Sir Ken Dodd one of the greatest music hall comedians of the 20th century, has died age 90.
His publicist Robert Holmes confirmed the news, revealing that he ‘passed away in the home that he was born in over 90 years ago’.
‘He’s never lived anywhere else. It’s absolutely amazing.’
His comedy style was fast and relies on the quick delivery of one-liners and the occasional song and dance; he was known for the ‘tickling stick’ and the greeting of ‘how tickled I am!’.
Renowned for the length of his performances, he once earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s longest ever joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours, so here’s a look back at some of his old-time favourite jokes.
‘Honolulu, it’s got everything. Sand for the children, sun for the wife, sharks for the wife’s mother.’
‘Did you know that a laugh is something that comes out of a hole in your face? Anywhere else and you’re in dead trouble!’
‘My Dad knew I was going to be a comedian. When I was a baby he said, “Is this a joke?”‘
‘I have kleptomania. But when it gets bad, I take something for it.’
‘I’ve done some brave things in my time. I played Nottingham Labour Club. I was the one who shouted “Three cheers for Mrs Thatcher”. And it was during the bingo.’
‘Just read a book about Stockholm Syndrome, it started off badly but by the end I really liked it.’
‘I haven’t spoken to my mother-in-law for eighteen months. I don’t like to interrupt her.’
‘Did you hear about the shrimp that went to the prawn’s cocktail party? He pulled a mussel.’
‘Men’s legs have a terribly lonely life – standing in the dark in your trousers all day.’
‘It’s ten years since I went out of my mind. I’d never go back.’
‘The trouble with Freud is that he never played the Glasgow Empire on a Saturday night after Rangers and Celtic had both lost.’
In 1989 Dodd was charged with tax evasion, and the subsequent trial, revealed he had very little money in his account, leasing to several now classic Dodd jokes.
When asked by the judge, ‘What does a hundred thousand pounds in a suitcase feel like?’, Dodd made his now famous reply, ‘The notes are very light, M’Lord.’
‘I told the Inland Revenue I didn’t owe them a penny because I lived near the seaside.’
‘I thought it would be a good idea to go into Politics, maybe I am a little old… but you know… I’d love to be Chancellor of the Exchequer – That way I’ll be united with my money!’
‘Good evening, my name is Kenneth Arthur Dodd, singer photographic playboy and failed accountant.’