Bertie Wooster and his astonishing butler, Jeeves, were created by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse in a 1915 short story entitled 'Extricating Young Gussie,' before going solo in 1919 with My Man Jeeves, after which they became one of the most loved fictional creations in British literature.
In this 1960's BBC series adapted by Richard Waring and Michael Mills, both Dennis Price and Ian Carmichael were ideally cast as the perfect (and perfectly snobbish) gentlemen's gentleman and his 'silly ass' of an employer. Although both actors were somewhat older than the characters as described in the original stories, a combination of perfect comic timing and delivery of dialogue turned the series into a resounding success. The plots invariably revolved around idle rich and rather dim-witted Bertie, dashingly dressed and monocle firmly in place, getting himself into some sort of social misadventure before the imperturbable Jeeves stepped in at the last minute to save the day.
The series was revived (quite simply as Jeeves and Wooster) in 1990 to equal perfection with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry in the leads. Although Jeeves' first name was never referred to in the series and indeed remained a mystery for many years (even to his employer), it was revealed in P G Wodehouse's 1971 novel, Much Obliged Jeeves. His name was Reginald.
Published on January 17th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.