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Great British Comedians

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  • #31
    I remember watching Les Dawson's funeral on the news and they showed a message on one of the wreaths that read: "I hope you play the harp better than you played the piano".

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    • #32
      Originally posted by darrenburnfan View Post
      I remember watching Les Dawson's funeral on the news and they showed a message on one of the wreaths that read: "I hope you play the harp better than you played the piano".
      Knowing Les, he probably wrote that himself in advance, much as Milligan did - "I told you I was ill!" and Stan Laurel - "If anyone cries at my funeral I'll never speak to them again." But the joke is on the wreath, as Les was an extremely accomplished pianist. You have to know your instrument really well to muck about with it like that.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by wadsy View Post
        I can't believe Dave Allen hasn't been mentioned. For me the funniest TV comic of them all!
        I can....the thread title is "Great British Comedians".

        Dave was Irish.

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        • wadsy
          wadsy commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh well pardon me!

      • #34
        Originally posted by Faginsgirl View Post
        ...there is nobody these days that makes me laugh, except Alan Carr on his radio show....
        Is the radio show much different from the TV show?

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        • #35
          Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
          Everyone is "somewhere on the autism spectrum"

          Steve
          These characters were further to one end than the other

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          • #36
            It's becoming fashionable to be on the spectrum; it gets Kathy Lette and Ruby Wax on those celebrity couch talk shows.

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            • #37
              Okay, I went through all the posts and nobody mentioned any of the comics who had some international popularity. No Peter Sellers, Spike Mulligan, Terry Thomas, Marty Feldman, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, or the Monty Python gang. I'll tell you who used to be funny but has lost it, John Cleese.

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              • #38
                Originally posted by Judge Foozle View Post
                ...They seem to rely entirely on filth or political messaging...
                I think there's a demarcation between those "Stand-Up Comedians" who play themselves on stage and TV and get laughs by being dismissive of others.

                And there are the "Situational Comedic Actors" who play characters. Sellers played characters. I like Matt Lucas because I think his characters—Vicky Pollard, Marjorie Dawes et al— are as Dickensian as Dickens.

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                • #39
                  Originally posted by will View Post
                  Okay, I went through all the posts and nobody mentioned any of the comics who had some international popularity. No Peter Sellers, Spike Mulligan, Terry Thomas, Marty Feldman, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, or the Monty Python gang. I'll tell you who used to be funny but has lost it, John Cleese.
                  I think the reason perhaps the above names weren't mentioned was because we were mostly thinking of television comedians rather than cinema - however, there's nothing wrong whatsoever with your choice.

                  Personally, I enjoyed Peter Sellers in his early roles, for example Battle Of The Sexes, I'm Alright Jack, and many others from that era. Although his 'Pink Panther' films are arguably his best known ones (at least in Hollywood), I myself have never really liked them.

                  Terry Thomas was always a pleasure to watch for me. In all honesty I'm struggling to think of a film that I didn't enjoy watching him in - a very funny man indeed.

                  Well I quite liked the Monty Python shows, and although I thought John Cleese was great in Fawlty Towers, somehow I always felt he looked out of place in full-length feature films (not counting the Python films). And the less said about those Bond films he appeared in, the better.
                  Last edited by Carl V; 26th August 2017, 10:28 AM.

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                  • #40
                    Originally posted by will View Post
                    Okay, I went through all the posts and nobody mentioned any of the comics who had some international popularity. No Peter Sellers, Spike Mulligan, Terry Thomas, Marty Feldman, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, or the Monty Python gang. I'll tell you who used to be funny but has lost it, John Cleese.
                    I can't believe I wrote "Spike Mulligan". Sheesh...one of my great heroes. Milligan's books are hilarious. Note to self: take more care!

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                    • #41
                      Originally posted by jamal.nazreddin View Post

                      I think there's a demarcation between those "Stand-Up Comedians" who play themselves on stage and TV and get laughs by being dismissive of others.

                      And there are the "Situational Comedic Actors" who play characters. Sellers played characters. I like Matt Lucas because I think his characters—Vicky Pollard, Marjorie Dawes et al— are as Dickensian as Dickens.

                      Yes indeed, jamal, when talking "comedians" do we think of the stand-up gag tellers like Ken Dodd, Jimmy Tarbuck or Bob Monkhouse? or the brilliant comic character actors like Ronnie Barker or Leonard Rossiter who probably couldn't stand there at a microphone reeling off jokes if their lives depended on it, yet were nevertheless incredibly funny? Of course there is room for both.

                      One of the best British comedians ever for me was the nowadays criminally overlooked Dick Emery. Probably out of favour because of the perceived two dimensional stereotyping of his characters, but for me, still genuinely laugh out loud funny!

                      He worked with another who has so far gone unmentioned on here: the fantastic Michael Bentine. I don't think there was room within The Goons for two such giant imaginations as those of Bentine and Milligan, which is why I imagine he left. Brilliant, in the true sense of the word.

                      In the joke-machine category, the mighty Les Dawson really does take some beating.

                      But I disagree that there are no really decent comedians around today. Lee Mack, Jack Dee, Peter Kay, Frank Skinner, Paul Merton just to list a handful without giving it too much thought. Of course there are plenty of rubbish comics around nowadays, but hasn't that always been the case?

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                      • #42
                        Oh, Tony Hancock, I don't think anyone mentioned him. Man was he self destructive.

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                        • #43
                          Hylda Baker.... the funniest ever. I only have to look at her mannerisms and I laugh. She has been a forgotten genius.

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                          • #44
                            Beatrice Lilly is very funny on the rare occasion she shows up in a movie.

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                            • #45
                              Originally posted by googiefan View Post
                              Hylda Baker.... the funniest ever. I only have to look at her mannerisms and I laugh. She has been a forgotten genius.
                              Definitely agree. Made the great transition from stage to TV. Often watch episodes of Nearest and Dearest. I don't remember who played "Cynthia" her mute stage partner, but she always reminded me of Mrs. Shufflewick, who was actually a man.

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