Tracey Ullman: A Class Act
|Tracey Ullman: A Class Act|
|Written by||Dick Clement
Ian La Frenais
|Directed by||Les Blair|
|Theme music composer||Simon Brint|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Running time||40 min.|
|Original release||9 January 1993|
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. It originally aired on ITV; subsequently HBO in the United States on 23 November 1993.
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
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 late 1993, after the success of Tracey Ullman Takes On New York.
The American cut of the special opens with Ullman explaining the English class system.
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.
In a parody of the British documentary Seven Up!, three children are followed from childhood to adulthood.
Ullman plays a multitude of characters in a public powder room.
A young girl, Jeannine Pillsworth is placed into a posh boarding school by her working class parents. Her mother and father give up all their possessions in order to afford tuition; her father sells one of his kidneys. Jeannine, now calling herself Janie, is reinvented into a posh young woman. She disowns her parents, making them promise to never speak to her again. Despite Janie's contempt, Mr and Mrs Pillsworth couldn't be happier that Jeannine has become exactly what they wanted to become.
Back on Class Air
Trevor visits the American passenger in the Working Class section of the plane. The show closes with Trevor singing "I Am What I Am".
A Class Act was released on home video in the UK in 1993. In 2009, the special (HBO version) became available in the United States via iTunes and Amazon Video-On-Demand albeit edited. The character Trevor Ayliss is deleted entirely, as is the concluding song "I Am What I Am". The unedited British cut of the special was made available on Hulu in the United States in 2012.
The special was nominated for a CableAce Award in 1995 in the category of International Dramatic or Comedy Special or Series/Movie or Miniseries.