One constant throughout the years in British comedy is the strong connection between a son and/or daughter and their mother. Unfortunately, the connection may have not always been a good thing, but it’s still a connection nevertheless. Here’s a quick look at a few that would make my top-5 mothers of all-time. Anyone else have additions to the greatest mothers of British comedy?
Keeping Up Appearances – Hyacinth and Sheridan
How can you not have a list that includes the ultimate mother, Hyacinth Bucket. Or is Sheridan the ultimate son. Always calling his “Mummy”, Sheridan was never seen in the series, but did call home frequently. Sheridan is perpetually away at a “polytechnic of university standard”. How can you not recognize the love between mother and son as she agrees to send money allowing Sheridan and friend, Tarquin, to rebuild Romania along with his endless need for silk pajamas.
Are You Being Served – Mrs. Annie Humphries and Wilberforce
Another case of is this the ultimate son or ultimate mother. In the series, Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries still lives with his mother, Annie. While only seen in two episodes, “Founder’s Day” and “Heir Apparent”, Mrs. Annie Humphries was definitely part of the cast with Mr. Humphries referring to her regularly. “Heir Apparent” was classic Are You Being Served? with Mrs. Humphries having to come to Grace Brothers to answer the question surrounding Old Mr. Grace’s assertion that Wilberforce could be his long lost son.
Waiting for God – Diana Trent and niece, Sarah
Ok, technically, Diana Trent was never a mother. She does have a niece, Sarah, with whom she is very distant with, going as far as to suggest that she runs a prostitution ring is constantly attempting to kill her with poison. When Sarah has a child, Diana, we finally learn of Great-Aunt Diana’s inability to have children. We now begin to understand the reason for her overall hostility to the world as a whole. She would have made a great mother.
Sorry – Phyllis Lumsden and Timothy
Phyllis probably won’t win any contests for Mother of the Year. Son, Timothy, is a 41-year old that still lives with his domineering mother. Timothy would love to settle down, but somehow, Phyllis manages to sabotage every potential relationship. Interesting side note, William Morris, who played hen-pecked father, Sydney, was married to Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Slocombe, Are You Being Served?).
Absolutely Fabulous – Edina, Saffy and Mother Monsoon
The ultimate addition to the list as you not only get Edina (Jennifer Saunders) on the ‘mothers’ list, but you get a bonus with June Whitfield’s portrayal of Mother Monsoon. She may be despised by her daughter, but she’s adored by her granddaughter, Saffy. The back and forth between Saffy and Edina and Edina and Mrs. M is priceless and makes them deserving of the list of all-time mothers.