Here is Will and Guy's tribute to one of the five funniest men of the 20th century. Not only was Ronnie Barker a superb actor, but also he was a great writer of jokes and gags. Born 25th September 1929 Died 4th October 2005 aged 76
It is interesting to note how the Two Ronnies came about. Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett co-presented the BAFTAS awards. All of a sudden a technical glitch struck. No worries the pair of Ronnies ad-libed so well that the were offered their own show.
'A strange thing happened during a performance of Elgar's Sea Pictures at a concert hall in Bermuda tonight. The man playing the triangle disappeared.' 'The search for the man who terrorises nudist camps with a bacon slicer goes on. Inspector Lemuel Jones had a tip-off this morning, but hopes to be back on duty tomorrow.'
One of the marks of a great comic is does their material bear re-reading or watching a repeat. Ronnie Barker passes both tests with flying colours. Another sign of Ronnie Barker's greatness is that he wrote many of the sketches under the pseudonym ' Gerald Wiley' . The production team accepted ' Gerald Wiley's' material without knowing the true author.
'Have you heard the one about the retired general who said he had not had sex since 1956? His friend said, 'That's a long time ago.'I don't know, 'the general replied.' It's only 20.27 now.' 'The man who invented the zip fastener was today honoured with a lifetime peerage. He will now be known as the Lord of the Flies.' 'The prime minister held a meeting with the cabinet today. He also spoke to the bookcase and argued with the chest of drawers.'
While Tommy Cooper died in harness, Ronnie Barker made a conscious effort to retire at the top. I must say it somewhat surprised me to see Ronnie Barker in the crowd at Wimbledon Tennis championships.
'Next week we'll be investigating rumours that the president of the dairy council has become a Mason, and goes around giving his colleagues the secret milkshake.' 'we'll continue our investigation into the political beliefs of nudists. We've already noticed a definite swing to the left.' In a packed programme tonight we will be talking to an out-of-work contortionist who says he can no longer make ends meet.' 'Following the dispute with the domestic servants' union at Buckingham Palace today, the Queen, a radiant figure in a white silk gown and crimson robe, swept down the main staircase and through the hall. She then dusted the cloakroom and vacuumed the lounge.'
As well as the Two Ronnies, Ronnie Barker starred with David Jason (another top 5 actor / comedian) in Open all hours. Even though Ronnie Barker and David Jason are two of my favourite entertainers, I preferred them each in other programs, Ronnie Barker in Porridge, David Jason in Inspector Frost.
As Fletcher in Porridge, when playing monopoly: 'Would you Adam and Eve it? Go to jail!' Again from Porridge: 'What have I learned, Mr Mackay? Three things. One - bide your time. Two - keep your nose clean. And three - don't let the bastards grind you down.' To his assistant Granville (David Jason) who is toying nervously with the cash register in Open All Hours: 'Come on, you aren't there to play the Warsaw Concerto.' Keywords: Clean, Free Humour, Humor, Jokes, funny stories, Tommy Cooper, Cooperisms, tales