Fictional Characters Wiki

"This is typical. Absolutely typical... of the kind of... ARSE I have to put up with from you people! You ponce in here, expecting to be handwaited on hand and foot while I'm trying to run a hotel here! Have you any idea of how much there is to do? Do you ever think of that? Of course not! You're all too busy sticking your noses into every corner, poking around for things to complain about, aren't you? Well, let me tell you something—this is exactly how Nazi-Germany started! A lot of layabouts with nothing better to do than to cause trouble! Well, I've had fifteen years of pandering to the likes of you, and I've had enough! I've had it! Come on, pack your bags and get out!"

  • Basil Fawty, 'Waldorf Salad' (1979) Fawlty Towers Season 2, Episode 3

Basil Fawlty is the main character of the British sitcom, Fawlty Towers. He is played by John Cleese.

He was created by John Cleese and Connie Booth and inspired by Donald Sinclair, a spontaneously erratic hotel manager who left an impression on John Cleese while he and other Monty Python members were visiting his establishment.

Fawlty is the sarcastic, ill-tempered owner of Fawlty Towers in Torquay, England; there he is accompained by his professional and far more competent wife, Sybil Fawlty, and his employees such as Manuel, a waiter from Barcelona who can barely speak or understand English.

Fawlty is not particularly antagonisitc nor heroic in most regards, however he often comes in conflict with the customers of his hotel; whom he wishes were more upper class and of higher social status. Either too cautious or completely unempathetic when dealing with customers; he has incredible anxiety and may possibly be bipolar.

Notable Moments

  • In 'A Tocuh of Class' (1975) Fawlty Towers Season 1, Episode 1; we learn that Fawlty has hired Manuel simply due to the fact he was cheap, that Fawlty hates unions, that he is incredibly hypocritical and at the same time absolutely ignorant about it, that he often decides whether or not he hates somebody just by looking at them for the first time, and that he can be extremely gullible.
  • In 'The Hotel Inspectors' (1975) Fawlty Towers Season 1, Episode 3; Fawlty becomes incredibly stressed when he is told hotel inspectors will be visiting Fawlty Towers. He assumes two random strangers are the inspectors and so attempts to pamper them, however he is later informed one is in fact a spoon salesman and so disregards him and later insults and assaults him. Fawlty later begs and pleads to the second man, whom he still believes is a hotel inspector. Once Fawlty is told the truth, he and Manuel proceed to assault the first man with pies before kicking him out, unfortunately at the same time the real hotel inspectors show up.
  • In 'The Germans' (1975) Fawlty Towers Season 1, Episode 6; after taking several minutes to lecture his customers about the hotel's fire drill, Fawlty, blissfully unaware a fire is currently in the hotel kitchen, throws Manuel into the kitchen and locks the door. He later discovers the fire and grabs a fire extinguisher before knocking himself unconscious while attempting to use it. Waking up at the hospital, Fawlty refuses to be away from managing his hotel and escapes. Later when he has arrived at his hotel, Fawlty antagonises a group of German guests by making repeated references to Adolf Hitler and World War 2 while at the same time telling his staff not to mention Adolf Hitler and World War 2. He proceeds to do an impression of Hitler while goose-stepping before being chased by hospital staff and getting knocked unconscious by a moose head decoration.