House servants are a great supporting character to have in a sitcom, and here are two reasons why:
- They’re always around. Because they work around the house, they can be in every single scene, if needed
- They’re the audience surrogate. They are the “normal” person in the rich people’s household
Also, for some reason, sitcom house servants get away with EVERYTHING. They can say whatever the hell they want, do whatever the hell they want, and NO ONE busts them for it. They never get fired.
It’s like they CAN’T get fired.
One of the hallmarks of a good TV house servant is their undying sarcasm (and oftentimes, downright meanness). No matter what situation arises, they have a snotty comment. Niles from The Nanny constantly savages Miss Babcock. Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air always calls his boss fat. Florence from The Jeffersons is insolent every time she opens her trap.
TV house servants are total jerks.
And we love it.