The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

The Bad Comedians

The Noble art of Comedy?

Reflecting upon many a bad comedian over the years. I’d like to propose a toast to some of the very worst. Who better to begin with than this man?

Charlie Drake

“Hello my darlings” rang out the familiar catchphrase from the diminutive ‘comic’, but can anybody tell me what was remotely funny about this man? Very much in the ‘I look a bit peculiar so laugh at me’ mould, Charlie was a popular star of sixties TV. Unfortunately his goblinesque appearance offered his career little longevity.

http://stuartfrew.wordpress.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gifI heard a great story about Charlie Drake from a friend, Ali. “He was doing his end of the pier summer show at one of the seaside resorts in England, and he got chatting to a pretty young chorus girl, telling her that he’d noticed her, and that she had star potential, and that with a word in the right ear, he could make her a star,as he had all the contacts. The girl thanked him very much and said she was very flattered. To this, Mr Drake said “now, what would you say to a little f***?”. The girl summoned up all her dignity and said “goodbye, little f***!” Classic!”

Oh how we laughed.

Another instant admission to the Bad Comedians Hall of Infamy…

Roy Hudd

Just take a look at those great foaming gnashers – feel like laughing? I thought not. Roy has seemed to have been around forever and is a regular laugh-a-decade man. I initially set eyes upon this man as a kid watching his regular weekly show which as a normal five-year old I felt a bit insulting to the intelligence and a bit simplistic. In one ‘sketch’ I recall Roy dressed up in Lincoln Green to depict the outlaw ‘Robin Hudd’ and so it seems he has been robbing the Beano book of gags to give to poor us ever since. His riotous play on words using his surname still stands as he inflicts the more recent examples of his ‘art’ through “The Huddlines” radio program.

Gag for Roy please – make it nice and tight.

Oh how we laughed.

Okay, I’m on a roll now. Anyone prepared to confess a liking for this guy?

Arthur Askey

“Buzz buzz, buzz buzz, buzzy bee, buzzy bee” sang the little maestro in his infamous trademark ditty accompanied by his ‘amusing’ little jig. How entertained by himself Arthur would appear, sadly not reciprocated by many of his audiences. Oh how I would love to have seen the little twat crash and burn at the infamous Glasgow Empire – how DID he live so long anyway? That must remain a mystery.

In his early days Arthur could be heard on the ‘wireless’ with his erstwhile pals Ben Warris and ‘Stinker’ Murdoch I’m led to believe. Sadly the only thing that stunk were Arthur’s gags. Only to be compared with his jokes were his matchless catchphrases such as “Ayethenkew”, “Hello playmate” and “Right before your very eyes”.

Stop it Arthur – I’m crying.

Oh how we laughed.

Billy Dainty

What more can be said about this man? One word really. Sh*te.

Oh how we laughed.

The next inductee.

Norman Vaughan

Pictured above, how this sub-Tommy Trinder ‘comic’ ever had such a career I’ll never know. Perhaps he found his true vocation in those ‘Roses grow on you’ TV advertisements which have somehow managed to elude the clutches of Chris Tarrant.

I can picture him now, out of his depth comparing ‘The Palladium’, acting his head off like some second rate Bruce Forsyth with his clever catchphrases of “Swinging” and “Dodgy’ He was chosen to take over the game show, ‘The Golden Shot due to his ability in being the only man alive who could make Charlie Williams seem funny.

Kindly stick your Roses up your hole Norman.

Oh how we laughed.

Jimmy Cricket

“There’s more…”

Thankfully, not for some time Jimmy…

Oh how we laughed.

I truly can’t see many people dissenting with this choice.

Peter Glaze

The Crackerjack (altogether now - Crackerjack!) ‘star’ made a gloriously berift of humour duo with partner in crime Leslie Crowther, a man himself who was well know in Nottingham for…er…coming from Nottingham and…er liking cricket a bit.

Peter would always be the one who received the well aimed jet from a soda fountain in his coupon whilst acting his little head off. Mercifully he never appeared to progress to anything else apart from act as Leslie’s and later Don McLean’s (imagine that?) stooge.

The picture above demonstrates ably how ‘funny’ Peter was, note the hilarious hand expression and ‘endearing’ grin of this particular jolly japester.

My sides are still hurting.

Oh how we laughed.

Rod Hull

How unfortunate for him that the bird was a flightless one when he fell off that roof.

Oh how we laughed.

JIM BOWEN

Bullseye!

Bullsh*t more like, Jim.

Oh how we laughed.

Two numbskulls for the price of one this time, it’s:

Mike and Bernie Winters

Two idiots for the price of one, this pair were the only known comedy double act to feature two straight men. Let’s just say that when Bernie branched out with a new partner Shnorbitz the dog, the hound was funnier.

Forever in the shadow of comedy giants Morcambe and Wise, the brothers split many times, and I don’t mean our sides. Whilst Mike was meant to be the ‘smart, sophisticated’ one, Bernie played the grinning oaf perfectly…only he wasn’t playing…

These guys made Cannon and Ball look like comedy genius’s.

