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|~ Papa Lazarou's catchphrase.|
|“||You're my wife now!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou upon claiming a woman as his wife.|
Papa Lazarou otherwise known by his alter ego Keith Drop is the main antagonist of The League Of Gentlemen franchise.
A circus ringmaster, he regularly kidnaps various people from the towns he and his circus visits, most of them women to be his wives. His inhuman actions towards his captives include but are not limited to locking a number of them up in a cage for his minion's torture with a hose and stitching them inside his circus animals.
He made his debut as the opening antagonist of series two before returning due to his unexpected popularity as the main antagonist of the Christmas special, series 3, the 2017 anniversary specials and the 2018 live tour. He is also one of the three deuteragonists (alongside Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup) in the 2005 non-canon film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse.
He was portrayed by Reece Shearsmith who also portrayed Geoff Tipps, Edward Tattysyrup, Ross Gaines, Bernice Woodall, Judee Levinson and Cathy Carter-Smith from the same series, Mr. Jelly and Maureen Sowerbutts in Psychoville, Ray, Tom, Hector, Dr. Maxwell, Mr. Warren, George, Dr. Jacob Tyler, David, Henry and Viktor in Inside No. 9 and Gagan Rassmussen in Doctor Who.
- 1 History
- 2 Personality
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Quotes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Navigation
The League of Gentlemen (TV Series)
Papa Lazarou arrives in Royston Vasey with his circus. Whilst it is being set up he goes into town and kidnaps a housewife, in which he refers to her as Dave. Returning to the carnival he presents himself to his audience, and with an older female audience member claims to be channelling the spirit of her deceased husband and gets her to hand her wedding ring over to him. He then kidnaps the woman, saying that she is "His wife now". During the show, the nosebleed epidemic begins to break out with the audience members suffering from nosebleeds. This unnerves Lazarou, who along with his circus decides to flee Royston Vasey.
|“||It's nice to see you again, Dave. All grown up!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou to Bernice Woodall.|
Papa Lazarou plays a major role in the story, in which it is revealed he was responsible for the kidnapping of Reverend Bernice's mother when she was a child. This event had caused Bernice to become very bitter and antagonistic towards others, and losing her faith in God.
At the end of the special when Bernice finally cheers up and feels happy again, Lazarou arrives back for her. She is then kidnapped by Lazarou, who tells her she is now his wife before riding off in a sleigh.
|“||I learned from my wives. Each one has something different to offer. Yours specialized at curling eye-lashes. Did you even know that? You should have paid more attention to her. I know I did.||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou to Brian.|
Papa Lazarou returns in the final episode "How the Elephant Got its Trunk" in which he is disguised as camp actor Keith Drop and begins working at the Charity Shop. He attempts to murder a suspecting man Brian, whose wife Lazarou kidnapped when the circus was last in town. Lazarou is knocked out by co-worker Renee and tied to a bed. Brian decides that they should allow Lazarou to escape and he will lead them to his wife Katie. Renee brings Lazarou food and leaves a knife there for him to cut his bonds. As Lazarou escapes, Renee and Brian follow him. They end up at a residential house, where Brian discovers women's clothing and a photograph of the real Keith Drop. Renee is captured by one of Lazarou's dwarfs, and Brian himself is captured by Lazarou.
Lazarou has Brian and Renee tied up. When Brian demands to know what happened to his wife, Lazarou checks his "Book of Wives" and decides to show Brian what she looks like now. Drugging Brian, Lazarou brings him to the circus tent where it is shown that Katy has been put inside a lion. Lazarou then tells Brian that he will now become part of an elephant.
Later on, Lazarou bumps into a man named Charlie (with a woman's wig on) and carries him away when he is caught up in a van accident (which was part of a big climax story arc throughout the third series).
In a montage at the end, Lazarou (still disguised as Keith Drop) and his dwarfs are overseeing their entrapped victims performing as the circus animals.
