Friday, October 14, 2011

Mincing at Versailles (Friday's Video)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Susan reporting:
We Nerdy History Girls are very partial to English humor, and when it's combined with history – whether Monty Python, Blackadder, or Horrible Histories – we're in laugh-riot heaven.

Recently I stumbled across a delicious series on YouTube staring the irrepressible Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, cutting a hilarious swath through the court at Versailles shortly before the French Revolution. Let Them Eat Cake features Saunders as the immorally dense Colombine, Comtesse de Vache, and French as her far more clever (but equally immoral) maid Lisette, with Adrian Scarborough as the comtesse's ever-conniving hairdresser, stylist, and confidante, Bouffant - an 18th c. caricature brought to life. The series is irreverent and bawdy, full of huge wigs and extravagant gowns, and skewed appearances by everyone from Madame Vigee-Lebrun to the Marquis de Sade.

This clip features a showdown between the comtesse and her arch-rival, Madame de Plonge, both armed with huge skirts and servants. Which one will be forced to reverse down the hall so the other may pass?

If you wish for more, the whole series is on YouTube (though unfortunately each episode is cut into three parts). Here are the three links to the first episode, called "The Pox": Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


Shortbread and Ginger said...

Absolutely brilliant! Its not just the English who have a great sense of humour, us Scots see the funny side of history too!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Joanna said...

That's most of my day off sorted, I have forgotten how funny these were. Watching these again much more enjoyable than housework

Anonymous said...

There goes MY day! These are absolutely fabulous, in the best way. I adore Adrain Scarborough, too, and it's nice to see him cutting up like this. Usually he's cast in more serious roles. Remember Mr. Pritchard the butler in the new version of Upstairs, Downstairs?

Heather Carroll said...

Oh course you choose my favorite line from the whole series!

It makes me sad they didn't continue with it especially with such a great cast.

Isobel Carr said...

How on earth have I missed these?

Leslie Carroll said...

I can't believe that I've missed these, too! Especially since I'm a fan of both the real thing and the parody artists. This is too, too perfect! I needed the laugh -- particularly since this coming Sunday (10/16) is a rather grim and sad anniversary for royalistes like moi -- the anniversary of Marie Antoinette's beheading.

Di said...

Love these things - wish we had more access to Brit TV here across the pond.

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