Black Books

Season 1 Episode 2

Manny's First Day

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 06, 2000 on Channel 4
out of 10
User Rating
89 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

It's Manny's first day working at Black Books, Bernard's shop. Bernard is giving him a trial day, to see how he copes under the pressure, in the hope that he'll leave. Bernard teaches Manny the exact opposite of everything he needs to know, and leaves him with the shop. Tragically, he manages to sell most of the books in the shop - much to Bernard's disgust; seriously threatening his job at Black Books. Fran steps in once again to help.moreless

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  • Black Books continues as we see Manny's first day at Black Books, working for the abusive and eccentric and hilariously funny and lovable Bernard. He may abuse Manny, ever so slightly, but it's plain joy to watch.moreless

    This is the real first episode to me. The first episode of Black Books, Cooking The Books, was more of an introduction to the main characters, Bernard, Manny and Fran.

    With this episode, you can see a more in-depth look into the character's personalities. We see Bernard, waking up from a drunk stupor, fumbling around his dusty old book shop, proclaiming that 10:30am is a ridiculous time to open a shop up at. We see Manny, the docile and hard-working employee at Black Books, seeing potential within it's walls. And we see Fran, the thirty-somethings girl next door and friend of Bernard, desperate for a friend to share her gossip and celebrity news with that wont spit and jibe and insult and mock her.

    Bernard, to me, is a lovely character to begin with. I don't say that because I'm known as the 'Bernard Black' of my town, but because he's just so great. He knows what he wants, he knows what he doesn't. He wants peace, he doesn't want annoyances. Sadly, his choice of work was not the best for this. Infact, while drunk at a bar he tells Manny that he would like to work at an aquarium, most probably for the peace and quiet.

    Manny is the nice guy around the shop, saving prospective customers from the bitter and eccentric Bernard. He is nice, but falls victim to Bernard's abuse, showing us that he isn't the brightest bulb in the box.

    And Fran's desperation for, dare I say it, a 'girlier' friend is fulfilled as she finds a friend in Manny. Fran and Manny get on well in this first episode, and that friendship holds strong throughout, with Fran always getting Manny's corner whenever Bernard decides to pick on him (which he often does.)

    Start as you mean to go on, most people say. Well, this show has started fantastically, and it goes on and on to do so.

    You will not be dissappointed.moreless
John Arthur

John Arthur

First Customer

Guest Star

David Cann

David Cann

Third Customer

Guest Star

David Decio

David Decio


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • (Manny squints in great pain, then answers his mobile for a moment)
      Bernard: (interested) What's that Ow Ow Ow?
      Manny: I used to work a lot with a mobile and it must have done something to me 'cause now just before my phone rings, I get this very sharp pain in my head.
      Bernard: What's your number? (Manny gives it to him) Could you pass my phone please? (Bernard dials the number and Manny clutches the side of his head)
      Manny: Ow Ow Ow Ow!
      Bernard: (chuckling a cruel laugh) That's brilliant! Oh actually... (dials number again and chuckles again as Manny answers in pain)
      Manny: Hello?
      Bernard: (smiling) Hi Manny, it's Bernard. The thing is, we don't actually allow mobile phones in the shop. Right. Ok. Bye. (waits until Manny finishes the call) Oh look. Redial...

    • (Bernard and Manny are in the pub talking about a job for Manny)
      Bernard: Ok here it is. I like you a lot... Gerald... Samantha...
      Manny: Manny.
      Bernard: That's the one. I like you a lot..
      Manny: Thanks a lot. You're not so bad yourself.
      Bernard: (very sharply) Don't touch my arm. And now.. (puzzled) Where have you gone?
      Manny: I'm here. You're looking at me.
      Bernard: Alright. So what do you want?
      Manny: You mentioned something about a job.
      Bernard: What do I have to do?
      Manny: In the bookshop.
      Bernard: (with a shout of delight) But I already work in a bookshop! (with a curious smile) Do you have anything in an aquarium?

    • Bernard: Manny, let's talk about how this trial day went.
      Manny: Well, I think it went quite well.
      Bernard: You sold a lot of books. And got on quite well with the customers.
      Manny: (Pleased) Yes!
      Bernard: I'm going to have to let you go.
      Manny: (Shocked) But... I sold a lot of books! I got on well with the customers!
      Bernard: It's not that kind of operation.

