The episode: “Ring of Terror,” ep. 206
The riff: Intoned by Tom as the camera fades in from black on a college where a bunch of suspiciously old medical students are gathered. The film is full of 40-year-old actors playing 20-somethings.
The explanation: Dame Edith Evans was a British actress known for her portrayals of elderly, aristocrat-types. She was twice nominated for Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress for “Tom Jones” and “The Chalk Garden,” and eventually scored a nomination for Best Actress in “The Whisperers,” her best-remembered appearance. I think they chose to use her as the reference because all her best-known appearances were when she was already elderly.
Novelty factor: Never heard the name before, but it was pretty obvious what they meant from the context. NOTE: This is perhaps Evans’ most famous scene below, from “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Skip to 5:48 for her epic pronunciation of “handbaaaaahg.”