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Manny's First Day
Episode information
Episode No.




Original airdate

Friday, October 6, 2000


The rules

Cast and crew information
  • Dylan Moran
  • Graham Linehan
  • Graham Linehan
  • Nick Wood
  • Nira Park
  • Julian Meers
  • William Burdett-Coutts
Main cast
Guest stars
  • Graham Linehan as the book-loving customer
Previous episode

Cooking the Books

Next episode

Grapes of Wrath

Manny's First Day is the second episode of the first series of the British sitcom, Black Books. Ot was originally aired on the 6th of October, 2000. The script was written by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan, who also directed the episode. 

Plot synopsis[]

Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey) enters Nifty Gifty, a gift shop run by Fran Katzenjammer (Tamsin Greig). Manny informs her that he was hired to work in the bookshop next door, 'Black Books', however found that the shop was closed. After Fran warns him not to work there, Manny manages to open the door to the shop to find a drunk Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), owner of the shop, sprawled across the sofa. Manny informs him that he hired him yesterday, however Bernard can't remember, and asks if he had been drinking. Manny thinks back to the night before, when Bernard had mistaken an old woman for Manny and had unwittingly hired him. Despite Bernard not wanting Manny to work in the shop, he agrees to give him a one-day trial to assess if he is worthy of the job.

Suddenly, Manny shrieks in pain, before his phone rings. After he takes the call, Bernard asks him why he shrieked before the phone rang. Manny tells him that he used to use his phone a lot which had a side effect on him so now, just before his phone rings, he gets a sharp pain in his head. Bernard starts torturing Manny by calling his phone continuously, much to his amusement.

Later on in the day, Manny, Bernard and Fran have many conversations, revealing the background of the characters and the shop. After lunch, Fran decides to show Manny Bernard's spare room, in case he would like to live with Bernard, which annoys Bernard greatly. Bernard hatches a plan to get rid of Manny, and tells him that he's fired. However, after Manny bribes him with a bottle of wine, Bernard quickly reconsiders.

A re-hired Manny persuades Bernard to allow a group of students into the shop, however, after one of them takes out their phone, Bernard quickly hammers it with a mallet. Later on, Bernard decides to go out, while Manny minds the shop. As soon as Bernard walks out the door, a man enters and asks if he has left. When Manny says yes, many customers flow through the door, to which Manny sells a lot of books, so much so that there are only a few more books are left. Bernard returns, furious at the fact that he has to re-order all the books. An annoyed Bernard tells Manny that he is fired. When Manny tells him that he sold a lot of books and got on well with the customers, Bernard replies "it's not that kind of operation".

Manny enters 'Nifty Gifty' to say goodbye to Fran, and explains to her that he has been fired. A furious Fran enters 'Black Books', and, after much shouting and violence, persuades Bernard to re-hire Manny. Bernard retires to the back room, where he redials Manny's number continuosly, causing him extreme pain.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Graham Linehan, co-writer of the series, makes a cameo as the "Book-Loving Customer".
  • The student's phone that Bernard destroys uses a Nokia ringtone, however, the phone is not a Nokia phone.

External links[]

[1] Manny's First Day on IMDb

[2] 'List of Black Books Episodes' on Wikipedia

[2] Manny's First Day on