Tracey Ullman: A Class Act

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Tracey Ullman: A Class Act
Format sketch comedy
Created by Tracey Ullman, Allan McKeown
Starring Tracey Ullman
Michael Palin
Susan Wooldridge
Timothy Spall
Country of origin United Kingdom
Running time 40 minutes
Original channel ITV 9 January 1993
HBO 23 November, 1993
Related shows Tracey Ullman Takes On New York, Tracey Takes On..., Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales, Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed

Tracey Ullman: A Class Act is a sketch-comedy special starring actress-comedian Tracey Ullman, along with Michael Palin playing a variety of original characters.


Tracey Ullman stars in this one-off comedy special first aired in Great Britain in 1992, and subsequently in the United States in late 1993 on the American cable network HBO. A Class Act served as the follow-up to her American HBO comedy special Tracey Ullman Takes On New York, which aired a month prior in 1993. A Class Act studies and skewers the British class system. The show is broken up into three sketches. Ullman, accompanied by Monty Python alum Michael Palin, play the majority of the sketch characters.

The show introduced Trevor Ayliss, Virginia Bugge, and Janie Pillsworth. Two of Ullman's characters would go on to appear in Tracey Ullman Takes On New York HBO special, and then all three would appear regularly in the latter, Tracey Takes On....

The special was produced for ITV in the United Kingdom. The show would go on to make its American television debut on HBO in 1993, after the success of Tracey Ullman Takes On New York.

The show opens aboard "Class Air", a British airline that seats passengers according to social class: lower, middle, upper. Airline steward, Trevor Ayliss, explains to an American passenger the seating arrangement.

37 up[edit]

Three children are followed by a British documentary crew, documenting each from childhood to adulthood.

37 up is a parody of the British documentary, Seven Up!

Powder Room[edit]

Characters of various ethnicities and nationalities, speak to the powder room assistant.


Young girl Janie Pillsworth is put into a posh school by her working class parents. Her mother and father give up all their possessions in order to afford tuition, including her father who sells a kidney. Janie, who's now turned posh, disowns her parents, making them promise to never speak to her again. Despite Janie's contempt, Mr. and Mrs. Pillsworth cannot be happier since Janie has become exactly what they wanted her to be.

Back on Class Air[edit]

Trevor visits the American passenger in the Working Class section of the plane. The show closes with Trevor singing, "I Am What I Am".

Commercial release[edit]

A Class Act was released via iTunes and Amazon Video-On-Demand service in the United States in 2009. However, the character, Trevor Ayliss, has been removed completely, as has the ending song, I Am What I Am, which is sung by the character. This is most likely due to copyright considerations. The unedited British-version of the special (sans American introduction by Ullman), was released via Hulu.

External links[edit]