Britain’s Unsung Comedy Heroes – Manuel
Whilst Basil Fawlty got a mention in the recent GOLD show: Britain’s Greatest Comedy Character, in fact he got to number 5, everybody’s favourite Spanish waiter was left out. So we’ve decided to put him in our list of Britain’s Unsung Comedy Heroes.
Played so brilliantly Andrew Sachs, Manuel was central to the comedy of Fawlty Towers.
The hapless Spanish waiter from Barcelona is well meaning but hopelessly disorganised. His limited grasp of English “Que?” constantly gets him into trouble as he frequently needs orders simplified or repeated in Spanish by Polly. However Manuel often gets confused when Basil speaks Spanish, Basil states that this is because he learnt classical Spanish and “not that strange dialect he (Manuel) seems to have picked up”. When he finally understands he frequently answers “sí” (‘yes’).
In an attempt to relay instructions to Manuel, Basil is often seen verbally and physically assaulting him.
Whilst he appears to be afraid of Basil’s quick temper and violent assaults, he often expresses his appreciation for being given the position. In multiple episodes he shown to be capable of playing the guitar and singing to some extent. In the final episode we see he has kept a pet rat ( naming it Basil after his boss) for over a year, after being told by the man at the shop it was a Siberian Hamster.
Manuel has a mother, five brothers and four sisters.