And it’s good night from him…
Just about to dash out to meet some chums for dinner but I had to say how sad I was to hear of Ronnier Barker passing away today. Watching the show he and Ronnie Corbett did recently where they anchored some of their best classic material was a sheer delight – how terrific was it to watch their mini-serial The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town agian after all these years? I remember watching that with my parents when I was a schoolkid (yes, we did have TV then you cheeky buggers!). The fact that one was co-written by another of my favourites – and another British comedy hero – Spike Milligan, made it all the better for me.
It is too easy for folk to take potshots at old comedy shows and dismiss them. I remember watching the new ‘alternative’ comedians who came in behind the likes of the Two Ronnies in the 80s. Some I liked, some were fresh and new and some, let’s be honest, were just talentless tossers who thought saying anything about Thatcher was funny (so why bother working on an actual joke?).
But even the then-new comedy shows from that period that I liked, like the Young Ones, just isn’t as funny as the Two Ronnies or Porridge. Like Morecambe and Wise it is easy to sneer but secretly many of us still laugh at many of their sketches. Laughter is as vital a component of our lives as love, air and water. Its not bad way to be remembered though, is it? Ronnie Barker – he made a lot of us laugh. That’s a nice thing for folk to say after you’re gone.