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You turn on the TV set to see a large family sitting at a long dining room table. A man and a woman sit at opposite ends of the table, with three boys on one side and three girls on the other. Then another woman appears from the kitchen wearing a blue blouse and a white apron. She’s also wearing a huge smile and carrying a large casserole dish. Who’s the servant? It’s Alice from The Brady Bunch.


You switch channels and see a family in the living room of their Bel Air mansion. A teenage girl has just brought in the haul from her shopping day at the Beverly Hills boutiques. A younger sister clamors to see what she bought. A large middle-aged man seems to be rebuking a tall, slender, younger man, while a woman stands behind nodding her approval. In walks a short man with a black tuxedo with tails, a white shirt with a black bow tie and white gloves. He makes a smart remark before being sent to another room by the increasingly grousy middle-aged man. Who’s the servant? It’s Jeffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


A few more channels away you see a creepy lot of characters. The living area has the finest antique furniture but is strewn with cobwebs. Candles flicker throughout the room. A hyperactive black-haired man kisses up and down his rather gothic looking wife’s arm on the sofa while the kids play with a tarantula on the floor by the fireplace. Even stranger sights are yet to appear. In comes a bald man so pale he looks almost blue. He’s dressed like a monk and has a light bulb in his mouth. Next in comes a 4 foot ball of hair on legs waving its arms and wearing a hat and glasses, followed by a single hand scurrying across the floor. Then the amorous man takes a break from the arm of his wife long enough to pull a large rope dangling from space and in walks a monstrous living corpse of a man, who bellows in a deep monotone, "You rang?" Who’s the servant? It’s Lurch from the Addams Family.

TV has had its share of servants. Alice, Jeffrey, and Lurch are distinguishable from the families they serve because they are always serving. You might recall, even the occasional glimpses into Alice’s love life were centered around her dutiful runs to the meat market, where she was wooed by Sam the Butcher. You see, a servant is always identified by their activity.

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