Reginald Perrin

I remember seeing The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin as a kid in the 70s. I hadn’t the faintest idea what it was about then but used to laugh when the office chairs made a farting noise, when he imagined a hippo for his mother-in-law, and when CJ’s two obsequious subordinates said “Great” and “Super” in posh voices.

In more recent years this drunken speech from one of the episodes was brought to my attention, and this line hit me squarely between the eyes:

Here lies Reginald Iolanthe Perrin. He didn’t know the names of the trees and the flowers, but he knew the rhubarb crumble sales figures for Schleswig-Holstein.

I think a lot of people who’ve fallen out of love with their naive corporate ambitions feel this way, but feel trapped and don’t know how to escape it. That’s certainly where I was about ten years ago when I heard this speech.



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