Alf Garnett

From Academic Kids

Alf Garnett was a fictional character on the BBC television sitcom Til Death Us Do Part.

The character, played by actor Warren Mitchell, was cowardly, mean-spirited, racist, bigotted, misogynist, anti-Semitic, and blamed his problems on everybody else. His family was the usual target of his anger and frustration. On the show, Garnett was regularly ridiculed for his illogical views and hypocrisy by his family, but he stubbornly refused to admit he was wrong.

The British public loved Alf Garnett, although the television show was heavily criticized for the character's prejudices. Writer Johnny Speight often commented that the character was supposed to be a figure of ridicule, but admits that not all viewers saw the satire in the character.

It is probably not a complete coincidence that Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett looks exactly like Rudyard Kipling. Both Speight and Kipling have had their work misread by critics who do not necessarily understand its context.

Alf Garnett was the direct inspiration for Archie Bunker in the American show All in the Family. The South Park character Eric Cartman is also indirectly descended from the grotesques exemplified by Garnett.

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