Bold statement: Fawlty Towers is the funniest television show ever written. And Basil Fawlty is one of the best characters ever written. I like to think of him as a proto-Malcolm Tucker: always angry, constantly and seemingly effortlessly sniping at staff and guests, with insults at least as witty as Iannucci’s.
Every word and every line is delivered just so (Cleese was such a perfectionist that some episodes took months to finish). It’s really quite a treat to watch. I was going to embed a different clip, but I stumbled on this supercut of “Basil-isms” as I was writing this that illustrates him quite perfectly.
I beg of you, watch every episode of this perfect television show. It won’t take long. They only made 12 episodes, which is a crime far greater than the early retirement of Arrested Development.