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
|“||Jeremy Dyson: But you're not real!
Papa Lazarou: WE ARE NOW!
|~ Papa Lazarou along with Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup confronting Jeremy Dyson.|
Papa Lazarou plays a supporting role in the film, in which he along with Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup travel to the "real world" to confront their creators the League of Gentlemen after Royston Vasey is under threat due to the discontinuation of The League of Gentlemen TV series. They confront co-creator Jeremy Dyson, however, this causes him to panic and fall off a cliff and to his apparent death.
Later in the film, Lazarou meets with characters Hilary Briss, Herr Lipp and Geoff Tipps who have stumbled upon the real world to reveal the truth of their existence. Briss, Lipp, and Tipps are then sent to London to track down the remaining writers.
At the end of the film, Lazarou could be seen back in the fictional world of Royston Vasey (in which the disaster has been averted and the characters are given free will) and is seen waving to Geoff Tipps along with Edward and Tubbs.
Unlike his television show counterpart, Lazarou's role is not antagonistic, despite accidentally causing Jeremy Dyson to fall to his "death".
The League of Gentlemen (2017 Anniversary Specials)
|“||It's a wife mine now!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou after capturing Tubbs Tattsyrup.|
In the 20th anniversary episodes, Papa Lazarou has been kidnapping women in Royston Vasey with the use of a photo booth, which drops the victims through the floor and into a tunnel, which he has turned into a mine to store his wives. In the last episode, Tubbs Tattsyrup becomes one of his victims when she drops through the floor and ends up in the mine, where Lazarou reveals himself. He also has the rights to the Royston Vasey land, which was sold to him by his former kidnap victim Reverend Bernice.
The League of Gentlemen Live Again! (2018 stage show)
In the stage show, Lazarou appears in segments which act as a continuation from the anniversary specials. He attempts to marry and kidnap recently widowed Val Denton, however she manages to escape before she can go through with her plan.
In the climax of the show, Edward infiltrates the wife mine in order to rescue Tubbs, and plants bombs in order to destroy it. Lazarou attempts to lure Tubbs back into the mine with the use of some sort of hypnotism, however Edward snaps her out of it and triggers the detonator before he and Tubbs to flee the cave. As the bombs detonate, Lazarou lets out an "oh s**t" as he is caught in the explosion and presumably killed once and for all.
At the first glance, Papa Lazarou appears to be an eccentric and bizarre traveller with a poor concept on reality however he is actually much smarter than he lets on, only using his insane facade to lure in unwitting and intimidated women into joining him usually by confusing them with his behaviour and strange language gippog (which is actually just gibberish). In spite of being a circus ringmaster he has little care for this profession or even making money in general, showing that his only real passion is collecting wives and using his troupe as support in this task.
He also appears to be very sadistic, shown best when he kidnaps Bernice's mother in front of her very eyes cackling manically before returning years later to do the same to her, also showing that he has an excellent memory for faces considering he could recognise Bernice as a fully grown women when he previously only saw her as a child.
Although not an easy task by any means there are certain things that can potentially unnerve Papa Lazarou, as shown from his terrified reaction to the nose bleed epidemic.
Papa Lazarou is a slender man of short stature with skin that's both black and white in colour, most obviously noticeable in his face which makes him bare resemblance to a blackface minstrel, he also has black eyes, stained yellow teeth and a thick head of black frizzy hair going down his back. He is always seen wearing extravagant and flashy clothes, usually a flamboyant suit paired alongside a leather trenchcoat and top hat, he is also often seeing keeping the top section of his hair under a bandana. His fingers are also usually covered in gold rings.
