Mrs. Peel, a ruling is needed


Two Three people sent me this for the Geezer File, but… do the original Avengers really qualify? Certainly not in England, where the superhero movie was released as Avengers Assemble to avoid any confusion between Mister Steed’s team and Mister Fury’s team.

And as a side question: if the British spies are in geezer story, would the hipster on the right remember them?


  1. The ‘hipster on the right’ is 52-year-old Keith Knight, author/artist of the strip; I’ve communicated with him enough to think that, yes, he’d know about the Original Avengers.

  2. According to the always infallible Wikipedea, the show ran from 7 January 1961 – 21 May 1969. So it ended 50 years ago. Despite reruns, I think it’s firmly in geezer territory.

  3. If “the hipster on the right” truly is 52, he is my age and my response to “Emma Peel” was “Yes!”

    IIRC they used to rerun the old Avengers series late night on my CBS station (anyone else in their 50s or older from Chicago who can help me decide if I do, in fact, recall correctly?).

  4. Agree with Andréa. The character is Keith Knight, who is about my age and, like me, insanely with it. So he definitely knows The Avengers

    I think The Avengers is geezer material, though it did have a revival series in the mid-70s (which I must painfully admit is still geezer territory) and a movie in 1998. Oh! That movie! What a terrible film. It may have been even worse than the Green Hornet movie with Seth Rogen, which I didn’t see. I think The Avengers is the worst Hollywood movie I’ve ever seen.

  5. And in any case, how would the British name for the superhero movie invalidate this response to the question “Who’s your favorite Avenger?”?

  6. I just realized Mr. Knight has two children and I believe they feature as fictionalized characters in his work. These two in the Star Wars garb could very well be his children. If that is the case, then the whole joke of the comic is “Hey, I’m a geezer”.

  7. As Marvel creations, Thor (1962), Scarlet Witch (1964) and Black Panther (1966) fall neatly into the 1961-1969 timeline of The Avengers so could be considered equally antique. Thor has the edge, being an old Norse god before that.

    Emma Peel, if thought of as mainly really being Diana Rigg, is still going, on TV in 2017 (Game of Thrones, Victoria) on film in 2017 (Breathe) and on stage in 2018 (My Fair Lady), so she can be considered almost-but-not-quite as currently zetigeisty as the five-minutes-ago latest Marvel movie.

  8. I’m a big fan of Keef and The Knight Life,. Those are not his kids–the two Star Wars fans are repeating characters. BTW, they just filmed a pilot for a Knight Life TV series.

  9. The usage of the Geezer tag has always seemed sort of random to me. I grew up watching TV shows that had gone off the air before I was born, and never really thought about when they were made. All my life I’ve watched channels that show old TV shows and movies, and seen so many revivals and remakes. The past few months my wife and I have been enjoying The Carol Burnett Show. Very few TV shows and movies really leave the public eye for good.

    In the case of the Avengers – I’ve never seen the TV show. They made a reference to it on Married with Children, and I saw the totally forgettable 1998 movie, but that’s it from my POV. But you seem to question whether it counts as Geezer material. And yet a few months ago, you gave the Geezer tag to a Muppets reference of all things.

    The Muppets have been consistent cultural icons since before I was born, and I doubt I’ve gone a month without seeing a muppet on my TV in my entire life. Do kids these days know who the Muppets are? Of course, they’re plastered all over the place. I can 100% promise you that, in America at least, more people remember the Muppets than the British version of the Avengers.

    Whether or not you read a comic strip and think, “Geez, only people over 60 will get that joke” depends entirely on what channels you watch. I don’t mean to sound critical, but personally I think it’s a useless tag.

  10. Also of note among Diana Rigg’s latter-day screen appearances was a recurring-guest role on “Detectorists”. She played the mother of the character played by her real-life daughter, Rachel Stirling.

