A short and baffling racist stream of consciousness rant from the Major has resulted in one of the most iconic episodes of Fawlty Towers disappearing from UKTV’s listings, because use of the n-word for a laugh, ironic or from the mouth of “a character” or whatever, simply is not on any more.
The clip is floating around on YouTube if you want to see a bizarre snippet of 1970s racist television that is quite the stain on the beloved sitcom, as Major Gowen uses various racial slurs to describe the black players of visiting cricket teams. The section with the insult has been edited out of various repeats over the years, and originally appeared in the famous episode that mocks the Germans and gave us the classic “Don’t mention the war” line and Cleese’s Nazi march through the hotel.
And while John Cleese’s Basil Fawlty character gazes at the Major in bewilderment as he’s giving his outdated opinion he moves on quickly afterwards without even a roll of the eye, as the audience of the day is well on message and laughing away. [Guardian]