Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grudge Match: Mr. Belvedere vs. Mr. French

I have a cold and my mind is working strangely, so you know what that means: another pointless pop-culture fight that WWWF Grudge Match never got around to doing.



In honor, if that's the word for it, of the upcoming DVD release of Mr. Belvedere -- by the way, did you know that the three showrunners of Mr. Belvedere were all veteran writer-producers of Barney Miller? -- I'm sponsoring a fight between two proper English butlers forced to work as glorified nannies for bratty American children: Mr. Belvedere (Christopher Hewett) vs. Mr. French (Sebastian Cabot, Family Affair). The winner gets to go and work in Buckingham Palace or some other place where people like Bob Uecker don't live.

(The Belvedere from the Clifton Webb movies doesn't count here; this is the TV version.)


Belvedere has two obvious advantages. One is that he's been toughened up by dealing with Wesley, who is by far the worst human being among the six kids on these two shows. (It's eerie, looking at that show again, to be reminded that Wesley was basically Bart Simpson before Bart Simpson existed, except in live-action and with poorer writing.) Being forced to live with this destructive scene-stealing idiot has given Mr. Belvedere the all-important RAGE™. The other is that he has a considerable height advantage over French.

On the other hand, Mr. French has probably learned a thing or two from the stoic and bad-ass Uncle Bill, and Mr. French is just cooler: working for wealthy Brian Keith in a swanky New York apartment is a way more enviable life than working for Bob Uecker in Pittsburgh. Still, I have to think that Belvedere will grab French's umbrella, bash his head in, and write about it all in his diary that night.

6 comments:

Jorge Garrido said...

IS his real name Mr. French?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Belvedere would have the upper hand until Mr. French fought dirty by singing the Bob Dylan songbook at top volume. The album "Sebastian Cabot, Actor Bob Dylan, Poet" verifies this. Cabot's musical interpretation of Dylan's words is like Shatner sans the saving grace of humor. It is staggeringly awful.

Kirk Jusko said...

Maybe Arthur Treacher (Jeeves) could referee.

J Lee said...

I keep picturing Mr. French vs. Roger De Bris from "The Producers". No question who would win that one, though there's always the possibility Carmen Ghia might jump on French's back during the fight and scratch him up a bit).

burlivespipe said...

I think his name was Giles French, although thoroughly uppercrust Brit. Me thinks Mr French would do a climb-up onto the ropes and have Belvedere wearing Ms Beasley's undergarments within a fortnight...

Anonymous said...

Dick Shawn would give French the worst of it until he'd drop dead. French would keep kicking Shawn until he realized it wasn't part of the act. Then French would sing "Like a Rolling Stone", bringing Shawn back and Shawn would beat the hell out of French and sell the video rights to Merill Heater and Bob Quigley.