cowboys'.

Funniest moment - Frank tries to put a briefcase on top of a stationary cupboard in Lewis' office. It falls on top of him. Lewis' maintenance men lift it into the air. No sign of Frank. They shake the cupboard, and suddenly Frank falls onto the carpet!

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