The Corner

Re: Lounge Lizard

Thank you, Mark, and thanks to the many readers who emailed in to help.

Yep, the song — the music, at least (and it’s the music that carries the charm of the thing) — is by Anne Dudley, and was written just for the show. I’m still not sure why the producers would do that, when there are so many great tunes from the period they could use. And that they do in fact use: the next number by that nightclub singer is the old jazz standard “If I Had You” (here at 5m45s). But I guess once you’ve got a composer on the payroll, you have to let her compose something.

Apologies to a couple of readers grumbling that I’ve got them hooked on watching the series. Personally I think the Jeeves & Wooster stories belong to the category of things that work better in print. This series is done as well as it possibly could be done, though. The casting is spot-on (as Bertie would say). Hugh Laurie is perfect. Gussy Fink-Nottle is every newt’s dream. Aunt Agatha gives new meaning to the word “embonpoint.” Those brisk, sporty, upper-class English gels are terrifyingly true to life — I am having nightmares. And Stephen Fry’s Jeeves is an acting masterpiece. Watch him explain syncopation to Bertie at 1m24s here.

Not that Jeeves is infallible.

Bertie:  Miss Pendleton is still proving obdurate, Jeeves. She wouldn’t answer my telephone calls yesterday.

Jeeves:  In my experience, ladies who spell “Gwladys” with a “w” are seldom noted for their reliability, Sir. It gives them romantic notions. …  I blame Alfred Lord Tennyson and his Idylls of the King, Sir. It also accounts for “Kathryn,”  “Ysobel,”  and “Ethyl” with a “y”.  But “Gwladys” with a “w” is a particularly virulent form.

(At 6m42s here.) In fact a scan of Idylls of the King on Gutenberg.org yields no occurrences of any of those names, though there is an Ettare, an Isolt, a Vivien, and a Lynette. I leave it to our own corporate counsel to determine whether this error gives K-Lo a claim on the Wodehouse estate.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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