Splinter your sides with laughter
December 4, 2007 7:52 AM   Subscribe

The Plank, classic British comedy (Youtubed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Starring Eric Sykes, who despite being partially deaf appeared in his own show Sykes and elsewhere with 'sister' Hattie Jacques, and the odd interesting guest, and Tommy Cooper, Britain's worst magician but funniest man (Spoon Jar, Bottle Glass, Magic Cloak, Hats, Card Trick, Paper Tear, Milk) who finally died on stage for real, live on television.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (8 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Just like that!
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on December 4, 2007

thanks, excellent stuff — doubly excellent for the Tommy Cooper concealed within.
posted by MinPin at 11:49 AM on December 4, 2007

I guess this is what Monty Python was rebelling against?

Some nice bits but boy, didn't Buster Keaton do half of this half a century earlier?
posted by dhartung at 12:27 PM on December 4, 2007

Tommy Cooper collapsing and dying is one of my most horrible childhood memories. Right in the middle of his variety show act he suddenly stopped talking and staggered a bit. The audience kept laughing and when he fell on the floor he waggled his legs to make them laugh more. Then the curtain suddenly came across and you could see someone whip it across him, as he was lying in front of it. After the ads I had a Millhouse "When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?" experience, waiting for him to carry on the trick, but nothing. Then literally a few minutes later on the ITN news Trevor McDonald said "And now some sad news..." as a photo of Tommy Cooper appeared behind him. Horrible, horrible chills just thinking about it (only 8 at the time and my first experience of death). Also, in the book Alma Colgan by Gordon Burn there was a description of all this which made an already horrific novel even worse.

Eric Sykes is an absolutely lovely man. He gets shoved to one side because he wasn't a nutter like Spike Milligan but he is so funny and has a fab autobiography.
posted by gatchaman at 12:31 PM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

I thought Eric Sykes was profoundly deaf.

He was of course the other half with Spike Milligan behind many hundred Goon Show scripts.

Good post.
posted by mattoxic at 12:40 PM on December 4, 2007

See that? This one does the same, look.

Great post thanks.
posted by patricio at 2:09 PM on December 4, 2007

You've been a lovely audience. Do we have time for one more?
posted by tkchrist at 3:10 PM on December 4, 2007

Bloody hell! "However, he never stopped drinking and could be worryingly fallible: on an otherwise triumphant appearance with Michael Parkinson he forgot to set the safety catch on the guillotine illusion into which he had cajoled Parkinson. Only a last-minute intervention by the producer saved Parkinson's life."
Good post fearfulsymmetry. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
posted by tellurian at 7:15 PM on December 4, 2007

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