Mannerisms Maketh Man
From the earthy Christianity of GK Chesterton and CS Lewis to the crafty wit of Alistair Sim and PG Wodehouse, Stephen Fry has subsumed the defining characteristics of his ideological mentors. After all, where else will you find Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), GK Chesterton (1874-1936), Charles Dickens (1812-1870), C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), Alistair Sim (1900-1976) and PG Wodehouse (1881-1975) in the same list other than in the roll call of Stephen’s influences.
From atheist beginnings, Stephen dropped the ‘a’ for a time in his teens, absorbed by the thoughts of Lewis’s “Screwtape Letters” and the colossal genius (according to George Bernard Shaw) of GK Chesterton.
Such theological leanings were not meant to be for young Master Fry and, while their shadow remains, his character was drawn to the less refined idols of popular literature.
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse did, and still does resonate deeply with our man Fry. While he has played the inimitable Jeeves on television, the impact of Wodehouse’s gentle satire and larger-than-life characterisations have stretched far beyond this one series of performances. Providing an avenue of expression for the contemporary Stephen Fry to grow into his public persona.
Add to this a dash of the singular comic genius of Alistair Sim. The end result: an inquisitive, spiritual, humorous, eccentric character actor that is the incomparable Stephen Fry.