Papa Lazarou is also proficient in disguises, wearing his ringmaster getup during his circus performances, a Santa costume and beard when kidnapping Bernice on Christmas Eve and perhaps most famously his Keith Drop attire which left his fashion sense somewhat similar with him wearing a velvet suit and a quirkily patterned shirt & tie while having him cover his face in pale foundation and setting powder to appear as a Caucasian male, he also wore a short blonde wig, fedora and glasses in this guise while also drawing on his eyebrows and putting a heavy layer of magenta lipstick on.
|“||Dave! My wife would like to use your toilet.||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou's tactic for breaking into homes.|
|“||Papa Lazarou: Ah! My wife tells me there is a block in your toilet...
Mary Hobbs: No there isn't.
Papa Lazarou: There is now!
|~ Papa Lazarou after breaking into Mary Hobbs' house.|
|“|| Papa Lazarou Wanna buy some pegs Dave?
Mary Hobbs What?
Papa Lazarou: I've got these pegs belonging to you.
|~ Papa Lazarou trying to sell pegs.|
|“||You're NOT Dave!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou feigning stupidity.|
|“||I go to toilet Dave... But I'll be back in a moment...||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou during his capture of Mary Hobbs.|
|“||DAVE! My wife was right, there is a block in your toilet... But erm... I've fixed it now.||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou before tricking Mary into joining him and Mama Lazarou.|
|“||I know what you mean let's get out of here!||„|
|~ A terrified Papa Lazarou agreeing with Simba, Pebble and TikTik about fleeing Royston Vasey after witnessing the nosebleed epidemic first-hand.|
|“||Hello Keith Drop!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou's catchphrase as Keith Drop.|
|“||SHE'S MY WIFE NOW!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou to Brian before before knocked unconscious by Rennie.|
|“||Rennie! Rennie! I'm frightened! Please help me Rennie!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou traumatising Rennie by impersonating her dead friend and co-worker Vinnie effortlessly.|
|“||You see the thing that most people don't realise about makeup, is that you can... Tend to overdo it!||„|
|~ Papa Lazarou after subduing Brian and Rennie while showing them how he used makeup to do his Keith Drop disguise.|
|“||Geoff Tipps: So which one plays me?
Papa Lazarou: Him... he plays me as well...
Edward Tattsyrup: And me!
|~ Papa Lazarou and Edward Tattsyrup to Geoff Tipps.|
- The inspiration of Papa Lazarou came from Peter Papalazarou, the landlord of a flat shared by Steve Pemberton and Reece Sheersmith, who would insist on speaking to Pemberton whenever he called while refusing to talk to Sheersmith. This inspired Papa Lazarou's catchphrase in which he keeps asking for someone called Dave. An occasion in which the landlord called Pemberton regarding a hoover was also incorporated into the show, with 'hoover' being replaced with 'pegs'.
- Steve Pemberton was originally intended to portray Papa Lazarou, while Reece Shearsmith was intended to portray Pauline Campbell-Jones, but they switched roles after Shearsmith expressed reluctance to play Pauline.
- Going by the Christmas Special and the third series, Lazarou appears to be ageless and very old (possibly centuries). When he kidnaps Bernice's mother when she is only a small child (which would approximately be around 30 years before her adult life) he appears exactly the same. Also when going through his "Book of Wives", some of his "wives" go back at least a century. This implies that he may not be human, although his origin has never been elaborated on.
- Papa Lazarou's infamous catchphrase "HELLO DAVE!" has been a famous meme on the internet for years even from those without knowledge of the context of the quote or character saying it.
- Despite being the most bizarre (and possibly most evil) character in the series, Lazarou is shown to be unnerved when the people of Royston Vasey suffer from nose bleeds and even agrees with his fellow circus performers that the community freaks him out.
- Within the show he appears to be a Karma Houdini as he keeps getting off with his heinous crimes. However in the 2018 stage show (which follows up from the anniversary specials) he finally meets his downfall.
- The character faced some controversy in the year 2020 in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, due to being accused of being a blackface. He was the reason why The League of Gentlemen (along with some other sitcoms) was removed from Netflix, although the show remains on BBC IPlayer and BritBox with viewer disclaimers.
League of Gentlemen
Inside No. 9