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Mollie Sugden dies at 86
July 1, 2009 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Mrs. Slocombe is no longer free. Actress Mollie Sugden has died at 86, after a long illness. Best known as the irascible Mrs. Slocombe in the long running British sitcom "Are You Being Served?" who famous cared a great deal about her pussy.
posted by dnash (84 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
(gah..."famousLY" That's what I get for being in a hurry.)
posted by dnash at 2:07 PM on July 1, 2009


Oh no. Who will take care of her pussy now? :(


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posted by zarq at 2:07 PM on July 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


Was her hair blue-rinsed to the end?
posted by orange swan at 2:15 PM on July 1, 2009


At least she was unanimous in her death.
posted by prufrock at 2:17 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


RIP Mollie.

But can PBS please stop running AYBS now? Please?? It's not like the BBC stopped making TV shows in the 70's. How about Heartbeat instead? Anything, please. Just no more Are You Being Served. I totally got served, thanks. I'm good now.
posted by GuyZero at 2:20 PM on July 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


Oh, sadness!

Are You Being Served was my favorite TV show growing up. Sure, I watched Full House and Family Matters like everyone else, but it was the cheeky double entendres and mesmerizing theme song of this strange aquarium-like world (nothing exists outside the store!) that really made me smile.

Mrs. Slocombe, and her pussy, will be missed.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:23 PM on July 1, 2009



My Mom loved her in AYBS and so did I.

RIP Mrs. Sugden.
posted by darkstar at 2:27 PM on July 1, 2009


Funny Women - Mollie Sugden 1, 2, 3.

Ground floor perfumery,
stationery and leather goods,
wigs and haberdashery
kitchenware and food...going up

First floor telephones,
gents ready-made suits,
shirts, socks, ties, hats,
underwear and shoes...going up

Not many left now...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:31 PM on July 1, 2009


Are You Being Served was the first British sitcom I ever watched. I was very, very young at the time.

Mollie Sugden taught me what "pussy" meant.

She was Maude to my Harold.

RIP
posted by unsupervised at 2:34 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sure, I watched Full House and Family Matters like everyone else...

Don't lump me in.
posted by gman at 2:37 PM on July 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


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posted by Skorgu at 2:41 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by xingcat at 2:48 PM on July 1, 2009


May she never have to deal with obstropulous people again.
With Wendy Richards' departure in February, the Ladies' Department is now unattended.
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posted by Heretic at 2:48 PM on July 1, 2009


They're dropping like flies.

Mollie Sugden came from the fantastic era of British comedy that gave us Carry On and a raft of double entendre driven comedy. Sadly missed.

Mollie Sugden got to the pearly gates and asked for a halo, so St Peter gave her one. Boom-boom!

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posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 2:57 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


You wouldn't be able to make pussy jokes on a US primetime sitcom, would you? I wonder if that's simply because of US prudery, or if it's because "pussy" almost exclusively refers to female genitalia in the US, whereas in the UK it's still quite widely used to refer to a cat.
posted by yoink at 2:59 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, I loved that show when I was a kid.

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posted by graventy at 2:59 PM on July 1, 2009


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Are You Being Served was my favourite show when I was quite young. I'm genuinely sad that we have now lost Mollie Sugden, Wendy Richard and John Inman.
posted by sueinnyc at 2:59 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by runincircles at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2009


You wouldn't be able to make pussy jokes on a US primetime sitcom, would you? I wonder if that's simply because of US prudery, or if it's because "pussy" almost exclusively refers to female genitalia in the US, whereas in the UK it's still quite widely used to refer to a cat.

The English comedian David Baddiel once joked that when AYBS was first shown, Mrs Slocombe seemed to be taking chiefly about her cat, with a faint entendre about her vagina. Whereas now, she appears to be unabashedly talking abut her vagina, with the slight possibility it might actually be about her cat ...
posted by outlier at 3:10 PM on July 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


There was a techno remix of AYBS' theme song? Man, I'd love to hear that.
posted by boo_radley at 3:17 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by heathkit at 3:23 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by sonascope at 3:24 PM on July 1, 2009


She will be missed...and I am unanimous in that.
posted by inturnaround at 3:27 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by lalochezia at 3:33 PM on July 1, 2009


Mrs. Slocombe is one of the namesakes of a fabulous local ice cream shop: Humphrey Slocombe. I would recommend that anyone within traveling distance should go have a cone there in her memory.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:37 PM on July 1, 2009


Are You Being Served was my favourite show when I was quite young. I'm genuinely sad that we have now lost Mollie Sugden, Wendy Richard and John Inman.

