Britain's Greatest Comedian Page 2

Britain's Greatest Comedian. Image shows from L to R: John Thomson, Roy Hudd, Darren Harriott, Ronni Ancona, David Quantick, Sally Phillips, Boyd Hilton, Nina Wadia, Stephen Mangan. Copyright: Crook Productions.

Britain's Greatest Comedian

A countdown of the public's most-loved comedians

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 4:59am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,275 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 27th May 2019, 12:19 AM

And why were Tony Hancock, Norman Wisdom, Peter Cook and Charlie Chaplin not included among the contenders?

I'll see you with Benny Hill, Bob Monkhouse, Frankie Howerd, Kenneth Williams.

Or still living - Frank Skinner, Paul Merton.

Subjective is just one way of putting it. Ignorant is another. At least Sellers is well up there, surprising but pleasing given the rest of the list.

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Billy Bunter

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 9:20am [Edited]
  • The Sussex Coast, England
  • 1,379 posts

I watched for about 20 minutes before I realised it was all too rushed and ill-judged to be of any interest. It was also, largely, a battle of the generations within the panel. At one point a young black chap on the panel said, of one candidate (I forget whom), "I know nothing about him". He was duly told by Roy Hudd and Sally Phillips to "shut up then".

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 9:33am
  • England
  • 17,530 posts
Quote: Billy Bunter @ 27th May 2019, 9:20 AM

"I know nothing about him". He was duly told by Roy Hudd and Sally Phillips to "shut up then".

Like it :D And big fan of Roy who is a BIG fan of Max Miller, which surprises me then, that Max didn't make it.

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 9:43am [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Billy Bunter @ 27th May 2019, 9:20 AM

At one point a young black chap on the panel said, of one candidate (I forget whom), "I know nothing about him". He was duly told by Roy Hudd and Sally Phillips to "shut up then".

Bloody Hell! That was a bold move by Roy and Sally!

I don't expect we'll be seeing much more of them on TV. Laughing out loud

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Will Cam

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 10:13am
  • England
  • 8,018 posts
Quote: Sitcomfan64 @ 26th May 2019, 11:02 PM

Stan Laurel at No 1, can't complain about that, Victoria Wood would've been my no 1 but that's the point really. Comedy is too subjective to rank.

I've bern rewatching her old TV shows. A genuinely funny lady.

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 10:26am
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

I think we have to acknowledge that the whole program was simply an original way to present viewers with three hours of comedy clips accompanied by commentary by "experts" plus a bit of excitement as the contenders were arranged in order of perceived greatness.

Nothing wrong with that in principle, of course, but I fail totally to see how Stan Laurel and Lenny Henry found their way into the list of contenders, never mind how Stan Laurel actually managed to win it.

(Sits back and awaits accusations of mild racism and flagrant Ulverstonism)

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 11:08am
  • England
  • 17,530 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 27th May 2019, 10:26 AM

(Sits back and awaits accusations of mild racism and flagrant Ulverstonism)

Now you're being paranoid. Huh

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Billygoatscruff

  • Tuesday 28th May 2019, 1:47pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 68 posts

How did they decide on the outcomes Kathy Burke and Stan Laurel are actors more than comedians

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Rood Eye

  • Tuesday 28th May 2019, 2:24pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Billygoatscruff @ 28th May 2019, 1:47 PM

How did they decide on the outcomes Kathy Burke and Stan Laurel are actors more than comedians

It seems that the great British public voted for their favourites and the 30 most popular selections went through to the final of the competition.

Most of those 30 selections were reasonable contenders but some of them were absolutely and utterly ridiculous.

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Billy Bunter

  • Tuesday 28th May 2019, 3:04pm
  • The Sussex Coast, England
  • 1,379 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 28th May 2019, 2:24 PM

It seems that the great British public voted for their favourites and the 30 most popular selections went through to the final of the competition.

Most of those 30 selections were reasonable contenders but some of them were absolutely and utterly ridiculous.

If there's one thing we should have learned over the last 3 or 4 years, it is that one should never ask the British public anything.

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Comedia

  • Friday 7th June 2019, 10:46am
  • United Kingdom
  • 2 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 26th May 2019, 11:13 PM

I can certainly complain about it: it's an absolutely ridiculous decision.

I'm a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy but how funny were they when you compare them with the likes of Ken Dodd, Ronnie Barker or, as you say, Victoria Wood?

