"No wonder you want me to take sleeping tablets, you're a sex maniac!"
Seventies Britcom centred on workers of the Luxton & District Traction Company. The main characters are Stan Butler, a bus driver, and his best mate and conductor, Jack Harper. Their arch-nemesis is pen-pushing bureaucrat bus inspector Cyril "Blakey" Blake. Recurring characters include Stan's mum, sister Olive and brother-in-law Arthur. Olive and Arthur are unhappily married, which is often joked about. Seventy-four episodes were made from 1969 to 1973. Three spinoff films were also made.On the Buses
was one of the earliest British sitcoms to centre on working-class people's lives. Much of the humour comes from Stan and Jack's attempts at chatting up women, while trying to get out of doing any work. Critics derided the show as being vulgar, but it was hugely popular with audiences. Some episodes were watched by 16 million viewers, a figure unknown today, due to the splintering of the British televsion market.
Came fifty-third in Britain's Best Sitcom
This show provides examples of:
- Actor-Shared Background - Bob Grant (Stan) worked as a bus conductor in real life, in order to pay his way through RADA.
- All Men Are Perverts - Jack and Stan are forever skirt-chasing, much to Blakey's disgust.
- Blind Without 'Em - Olive loses her glasses on a regular basis, and of course can see nothing without them.
- British Accents
- The Chew Toy - Poor Olive, destined to be dumped on and have fat jokes told about her, despite being played by an ex-model, who also appeared in a nudie cutie and several Carry On films. (One fan cite uses the phrase "the delectable Olive" to describe her.)
- Dawson Casting - Stan was supposed to be in his mid-thirties, but Reg Varney was 52 when the series began.
- Double Entendre - A mainstay of the humour.
- Godwin's Law - Jack and Stan regularly cracking gags comparing Blakey to Hitler is a big case of Values Dissonance for modern viewers, particularly since all he wants them to do is be on time and do some work.
- Have a Gay Old Time - "There's always gay life on the buses/make sure you leave your bird at home".
- Foreign People Are Sexy - The infamous episode where the boys pull a couple of Swedish birds.
- Housewife - Stan's mum, a totally archetypal British 1950s housewife with a scarf perpetually over her hair
- Loveable Rogue - Jack and Stan
- The Movie - Actually three - On the Buses (1971), Mutiny on the Buses (1972), and Holiday on the Buses (1973)
- The first movie is notable for being the most successful film that Hammer Film Productions ever made. Yes, that Hammer.
- Naughty by Night - Well, Olive would like to be, but Arthur has other ideas...
- No Accounting for Taste - Olive and Arthur are a brilliantly ghastly combination.
- The Other Darrin: Cicely Courtneidge played Mum in Series One. Doris Hare took over the part in Series Two.
- Popcultural Osmosis - "Blakey from On The Buses" is sometimes referred to in conversation (as a comparison to people) by other people who've never seen the series.
- Put on a Bus - Rather amusingly for Tropers, Stan leaves the series for Oop North, on the grounds that bus drivers make more money there, thus he literally was Put on a Bus.
- Sitcom Character Archetypes - Jack and Stan are Wisecrackers, Blakey is The Bully, Arthur is The Stick, and Olive is The Dork.
- Three Is Company
- Wardrobe Malfunction leading to Disaster Dominoes at the beginning of the third movie.