  11. To “correct” a spelling in my previous reply, it’s “Rachael” Stirling.

    In the early episodes of Detectorists, before Rigg started appearing, I couldn’t figure out why Stirling looked so elusively familiar. Maybe from The Bletchley Circle, but mostly a family resemblance to Rigg.

  12. Well, Andréa, the Avengers movie coming out this week and expected to be one of the.highest-grossing movies in history might be a factor…

  13. I’ve never seen even one episode of the old “Avengers”, and the only reason I know anything about it at all is that I recognized Diana Rigg in the ads when the series was rerun in Germany (*) about five or ten years ago. Her face was familiar to me only because she did the introductions for the BBC’s “Poirot” series when it was shown on PBS a couple of decades ago. So: is this geezer territory? You bet your sweet bippy it is!
    P.S. The German title is “Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone” (literally: “With Umbrella, Charm, and Bowler [hat]”), it seems to have been fairly popular here.

  14. No… Geezer territory is thinking Diana Rigg is Vincent Price’s replacement as host of Mystery. Real Geezer territory is remembering Gene Shalit as host. (And being utterly unable to think of it as Masterpiece Mystery.)

    Actually I’m with 1958Fury on the entire Geezer tag. … And so what if only people over 60 get a joke?

  15. Until recently, I always thought of John Steed and Emma Peel first when The Avengers was mentioned. Here I go Geezering again…I was born in 59 with first recollections of Black & White TV. My family got their first color TV around 65 or so as many folks did and The Avengers was produced to really display color pop at the time so it would stand out on the new color sets. Batman and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea also really went all in on vibrant color as well when a lot of shows were still filming in Black & White. It was a big deal at the time, probably to sell commercial ad time at a higher rate due to higher viewership.

    Stan Lee first printed his Avengers in 1960, the BBC TV show first aired in 1961 in England. Emma Peel first showed up in 1965 just as ABC brought the series to America in full color. I don’t recall if there was ever any legal issues over the name use. The show was considered very hip for the time and even had censor issues for adult content so our hipster in this comic is probably just reflecting on his roots.

  16. “Frasier” had a reference to Frasier and brother Niles playing Avengers as children — both insisting on being John Steed, and wearing bowlers with chin straps.

  17. As a child I was aware of some British TV shows only through their merchandising. Toy catalogs showed vehicles for The Saint and such, but I guess The Avengers toy car set (Corgi,1960s) predated my catalogs

  18. Geezer tag is very relevant. If a comic is a pop culture reference, what is relevant and acceptable is constantly shifting. Some things become evergreen and others fade into obscurity. I can riff at great length about Gilligan’s Island, as a man of 53. The kids today, at 23, may not even know what that is. If they have heard of it, they almost certainly don’t have the depth of knowledge to get my references to specific episodes. On the other hand, if I’m going on about Rick and Morty, they totally get that. Geezer tag is about whether the joke has broad appeal or is a wet squib.

    As Andréa said, the discussion of whether something is or is not a geezer reference can be a huge part of the fun. Depends who is participating. I recall an earlier comic where I suggested that a joke requiring knowledge of The Beatles’ music is getting close to geezer territory. For the kids today, it’s grand-parent’s music. What is current and what is geezer can be a lot of fun.

  19. Zookeeper, we were very disappointed to have missed seeing her in My Fair Lady last year. I mean yeah, it’s important who plays Eliza but some on, how cool would it be to see Mrs. Peel?

  20. From France, I remember “Rue Sésame” because they showed it once in the 70’s when I was 5. I remember much more clearly “Chapeau melon et bottes de cuir” (= Bowler hat and leather boots) because that’s been on air constantly since the 60’s.

  21. But so many people from the Avengers – TV show – have been in James Bond movies, more if you include the “The New Avengers” none in the “The Avengers” movies that I can think of.

  22. @Mitch4: half way through the second series of Detectorists now — thanks for the tip! I really, really like how subtle and slow it is.

  23. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying it!

    Recently I heard a recommendation of it from “Judge” John Hodgman, if you know who that is.

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