I think Stan got the decision out of respect rather than any rational thought processes running through the minds of the judges.

To ask how funny Laurel & Hardy were in comparison to Dodd, Barker and Wood is strange - anyone who claims to be "a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy" should know how funny they are, and how well they hold up even when compared to these greats (whom I also love). The comedians who voted Peter Cook as #1 in 2004 also placed Laurel & Hardy in the top 10, above Barker, Dodd and Wood.

Laurel's comic legacy speaks for itself - a creative genius, a pioneer in his field, highly respected by his contemporaries, adored by the trailblazers and major talents of each subsequent generation (Goons, Morecambe & Wise, Cooper, Dodd, Barker, Pythons, Connolly, Comic Strip, Fry, Vic & Bob, Gervais, Lee, etc.), is still hugely influential, whose comic impact remains undimmed almost a century later, and who easily wins new fans today. Stan Laurel is a worthy #1. And *still* no-one makes me laugh more than he does.

Quote: Billygoatscruff @ 28th May 2019, 1:47 PM

How did they decide on the outcomes Kathy Burke and Stan Laurel are actors more than comedians

You might be right about Kathy Burke - if the complaint about "that's a comic actor, not a comedian" sticks, it sticks to Burke most (as wonderful as she is, she is an actor first and foremost). Barker too - he came from repertory theatre - although on the basis of his career overall, I have no qualms including him in any list of "Greatest Comedians", whereas including the likes of David Jason or Richard Briers would be dubious.

However, Laurel was a comedian through and through. A comedian is a performer with an act designed to make an audience laugh - alone talking into a microphone, or in sketches with others. Laurel did both: he started out as a "solo turn" in music hall; he went on to perform & write sketches (1906-21; 1927-54). He did stage work throughout his career, and is as much a music hall comedian as Max Miller, Arthur Askey or Dan Leno.

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Firkin

  • Friday 7th June 2019, 10:52am
  • United Kingdom
  • 1,017 posts

@Comedia Stan is the Man. I'm not even the right age to say that. They say the sign of a great is one that stands the test of time. From way back, that's Stan, Groucho Marx and Hancock.

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Rood Eye

  • Friday 7th June 2019, 2:05pm
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Comedia @ 7th June 2019, 10:46 AM

To ask how funny Laurel & Hardy were in comparison to Dodd, Barker and Wood is strange

Not in the context of a discussion about those people's relative comedic greatness it isn't.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that my question is the very foundation upon which such a discussion must be built.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Friday 7th June 2019, 5:46pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,275 posts
Quote: Billygoatscruff @ 28th May 2019, 1:47 PM

How did they decide on the outcomes Kathy Burke and Stan Laurel are actors more than comedians

Not right at all on Laurel, sorry. In fact you'd be very hard pushed to find a more authentic comedian. There's a very good post above that states his claim to no 1. And a very worthy no 1 he is - the creative force behind the funniest double act on recorded media. He's far and away the greatest.

Quote: Rood Eye @ 27th May 2019, 10:26 AM

I think we have to acknowledge that the whole program was simply an original way to present viewers with three hours of comedy clips accompanied by commentary by "experts" plus a bit of excitement as the contenders were arranged in order of perceived greatness.

Nothing wrong with that in principle, of course, but I fail totally to see how Stan Laurel and Lenny Henry found their way into the list of contenders, never mind how Stan Laurel actually managed to win it.

(Sits back and awaits accusations of mild racism and flagrant Ulverstonism)

I have to say I'm surprised and disappointed in you. :(

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Comedia

  • Friday 7th June 2019, 6:07pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 2 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 7th June 2019, 2:05 PM

'To ask how funny Laurel & Hardy are in comparison to Dodd, Barker and Wood is strange' - Not in the context of a discussion about those people's relative comedic greatness it isn't.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that my question is the very foundation upon which such a discussion must be built.

I don't disagree with what you've expressed in your response to my statement ... when the latter is shorn of context.

To clarify: What I found strange was that "a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy" implied it should be obvious to everyone that, say, Ken Dodd, Ronnie Barker, or Victoria Wood are funnier than Laurel and Hardy. The vast majority of Laurel and Hardy fans, in my experience, hold that Laurel and Hardy surpass all other comedians; certainly none would ever question Laurel's suitability for inclusion in a poll to determine the greatest British comedian of all time.