Buckle Up

Come fly the unfriendly skies with air hostess Pam Ann - the Pucci-clad invention of comedienne Caroline Reid...

Pam Ann wasn’t always such a bully. In fact, when Reid invented her seven years ago in Melbourne, Pam was just a nice girl fascinated with the costumes of the coffee-tea-or-me set.

"Initially, she was a suburban girl," explains Reid, "growing up and wanting to explore the world — well, wanting to get out of Australia, really."

A lot like Reid, in a sense. But Reid and Pam have both changed while working London clubs for the past three years. Reid discovered that boozy audiences needed to be checked by a stronger character, and Pam developed into the pushy broad she is today.

Inevitably, some of Pam’s gags treat the darker side of travel. The safety card she hands out — just like the one "in the seat pocket in front of you" — shows a series of horrifyingly funny plane crashes. One icon shows a jet’s engines falling from the wings, their descent indicated, as in a textbook, by a confident downward arrow.

And then there are terrorists.

Asked how Pam would respond to a terrorist, Reid — who improvises in every performance — shoots back, "She’d grab the Clinique skin toner off the Duty Free trolley and throw it in his eyes — that’s so Pam."
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