If my latenight blogging has been subpar lately (and it has), it’s because I received my DVD box set of “Yes, Prime Minister” a few days ago. I’m treating myself to two episodes each night. I hadn’t watched the show since my old VHS copies wore out, and the DVD collection includes several episodes not originally available on tape.
Tonight’s second episode is called “A Conflict of Interest,” and it has some of the funniest, truest dialogue ever. More than a decade later, this exchange still induces belly laughs:
Sir Humphrey: The only way to understand the press, is to remember that they pander to their readers’ prejudices.
Prime Minister Hacker: Don’t tell me about the press; I know exactly who reads the papers.
The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country.
The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country.
The Times is read by the people who actually do run the country.
The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country.
The Financial Times is read by people who own the country.
The Morning Star is read by people who think the county ought to be ruled by another country.
And The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.
Sir Humphrey: And what about people who read The Sun?
Bernard: The Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.
If you’ve never seen the show, don’t worry that it’s dated or too British to appeal to American tastes. It’s just classic (and oh-so-cynical) political humor.