1 9 8 7 – 1 9 9 0 (USA)
52 x 30 minute episodes
Originally a chorus dancer for British comedian Les Dawson (a job from which she was sacked for forgetting to attire herself in underwear one performance), Tracey Ullman first came to notice in Three Of A Kind.
Much taken by Ullman’s characterisations (yuppie Sara Downey, Tina the New York postal worker, anthropologist Cecil Beckwith etc) and mimicry, the Americans awarded her a 1990 Emmy, although when the series was sold to the UK, the material seemed weak, and Ullman and supporting cast (including Julie Kavner and Dan Castellaneta) underused.
A master of dialects, Ullman was able to play an exceptionally wide variety of characters, including Francesca, a 14-year-old girl raised by two gay dads; ageing actress Sandra Decker; Australian pro golfer Kiki Howard-Smith; radio announcer Summer Storm; and singer Angel Tish.
Not the least important aspect of the series was that it aired short animations created by Matt Groening between the sketches about a dysfunctional yellow family that became The Simpsons. Ullman later tried to sue for a share of Simpsons gross profits but to no avail.
Each show closed with Tracey dressed in a robe and delivering her catchphrase to the audience: “Go home, go home”.