Jeeves and Wooster (1990-1993)
Jeeves is more than the archetype for all future butlers; he’s more like a superhero. The P.G. Wodehouse creation is knowledgeable on nearly every subject, can glide into and out of a room without anyone noticing, mixes both killer cocktails and miraculous hangover cures, and is capable of extricating his master, upper-class twit Bertie Wooster, from any sticky situation. Curiously, Jeeves finds serving the hapless Wooster so fulfilling that he never quits to, say, go cure cancer or win the Nobel Peace Prize. (Of course, he dishes plenty about his boss to the other butlers at the Junior Ganymede Club.)
Over the years, Jeeves has been a popular character in books, radio shows, plays and musicals, movies, and even as the inspiration for a Web search engine, but his most satisfying incarnation may have been in the U.K. TV series Jeeves and Wooster. Indeed, the comedy team of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (pictured, left and right, respectively) seemed tailor-made to play the Wodehouse pair. Fry’s unflappability is the perfect tonic to Laurie’s wide-eyed, slack-jawed cluelessness. Their chemistry suggests the real reason Jeeves never leaves Wooster: the match between Bertie’s complete neediness and Jeeves’ thorough resourcefulness makes theirs an ideal bromance.
Next Lynn Belvedere