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P. G. Wodehouse

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"Thank you, Jeeves!"

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) is an English comic writer who enjoyed enormous popular success for more than seventy years. He is best known for creating Jeeves, the quintessential servant. (Jeeves is often mistakenly referred to as a butler; he was, in fact, a valet, or "gentleman's personal gentleman".) His other works include the Blandings Castle novels and a wide range of farcical novels and short stories, including series focusing on members of the Drones Club, Mr. Mulliner and his relatives, the opportunistic Ukridge, and assorted addled golfers (as told by the Oldest Member).

He also had some success writing the books for various stage musicals with Guy Bolton, mostly the Princess Theatre musicals (scored by Jerome Kern). Bolton and Wodehouse also wrote the book for the Gershwin musical Oh! Kay. While they penned the original book to Cole Porter's Anything Goes, all but a few lines were removed or reworked. Wodehouse also penned lyrics for the song "Bill," originally intended for Oh! Lady! Lady! but eventually made famous in Show Boat.


  • In the video compilation Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff, Gonzo asks Camilla to "ring for Jeeves," the imaginary butler. At one point, Shakey Sanchez wanders in, and Gonzo tries to convince his lady love that it's the missing Jeeves. (Ring for Jeeves happens to be the title of Wodehouse's 1953 novel, published in the U.S. as The Return of Jeeves.)
  • In another "Mysterious Theater" sketch, Sherlock and Watson visit the home of Lady Agatha to find her missing cat; Agatha's butler is named Wodehouse. (In Wodehouse's stories, Agatha is the name of Bertie Wooster's most fearsome aunt.)
  • In the first season Dog City episode "Radio Daze," radio actor Spot (the dog of a thousand barks) plays many roles, including a manservant named Jeeves.


Several actors who have appeared in Muppet/Henson productions have also appeared in adaptations of Wodehouse's work.

  • Fred Astaire played Jerry Halliday in A Damsel in Distress (film, 1937)
  • Timothy Bateson played the purser in The Girl in Blue (film, 1962) and Beach the butler in Summer Lightning (BBC radio, 1983)
  • Brenda Blethyn played Nesta Pet in Picadilly Jim (film, 2004)
  • Denise Bryer played various child roles (male and female), including Harold the pageboy and others in The Inimitable Jeeves (1973) and Edwin the Boy Scout in Joy in the Morning (BBC radio, 1978)
  • George Burns played George in A Damsel in Distress (film, 1937)
  • Richenda Carey played Lady Wickhammersley in an episode of Jeeves and Wooster (TV, 1990)
  • Percy Edwards played Stiffy Byng's dog Bartholomew on BBC radio (1973, 1981)
  • Stephen Fry played Jeeves in Jeeves and Wooster (TV, 1990-1993)
  • Louise Gold played Kay in Oh Kay in a concert staging at The Barbican in 1997. She also played Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes in 1990.
  • Richard Griffiths played Mr. Mulliner in four BBC radio series (2000-2004)
  • Sheila Hancock played Jane in The Girl on the Boat (film, 1961)
  • David Healy played L. O. Levitsky in "The Nodder" (1976) and a bellhop in "The Luck of the Stiffhams" (1978), both Wodehouse Playhouse episodes, and Jas Waterbury in an episode of Jeeves and Wooster (TV, 1993)
  • Michael Hordern played Jeeves in several BBC radio series (1973-1981)
  • Allison Janney played Eugenia Crocker in Picadilly Jim (film, 2004)
  • Michael Kilgarriff played Stilton Cheesewright in Joy in the Morning (radio, 1978)
  • Hugh Laurie played Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster (TV, 1990-1993)
  • Fulton MacKay played Mr. Widgery in the Wodehouse Playhouse episode "The Smile That Wins" (TV, 1978)
  • Miriam Margolyes played Stiffy Byng in The Code of the Woosters (radio, 1973)
  • Peter O'Toole played Lord Emsworth in Heavy Weather (TV, 1993)
  • Geoffrey Palmer played Bayliss in Piccadilly Jim (film, 2004)
  • Austin Pendleton played Peter Pet in Piccadilly Jim (film, 2004)
  • Bryan Pringle played Pirbright the pigman in Heavy Weather (TV movie, 1995)
  • Lynn Redgrave played Bill Shannon in Tales from the Hollywood Hills: The Old Reliable (TV movie, 1988)
  • Joan Sanderson played Lady Constance Keeble in Lord Emsworth and the Little Friend (BBC TV play, 1956), Aunt Agatha in The Inimitable Jeeves (radio, 1973) and Lady Bassett in the Wodehouse Playhouse episode "Strychnine in the Soup" (TV, 1975)
  • Jennifer Saunders played Lady Constance Keeble in Blandings (TV, 2013-)
  • Elizabeth Spriggs played Aunt Agatha in Jeeves and Wooster (TV, 1993)
  • Richard Vernon played Lord Emsworth in BBC radio series (1985-1992)
  • Thick Wilson played Shorty McGee in Oh Kay in 1974 at The Westminster Theatre
  • Paxton Whitehead played Phipps in Tales from the Hollywood Hills: The Old Reliable (TV movie, 1988)
  • Mark Williams played Beach in Blandings (TV, 2013-)
  • Norman Wisdom played Sam Marlowe in The Girl on the Boat (film, 1961)

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