Together, America, we can get Ruth Buzzi on Downton Abbey

I’d heard in passing a few days ago that there was a grassroots campaign afoot to get a well known American actor on PBS’s surprise hit import from Britain, Downton Abbey. Today, over lunch, Linette and I tried to figure out who it might be that Americans would want to see representing them on the show. As it turns out, the answer to the question was David Boreanaz. The beefy, brooding “vampire with a soul” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer had apparently expressed his desire to join the cast via Twitter, and folks have been signing petitions of support. Neither of us had guessed Boreanaz, though. Linette, after a great deal of contemplation, had guessed Carol Channing, and I had guessed Ruth Buzzi, who I thought had the right look to be a maid of some sort. (“She already has a hair net,” I reasoned.) I didn’t give a great deal of thought as to how she might fit into the narrative, and, as I’ve just started watching season two last night, I’m reluctant to try, but, given what I know right now, I’m inclined to say that she could be either a long lost love interest from Mr. Carson’s shameful past in Vaudeville, or a scullery maid, who, after some kind of mix-up involving Daisy and a gravy boat, ends up pummeling Miss O’Brien to death with an oversized purse. Buzzi, from what I can tell, has retired from show business, but I have half a mind to start a petition, and see if I can’t convince her to consider launching a comeback… And, yes, this is the kind of thing I think about when left home alone on Saturday morning.

Here, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Buzzi’s character, Gladys, who was regularly featured on Laugh In, is a video of her in action.

Speaking of Downton Abbey, for the next four days, you can watch season two online for free.

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  1. Edward
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Shirley MacLaine is said to be joining next season. I don’t believe that was a grassroots effort, though.

  2. Edward
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    And if you get Buzzi, could you also try to get ArtE Johnson, or is he dead?

    I’m thinking he could play a German prisoner of war.

  3. Edward
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    And, like Buzzi, he has his own uniform, so they’d save money.

  4. Anonymatt
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never seen Downton, but this sounds like a brilliant idea that would get me to watch it.

    Off the top of my head, I can tell you that Gladys’s last name was Ormphby and Arte Johnson’s dirty old man character was Tyrone Horneigh (pronounced Horn-eye, I guess that was risque enough for late 60s TV).

    Tyrone: Do you believe in the hereafter?
    Gladys: Of course!
    Tyrone: Then you know what I’m here after!
    (Gladys starts beating him with her purse.)

  5. Posted March 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of season two, I’m having a hard time getting into it. All the stuff taking place in the hospital seems to me like a bad sitcom spin-off. It’s like when the Hellen and Stanley Roper sold their apartment building (Where Jack and the girls lived) and moved to 46 Peacock Drive. I’m sure it’ll get better, but I wanted to share that.

  6. Posted March 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I hoped you would see this post, Matt.

  7. anonymous
    Posted March 4, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink


    Here’s an easy way to get caught up on the plot.

  8. Knox
    Posted March 4, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    He’s not American by birth, but I think that John Cleese would be another guy I’d like to see on the show.

  9. Eel
    Posted March 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if it’s sold yet, but Pontiac was looking to see their City Hall.

    Does anyone know the status of our senior center? Is it owned by they City? If so, I think it would make a nice neighborhood plasma center and/or check cashing place.

  10. Aaron
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


    I just don’t feel like Ypsilanti is terribly in danger of getting an EFM. We still have police and lights in the city streets, once we can’t afford those then maybe we’ll be at the point that we’ll need a EFM.

  11. Mr. X
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I think you intended to post your comment somewhere else. Unless, of course, there’s talk of Ruth Buzzi being an Emergency Manager.

  12. Kerri
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Season two is a little frustrating at times. It gets very into soap opera territory. There are some LOL-worthy plotlines BUT the end of the season is worth all of the trouble. It’s such a silly show in a lot of ways, but so pretty to look at and so well-acted. I’m having Downton withdrawals. Sniff.

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