Inman is always confused in my mind with Kenneth Williams, perhaps not unreasonably given the Carry On films were cranking out in parallel with Are You Being Served?

If you wanted to provide definitions of "camp" or "double entendre" you would need only show episodes of AYBS.
posted by rodgerd at 3:42 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


So this is what everyone else felt like earlier in the week when Michael Jackson died...
posted by greekphilosophy at 3:55 PM on July 1, 2009 [12 favorites]


Oh god... I had to go and try to prove my googlefu... Regurgitator - Are U Being Served?. It has it's better moments - they're just few and far between...
posted by twine42 at 4:09 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


and just because I needed something to get it out of my head...
posted by twine42 at 4:10 PM on July 1, 2009


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(I loved that show, for reasons I cannot even comprehend.)
posted by maxwelton at 4:12 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


There was a techno remix of AYBS' theme song? Man, I'd love to hear that.

Don't forget the Coil version.
posted by lizjohn at 4:25 PM on July 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


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(pretended it's dyed lavender like her hair)
posted by Ranucci at 4:31 PM on July 1, 2009


Well at least now we know when she was born.
posted by Avenger at 4:38 PM on July 1, 2009


Damn it

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posted by Sailormom at 4:45 PM on July 1, 2009


.

I remember my parents letting me watch that show at a very young age and I somehow got it all. Between Mollie and John Inman, it was everything I needed to make my Sunday afternoon be filled with laughter.

"...going down."
posted by deezil at 4:45 PM on July 1, 2009


And yes, btw, I'm surprised at the number of people who watched AYBS as children. I think it's probably because there just wasn't anything else on PBS Sunday afternoon besides New Yankee Workshop.

Rest in Peace, Mollie

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posted by Avenger at 4:49 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 4:58 PM on July 1, 2009


Was it her or someone mocking her on that episode of Filthy Rich and Catflap?
posted by the christopher hundreds at 5:00 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by paddbear at 5:10 PM on July 1, 2009


Thank you PBS!

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posted by futureisunwritten at 5:22 PM on July 1, 2009


I'd much rather see endless repeats of AYBS than the draggy and unfunny "Last of the Summer Wine," which is all they show on the public TV stations in Nashville.
posted by blucevalo at 5:30 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


:(
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posted by NikitaNikita at 5:57 PM on July 1, 2009


"I do hope you're not labouring under the misapprehension that I was in the pub boozing, I merely popped in to buy a packet of crisops."

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She was part of my childhood, and I am unanimous in that.
posted by biscotti at 5:57 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


ooh, that coil version + vid was weeeird. but somewhat likeable.
posted by NikitaNikita at 6:05 PM on July 1, 2009


Oh god...

This was my favorite show as a child. Just a few months ago I sat down and watched the whole series from start to end. It was just as funny and cheerful and I just LOVE it so much.

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posted by Windigo at 6:24 PM on July 1, 2009


This is the first celeb death in a long time that's actually made me sad.

Thanks for all the laughs, Moll.
posted by Eideteker at 6:26 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by pemberkins at 6:45 PM on July 1, 2009


There was an excellent Drum & Bass version I can't find.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:48 PM on July 1, 2009


Good to see so many people paying tribute to Mollie. Her death is especially poignant for me, because I was a bridesmaid at her wedding.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 7:03 PM on July 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


RIP, Mary Elizabeth Jennifer Rachel Yiddell Abergavenny Slocombe. Maybe now your erotic dreams will finally come to fruition.

I've watched AYBS? so many times I know many of the episodes--and lines--by heart. It is indeed sad to see the cast members pass on, but they live forever in this British--and American--institution.

Mollie Sugden, thanks for everything. And never, ever respond to another man's finger.

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posted by armage at 7:14 PM on July 1, 2009


what a wonderful actress! she'll be missed...

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posted by kuppajava at 7:28 PM on July 1, 2009


I think it's probably because there just wasn't anything else on PBS Sunday afternoon besides New Yankee Workshop.

AYBS came on Saturday evenings around ten for me. My dad introduced me to it and mentioned there were some dirty jokes, but they flew right over my head!

Still loved it. Loved her <3
posted by rubah at 7:31 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by joannemerriam at 7:33 PM on July 1, 2009


It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen on TV... Mrs. Slocombe intercepts Mr. Lucas' letter to Miss Brahms and begins to read...

"Dear Sexy Knickers...

I don't 'alf fancy you."

