On the Buses

On air for 7 years and spawning several specials and feature films “On the Buses” is a sit com that highlights the trials and tribulations of Stan (Reg Varney), a bus driver for the Luxton & District Traction Company, and his conductor Jack (Bob Grant). Stan and Jack are a couple of “jack-the-lads” who are not averse to clocking a bit of crumpet here and there and much of the series contains material that would not be acceptable by today’s standards.

Examples of this include politically incorrect jokes about race as well as women only being treated as sex objects. Another character who serves as antagonist to the boy’s fun is Inspector Blake who’ll do anything to make them miserable and often succeeds earning him nicknames such as Hitler, The Gestapo, Dracula, Frankenstein and Abominable Snowman.

Other characters include Olive Rudge (Anna Karen) Stan’s frumpy, whining sister and her husband Arthur (Michael Robbins) who works for the railway and is fervent unionist. The bawdy nature of this show reflects the attitudes and humour of Britain in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s and while often denounced by critics was one of the most popular sitcoms of its day.