Another word from Ali on the gruesome twosome. The story goes that this pair were appearing at the Pavilion in Glasgow, a notoriously tough crowd, and Mike Winters came on stage and did a few minutes before his hopelessly unfunny stage foil followed him on. As soon as the other one hit the stage, some wag in the audience shouted “aw f***! There’s two o’ the c***s!”

Oh how we laughed.

An entirely personal one now that some may indeed not agree with.

Lennie Henry

Subtlety is not this man’s strong suit. When in times of lack of favourable audience response (i.e. often) he can be observed getting louder and more animated whilst resorting to leanings from his ex TISWAS-esque characters from decades ago and sub-’Desmond’ rants.

I’m sure Lenny is a very nice guy and we know that he does his bit for charidee which is truely admirable, I mean, marrying Dawn French, who else would have done that? but for Christ’s sakes Lenny just go away will ya?

A big custard pie in the face for this useless tw*t.

Oh how we laughed.

“The Master of stand-up comedy”

“Lennie Bennett is one of television’s most prolific performers and is generally regarded as the ultimate professional. Indeed, few entertainers can equal his record of having had at least one series of his own show televised every year for the last 16 years.”

So runs the publicity blurb for former ‘Lucky Ladders’ host…

Lennie Bennett

Talent with a capital ‘S’ for sh*te, this man’s wit knew no beginning. After stumbling onto our TV screens with his equally vapid stand-up partner Jerry Stevens he ‘progressed’ into the role of that most unloved of celebrity types – the game show host. Lennie was at his finest when handing out the ‘prizes’ on Lucky Ladders. This seemed to consist of a small ladder painted gold which stood on a piece of Styrofoam. Apparently these works of art had to be handed back by the contestants after the show as they only had seven made.

Lennie’s early days on TV also took in that spiritual home of the the Bad Comedian – ‘The Comedians’, where he was know as something of a giggler. At least one person was amused Lennie…

Oh how we laughed.

Now here’s a face you’d never tire of punching.

Timmy Mallett

Yes I know he’s for kids but he has actually been well adopted by some grown-ups – well students anyway. This man’s trademark catchphrases make the utterings of Bruce Forsyth look like the witticisms of Oscar Wilde on a good day. “Utterly brilliant” and “bleugh” were two of his most inspired moments, it actually all goes downhill from there believe it or not.

In searching for the pen pictures for most of the above comedians it has been considered suitable for the purposes of this thread to show the protagonist at their most ridiculous. Searching for Timmie’s, well it was difficult to find one that made him look half-way intelligent, nay sane.

I know what I’d like to do with that ****ing mallet, sideways.

More from Ali: “Waking up on a Saturday morning in my 20s with a beasting hangover was made a million times worse if my nieces were staying if I went downstairs while the Wide Awake Club was on TV. Just catching sight of that t****r on TV was enough to turn an honest-to-goodness, bought and paid for hangover into a psychotic rage. Still… didn’t last long. By the time my oldest niece was about 5, she’d outgrown his humour and was more interested in Thundercats on the BBC instead!”

Oh how we laughed.

Introducing comedy’s answer to Daniel O’Donnell, it’s…

Roy Walker

Apparently softly spoken, genial Irishman Roy had the ideal training to be a ‘comic’, he was Northern Ireland champion at throwing the hammer and once was a part of the Vienna Boys Choir. Another funny man who succumbed to the game show idiom, one of Roy’s best known catchphrases on the show of the same name was “It’s good but it’s not right”. Well right on one score at least Roy. His other famous saying can also often be heard, “say what you see”. Happy to oblige Roy – your act is shite.

Oh how we laughed.

David Badiel

This man brings up an interesting theory. Some believe that to laugh at a comedian one has to like them too. (First rule of comedy, Spike). This man focuses that belief in me as I can’t stand his manner and sarcasm (which if used appropriately can be very funny of course) In his case he actually does seem to be a supercilious t****r.

Almost as funny as neuralgia.


August 31, 2007 Posted by | Ripping Yarns | , , , | 5 Comments

The JJB Experience

I’d a free invite into corporate ‘hostility’ at Wigan Football Club for their game against Watford this past Saturday and duly dropped by at the JJB stadium. Our party of four males was aged between 7 and 77. The former of which I was charged with entertaining for a good part of the afternoon! Remember what it was like when you were that age? Football games were such a mystery – they still are to some of us!

The hospitality package included a three-course dinner in one of the lounges at the stadium. Sure there was a choice of but one meal but I had a very good scran all the same thank you. A small army of young ladies kept the drinks coming over too.

Two former top-flight referees (whom I didn’t catch the names of) MC’d the proceedings in a jolly Northern way with plenty of crap gags and the odd sweary word thrown in. Part of the presentation were the various quizzes and competitions before and after the game. One couple were asked to stand up by the man with the mic as they had chosen to travel up from Watford for the game on their honeymoon. “It was either Wigan or The Maldives” quoth the blushing bride to the assembly only half-jokingly I considered.

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August 11, 2007 Posted by | Sporting Tales | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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