Monday, 5 October 2009
Another comedy genius who sadly is no longer with us. He didnt have to say anything to make us laugh - just that face and body language was enough to make you titter.
His infectious laugh and pathetic magic tricks made his act look rather amateurish and feeble but here is a master of comic timing at work.
I found this CD today in a charity shop and happy uplaod most of it here. You have to see him to appreciate the full Tommy Cooper magic.
"Tommy Cooper was born in Caerphilly, South Wales on 9th March 1922. He was two months premature, possibly the last time in his life that he was early. Being a premature baby in 1922 was not the best start in life and the doctor who delivered Tommy didn't hold out much hope for his survival. However, his grandmother kept him alive on drops of brandy and condensed milk and little Tom got stronger as each day passed. Within a few weeks he was well enough for the family to move to Exeter in Devon.
When he was eight years old his aunt Lucy bought him a magic set and Tommy spent hours playing with it and perfecting the tricks. At the age of sixteen he got a job on board a boat as an apprentice shipwright and it was here that he gave his first public performance. In typical Cooper style each trick he performed went disastrously wrong. He was supposed to pull a series of coloured handkerchiefs from a cylinder, but they got stuck, a card fell out of his sleeve, Tommy ran out of the room, tears running down his face. When he finally managed to calm down he began to analyse just why he'd messed it up. "I got stage fright." He would recall years later. "That's why it all went wrong. But then I thought to myself, well, it might have all gone wrong but I got a laugh. Perhaps I should concentrate on that."
In 1940 Tommy got his call-up papers and went into the Horse Guards. Six foot four with size thirteen boots Tommy must have looked an impressive sight. "On the first day there I put my foot in the stirrup but the saddle slipped and I ended up underneath the horses belly. Everyone was sitting on their horse except me." His unit were eventually dispatched to the Middle East where Tom was wounded in the right arm. Following this he joined the concert party entertaining the troops. It was here that he began perfecting his act of the magician whose tricks go wrong. "
Tommy Cooper - The Very Best Of...