    • Manny: (As businessman enters store) I bet I can recommend and sell a book to this bloke here.
      Bernard: Tenner.
      Manny: You're on.
      (Manny approaches businessman customer)
      Manny: Hello...
      Businessman: (Bellowing) Will you leave me alone?! I'm sick and tired of being hounded by salesmen in shops! I'm browsing, all right?! Browsing! At the end of it I might buy something, I might not - but you will not influence me one iota! Not one jot! Now I've finished with you, YOU MAY GO!!
      Manny: (To Bernard) Best of three?

    • Manny: So, grew up in London, saw a lot of army bases...
      Fran: Ah, your father was in the army?
      Manny: No, just coincidence.

    • Fran: So Manny, tell us all about yourself.
      Manny: Well, I was born in London...
      Bernard: Stop right there, David Copperfield. If we're going back that far we'll need popcorn or something.

    • Bernard: (to Manny) You there, Lord of the Rings, Let's talk about how this whole, er, one-day-trial thing is going. At the moment you're fired.

    • Fran: (talking about Manny) He'd be good for the shop, you need someone normal around here.
      Bernard: Normal? If he's normal, what am I then?
      Fran: Well, you're a freak Bernard, you know that.
      Bernard: Yes! I know. BUT I HAVE RIGHTS!

    • Manny: Yeah you'd have to [...] get rid of whatever it is that makes you stick to the floor over here.
      Bernard: You're supposed to stick to the floor over there. I like it like that. Stops children running around.
      Manny: And seal the floors, stop that rising smell, and you do know you've got molluscs on your pipes?
      Bernard: What of it?
      Manny: Well, it's just that traditionally they live in the sea.

    • Bernard: Sorry, could we do this some other time when I'm not here?

    • Bernard: What did you order?
      Manny: Uh... Lager
      Bernard: Right. I got you a Creme de Menthe

    • Bernard: Where's all the books?
      Manny: What?
      Bernard: Where's all the books?
      Manny: Oh, I've sold them.
      Bernard: Oh, JESUS. You know what that means?! It means I have to go and ring the ordering place and you have no idea how incredibly BORING and COMPLICATED that is.
      Bernard: (On the phone) Hello? Is this the place where you order books from when you want to sell them from your book shop?

    • Bernard: Wait! What time is it?!
      Manny: Uh... Half ten.
      Bernard: HALF TEN?! HALF TEN?! I've never been up at half ten! What happens?!

    • Bernard: (on customers) What do they want from me? Why can't they just leave me alone? What do they WANT from me?
      Manny: Well, they want to buy books...
      Bernard: Yeah, but why me, why do they come to me?
      Manny: Because you sell books...
      Bernard: Yeah... I know... but...

    • Manny: I'm interested in, in women, and lamps. I thought you were actually (points to Bernard). Gay, I mean.
      Bernard: So did I for a bit. Then I found out about the prohibitive standards of hygiene. And all that dancing!

  • NOTES (2)


    • Lord of the Rings

      Bernard refers to Manny as "Lord of the Rings". "Lord of the Rings" is a popular epic fantasy book series written by J.R.R. Tolkien and film trilogy. In the films, many of the characters have long beards. Bernard is ridiculing Manny's beard by calling him "Lord of the Rings".

    • Ludwig Van Beethoven

      Famous composer, gradually suffered complete hearing loss beginning from his early twenties - so Bernard not hearing Mannys' question about his middle name is timed just right.

    • Trigger Happy Books

      When in the book shop, a flock of students come in. Manny persuades Bernard to let them browse and attempt to sell them some books.
      One of the student's phones then rings, he answers and says this:
      "Hi... yeah... no I'm in a bookshop. No, no, bookshop! BOOKSHOP!"
      This is a reference to a TV Show called "Trigger Happy TV" hosted by Dom Jolly. In the show, Dom goes into shops and onto buses and other places with an overly mobile phone and screams into it:
      "HI! YEAH... NO I'M ON THE BUS [For example] ...NO, THE BUS, THE BUS YEAH, NO, IT'S RUBBISH!"
      This show was a series on Channel 4.