Lunedi Lunacy

55504_1The word genius is thrown around very casually but in the case of Frankie Howerd it applied in spades:  he was indeed a comic genius.  His sixty year career was a series of constant comebacks and it seemed that once a decade he was rediscovered and a new generation would delight in the winks, nudges, “ohs”, “ahs”, and “hang on missues” that peppered his routines.   After his death in 1992 a perusal of his library of scripts revealed that every ad lib had been carefully worked out, meticulously timed, and rehearsed.  And for six decades his audience never caught on – or if they did forgot it in the laughter of the moment:  and that is true genius.

In 1971 as Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsborough moaned and panted their way across the scandalized pop charts of Europe with Je t’aime, Frankie and June Whitfield (Edina’s mother on the puzzlingly popular Ab Fab) took to the studio to record a very English version of was was then the Number two song in the Republic of Ireland!!!!!!! ( Oooooh….  those Irish, I’m telling you missus! {Howerd eye roll followed by a slight smirk to the camera}.)

On this day in 1386: England and Portugal formally ratify their alliance with the signing of the Treaty of Windsor, making it the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world which is still in force

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

7 thoughts on “Lunedi Lunacy”

  1. Or, ‘Sex Please, We’re Not British’, as a poster on the wall of Matt Lucas-as-impresario’s office in Little Britain used to have it,

    I saw Frankie twice in his later years – once at the Savage Club in the company of Joan Greenwood and Elizabeth Welch, homage to the late Roy Plomley, and once in a two-hour one man show, He had that genius of taking you to a pitch of hysteria and gently leading you down the other side. Genius. Though apparently his material was often poor because he was too mean to pay for good stuff…

  2. The other day I watched ‘A Damsel in Distress’, with Fred Astaire and George Burns and Gracie Allen. Whereas I know that comics from the School of Vaudeville were required to be able to hoof here and there, I had no idea Burns and Allen were so accomplished. One number in particular was done in one take, no cuts to cover a misstep. The routine was very complex, and Burns & Allen didn’t just manage to ‘keep up’, they were every bit as good as Astaire. That’s also genius.

    Now, as you and ‘L’ have experienced, sometimes my comment will only tangentially touch your post subject, but at least this one was about showbiz;-)

      1. Oh, smaller than that, surely;-) I mean, the subject -was- “carefully worked out, meticulously timed, and rehearsed”. Like choreography? I’ve found Mr. Howard on YouTube — thank you for the introduction!

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