Worzel Gummidge 1.6 – Worzel Pays a Visit

It’s the one with the food fight. I wondered whether I would lose consciousness laughing before our son. It’s epic.

There’s so much in the comedy of anticipation. The setup is completely wonderful: Aunt Sally has found employment as a housemaid to the local penny-pinching snob, Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton. Sue has told Worzel where she can be found, over the objections of her brother. This scene also had me roaring with laughter, because I’d seen our son’s older siblings have arguments exactly like that, carrying on silently when I told them to hush.

But because Aunt Sally is a very proud liar, and because Worzel happens to come a’courtin’ while Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton is engaged in some social climbing at another area snob’s invitation, she passes herself off as the owner of the estate. She says that she does not remember Worzel, because she ’as so many friends, and Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton is her companion, not employer. But she chooses to entertain “Mr. Gummidge,” despite “staff problems” requiring her to do the serving, and she brings out more freaking cakes for tea than any two people could possibly eat. The more food that she brings out, the more hilarious it gets. It gets even funnier as it becomes evident that neither Worzel nor Sally can count, and Una Stubbs almost breaks down laughing herself as she explains that six is more than seven. And then they become cross with each other.

I don’t want to oversell it, just in case anybody reading this is thinking about ordering this series and expecting something on the level of the pie fight in The Great Race. No, it’s more contained than that, but still a majestic single-take wonder with cakes and eggs and sugar and buckets of water, all the while knowing, absolutely knowing that Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton is going to return much earlier than expected. It was already the funniest thing ever, and then we learn that Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton doesn’t have just a pack, she has a whole freaking army of little yipping dogs, and a shotgun. Everybody involved deserves a standing ovation.

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