2 January 2019
By Chris Dodd
The BBC’s seasonal schedule threw up Blackadder Goes Forth for Christmas couch-potatoes, the final series of a sit-com first shown in 1989 that successfully mixes extreme hilarity with coruscating criticism of British Army leadership in World War I.
The following cameo takes place between characters played by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and to appreciate it, readers of HTBS need to be aware that actor Laurie, like his father before him, is a Cambridge Blue.
A trench in Flanders during World War I
Cast in order of appearance:
General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett – Stephen Fry
Lieutenant The Honourable George Colthurst St Barleigh – Hugh Laurie
Captain Edmund Blackadder – Rowan Atkinson
George, how are you, my boy?
Barleigh (to Blackadder):
Permission to speak, Sir?
Blackadder (Barleigh’s CO):
Nods head in aquiecense.
Barleigh: (to Melchett)
Absolutely top hole, Sir. Ying, yang, yipperty-do!
Splendid. Your uncle Bertie sends his regards. I told them you would have a week off – don’t want you missing the Boat Race, do we?
Certainly not. (To Blackadder) Permission to sing boisterously, Sir?
If you must.
Barleigh and Melchett sing with gestures:
Row, row, row your punt
Gently down the stream,
Belts off, trousers down,
Isn’t life a scream!
Fabulous. University education, you can’t beat it.