Christ-Mass

Peter Cook in conversation with Chris Morris. Festive? Maybe not. But I feel I’ll be doing humanity a service if a few people hear this who hadn’t, previously.

Cook, a renowned genius of  ’60s comedy, had a bumpy ride in the ’70s and ’80s. This extract was part of a late flowering, where he created a few hours of comedy gold right before dropping dead. Despite being called “Why Bother?” this series showed Cook could still improvise matchless insane brilliance, and here he has an equally dark and scabrous mind to bounce off, which was a rarity (only Dudley Moore really fused with Cook onscreen, which meant that he often seemed to be performing in a void when paired with anyone else or compelled to read anyone else’s lines). Here, Morris provides the demented set-up, and throws some dizzying curve-balls at the great one, while Cook serenely dispenses cracked majesty, playing one of his ancient favourites, the patrician monster Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling.

OK, it’s not quite CINEMA… but if you hold up a piece of green card you can imagine it’s a sequel to Derek Jarman’s BLUE.

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8 Responses to “Christ-Mass”

  1. Cook’s humour reminds me to a certain extent of Eddie Izzard. I enjoy Mr. Izzard.

  2. Izzard and Cook both work by accessing to some kind of inner free-form madness which they can channel through extemporisation. when it’s purely scripted it’s not as good, with either of them.

  3. Also when it comes to scatalogical horror! It’s the abyss!

  4. Kelly N. Wiggin Says:

    Ah, thank you for posting about this! They’re some of my favorite comedy recordings, I make all my friends listen to them.

  5. On YouTube you can also see Sir Arthur’s 12 Days of Christmas, where he’s interviewed by Mr. Moira Shearer himself, Ludovic Kennedy. Pretty good stuff.

  6. Kelly N. Wiggin Says:

    Ooh, I haven’t seen that before! Thanks muchly.

  7. I love his description of the giraffe, as imagined by Picts: “a tremendously long leg, about two hundred feet long, ending in… another leg.”

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