Gilbert & Sullivan in Popular Culture
Gilbert and Sullivan have influenced popular culture for nearly a hundred and fifty years. Whether people realize it or not, when they hum the familiar tune “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here,” or refer to someone as a Grand Poohbah, they are bearing witness to Gilbert and Sullivan’s pervasive, ongoing influence in our society.
There are many wonderful resources available to those who are interested in exploring Gilbert and Sullivan’s influences in popular culture. One of the most complete and easily accessible is the Wikipedia article on the “Cultural Influence of Gilbert and Sullivan.”
Our Company’s goal is not to repeat here what is already available elsewhere, but to share our personal favorite popular cultural references.
As one might expect, there are a significant number of popular cultural references to “the big three” operettas, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. While the members of our Company enjoy these as much as anyone else, we take particular delight when we discover a reference to one of the less popular works, such as The Sorcerer, Ruddigore or The Yeomen of the Guard.
We consider this collection of cultural references to be one to which we hope to add continually over the years. We invite any and all to share with us their personal favorite Gilbert and Sullivan popular cultural references by sending them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add them to our growing collection!
The Brady Bunch’s Michael Brady shares his latest purchase with his family as he sings, “A wandering minstrel I, a thing of shreds and patches …” in Season 2’s episode, “The Tattle-Tale,” first broadcast on December 4, 1970.
“To judge by what I see and hear, it does not seem to interfere with popular enjoyment, much.”