Everyone knows that behind the big bosses on our TV screen there is a great Personal Assistant keeping it all together. Some were called secretaries, some called PA’s, but they all had similar roles, namely looking after their bosses and making them look good. Here, we take a look at some of the most famous PA’s in TV history:
Waylon J Smithers Jnr.
Mr. Burns might have his manipulative ideas but Smithers is the one who is always by his side to act as the voice of reason. Smithers is PA gold– dedicated, flexible, and with no private life we ever see, he is completely loyal to his boss.
The quietest member of staff in the popular British sitcom The Office, Dawn tries hard to always impress her deluded boss David Brent. She organises the office and keeps her boss on the straight and narrow without ever getting the recognition for the work she does.
In the early nineties Charlie acted as the male housekeeper/PA to Caroline Wheatley in The Upper Hand. He kept the house together while acting as a PA – routinely getting her out of sticky situations both personally and professionally.
Amy Brookheimer and Gary Walsh
These come as a pair as they both work for Selina Meyer in HBO’s ‘Veep’. Selina isn’t an easy boss to work for so both of them take their job seriously – organising everything from staff to daily diaries. It is always about Selina’s image with these guys and they make sure that that image never slips, not for a second.
We had to mention Ugly Betty! PA to Daniel Meade of the MODE publishing company, Betty had a hard job gaining the position in the first place before going on to be Daniel’s saving grace on many occasions. She used fantastic organisational skills to keep him in line ensuring he never let anyone down -helping her boss through drug and sex addiction while also keeping him close to his family.
He did not start out as a PA but as a Page and errand runner to the staff of The Girly Show – a fictional show produced by NBC’s 30 Rock. Naive and understated, perpetually cheerful Kenneth deals admirably with the macho big cheese Jack Donaghy who frequently tells Kenneth he could fire him anytime he likes but comes to realise Kenneth is actually a brilliant mastermind!
How can we not mention gorgeous redhead Joan, surely the ultimate pin-up among PA’s, who has to juggle her role as head of the secretarial pool and attend to the many needs of the executives whilst also battling the overt sexism of the era? She has to act as the focal point of advice and assistance to the younger secretaries but she’s not afraid to speak her mind and put people in their place, surely a pre-requisite for the PA who needs to keep her boss in line.
Whatever show they are from, all the PA’s listed above have the skills required of real world PA’s – from organisational skills, diary management, attention to detail and the ability to multi task, plus a few extra quirks that make them fantastic to watch on our screens. The ability to deal firmly but fairly (or ruthlessly) with office politics is a skill brandished with flair by our on-screen PA’s too – an element which is as essential in real life as it is in fiction and possibly the most important thing to ensure a PA is properly appreciated by the boss!
Article created by Attic Recruitment – Leading Boutique Agency based in central London