Julien Neaves – Editor
If you had told me three years ago when I started this blog that my most popular article of all time would be “Top 10 ‘Allo ‘Allo Catchphrases” I would have said “You stupid woman!” Or man. That would work too.
But one rule of mass media is give the people what they want, and so, in celebration of my blogaversary, here is another list on the beloved British WWII sitcom. Here are the Top 10 ‘Allo ‘Allo characters:
#10 Captain Alberto Bertorelli
Loud, randy and oh-so-very Italian, Captain Bertorelli stuck out like a sore thumb among his uptight German colleagues. He was known for randomly kissing people, saying “Heil-a Mussolini” instead of “Heil Hitler” and his famous catchphrase when things inevitably went wrong, “What a mistake-a to make-a!”
#9 Carstairs and Fairfax
Leave it to the British to make the three British characters on the show bumbling idiots; we’ll get to number three later on the list. British airmen Carstairs and Fairfax, two interchangeable buffoons, couldn’t get themselves out of a used paper bag, much less German-occupied France. But seeing what new hare-brained scheme the Resistance came up with to save them, and watching it fail spectacularly, always made for great entertainment.
#8 Monsieur Roger LeClerc
A master of disguise (that never fooled anyone) Monsieur LeClerc was most memorable for “revealing himself” with “It is I, LeClerc!” Yes LeClerc, we know it’s you. We always know it’s you.
#7 Madame Fanny La Fan
How could you not love this crotchety old woman? Madame Fanny La Fan was fond of banging her stick, giving her relatives guilt trips and figuratively spitting on Germans while actually spitting. You would be ornery too if your bed was a secret Resistance radio. Freaking flashing knobs!
#6 Yvette Carte-Blanche and Mimi Labonq
Legendary lecher René Artois liked them tall, short, even prone to frequent spitting. While waitress Maria was sweet enough we have to give this spot to the sultry Michelle and the diminutive and German-hating Mimi. These two had two things in common: they were waitresses at the same cafe and they were both obsessively in love with their boss. If we had a franc for every time Edith caught one of these two in a compromising position with René we would have, well, a whole lot of francs.
#5 Lieutenant Hubert Gruber
An apt alternative title for ‘Allo ‘Allo could have been “Everybody loves René.” And one of the characters with eyes for our favourite cafe owner and reluctant Resistance agent was Lt Gruber. And he was about as subtle with his flirting as Bertorelli’s hat was a subtle fashion statement. Poor Gruber was barking up the wrong tree though.
#4 Michelle “of the Résistance” Dubois
Michelle is a woman of intrigue and all about the mission, even going so far as to fool Rene into thinking she was in love with him. Sure she was used mostly for exposition and setting the plot into motion, but she did it with such style and confidence. And she really rocked that beret.
#3 Herr Otto Flick
An office photocopier has more emotional range than Gestapo officer Herr Flick, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether limping around looking menacing, awkwardly romancing Private Helga Geerhart or bossing around von Smallhausen (aka the original mini-me) Flick’s antics were always good for a belly laugh.
#2 Captain Crabtree
Just thinking about Officer Crabtree is enough to bring a smile on your face. And rewatching the many ways this British spy posing as a Parisian police officer mangled the French language (viewers heard it as ridiculous English) may engender raucous belly laughter. Consider yourself warned. Sure he was known for his “good moaning” (instead of good morning) but his repertoire of mistranslated nonsense is much, much wider than that.
#1 Rene Artois and Edith Melba Artois
Was there ever going to be anyone else? The Artois are the heart and soul of this beloved sitcom. Rene with his sarcastic wit, out-of-control libido and political apathy are wonderfully counterbalanced by his doting, off-key singing and patriotic wife. And whether Rene was breaking the fourth wall, coming up with a highly implausible reason why he was in the arms of another woman, or on some crazy mission for the Resistance you knew that hijinks and chuckles were not too far behind. Vive la ‘Allo ‘Allo.
So who’s your favourite ‘Allo ‘Allo character? And if you enjoyed this article you can give us a share. It is greatly appreciated. For my Top 10 ‘Allo ‘Allo catchphrases you can click here.
Julien Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel but dreams of being Batman. Also loves creating board games and is an aspiring Caribbean sci-fi author. Says things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce.”