(Horrified looks on the faces of Mr. Lucas and Mr. Humphries)

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posted by evilcolonel at 7:54 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by Sys Rq at 7:56 PM on July 1, 2009


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posted by orthogonality at 7:58 PM on July 1, 2009


But can PBS please stop running AYBS now? Please??

Noooooooo!!! (Of course, they've already axed it here...and yet, for some inexplicable reason, Keeping Up Appearances lives on. Huh?)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:05 PM on July 1, 2009


Aww, first John Inman and now Mollie! AYBS would have been nothing at all without them.

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I loved her cameo on Little Britain. David Walliams played Liz, who shamelessly brags nonstop about how she was a bridesmaid at Mollie Sugden's wedding.. until she happens to actually bump into Mollie Sugden, that is. Two clips.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:31 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:50 PM on July 1, 2009


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I loved that show. One of the funniest bits ever was when the staff spent the night at the store. You hear an angry MEOW and then "Mr Humphries! Leave my pussy alone".

I always think of her when I talk to my cats.
posted by mike3k at 8:50 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


She was a diamond. (Though let's not forget Come Back Mrs. Noah, which was truly horrifyingly bad.)

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posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:15 PM on July 1, 2009


I used to watch New Yankee Workshop with my dad, then he would leave to go do some woodworking in his shop, leaving me to develop a love for british comedy and dirty jokes and puns.

Thank you. <3

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posted by schyler523 at 9:16 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


So glad to see so much love for her here.

At a loss for a quote except for the one that I've wanted to use during sex and I have used when someone has wagged their pointer at me:

"Captain Peacock, I do not respond to any man's finger."

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(imagine mine lime green)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:18 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Loved her. She had a good run.
posted by nickyskye at 9:26 PM on July 1, 2009


A wonderful comic actress, and gracious to her fans.

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posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 10:18 PM on July 1, 2009


Although Mrs Slocombe was her most famous role, I'll always remember her as Jimmy Clitheroe's mother in the TV productions of The Clitheroe Kid. There's nothing weirder than a man in his 40's playing a little boy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:37 PM on July 1, 2009


Moms Minus will definitely be bummed about this. She loved that show, possibly more than she loves the Queen, or Jeopardy!, and she loves the Queen and Jeopardy! a lot.

I've always liked the theme music for/from AYBS.


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posted by Minus215Cee at 12:50 AM on July 2, 2009


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posted by DreamerFi at 1:43 AM on July 2, 2009


Oh... oh no. What a sad moment.

It's all going to buggery, folks. They're leaving us in droves.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:01 AM on July 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


and she loves the Queen and Jeopardy! a lot.

I think your mother and I may be the same person.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:02 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was Mollie Sugden's Bridesmaid
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 2:09 AM on July 2, 2009


The English comedian David Baddiel once joked that when AYBS was first shown, Mrs Slocombe seemed to be taking chiefly about her cat, with a faint entendre about her vagina. Whereas now, she appears to be unabashedly talking abut her vagina, with the slight possibility it might actually be about her cat ...

Could that be because the young Baddiel was not desperately familiar with the less feline interpretation? He would have been 8 hen it was first shown. Slightly interestingly, in looking up his age, imdb has Baddiel as being born in the US.
posted by biffa at 2:27 AM on July 2, 2009


I never really understood how You Got Served was supposed to be a sequel to this show?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:28 AM on July 2, 2009


Oh, no! Losing Wendy Richard was bad enough!

Rest in peace, Mrs Slocombe.

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posted by orrnyereg at 5:36 AM on July 2, 2009


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posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:52 AM on July 2, 2009


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posted by grubi at 6:03 AM on July 2, 2009


The only time I ever saw my mom laugh at an off color joke was Mrs Slocombe talking about her pussy.

RIP, Mrs Slocombe. Have fun in the great hair salon in the sky.
posted by 8dot3 at 7:42 AM on July 2, 2009


She will be missed, and I am unanimous in that! :(
posted by Hanuman1960 at 8:26 AM on July 2, 2009


:(

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posted by elfgirl at 8:47 AM on July 2, 2009


Choice Mollie Sugden clips from AYBS and other shows.
posted by blucevalo at 9:03 AM on July 2, 2009


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I had been holding off showing this series to my kids. I thought I was kinda odd for liking it so much as a child and that maybe it wouldn't interest them. I think I will give it a shot though.
posted by saucysault at 9:22 AM on July 2, 2009


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posted by Tarn at 11:36 AM on July 2, 2009


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posted by tommasz at 12:05 PM on July 2, 2009


How ignomonius. So long, Mollie...

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posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 12:54 PM on July 2, 2009


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