Wednesday 31 July 2013

Tommy again

Five more minutes with the great Tommy Cooper.

"Tonight I'm going to express my feelings by speaking to you through my trumpet"

It's all good - and the real gem is the duck trick. I wept with laughter - really wept - when I saw this for the first time. Perhaps my overseas readers - you know who you are - will have no idea who Tommy Cooper was, but I want to avoid the assumption that I'm addressing an audience of hypothetical sceptics and am quite sure that if you read this blog even occasionally you're likely to enjoy this five-minute clip as much as I do. It's a  deceptively calculated performance. Look at the way he slumps slightly at the end of the final trick, as the curtain is pulled back to reveal, climactically, that nothing at all has happened. There's a heartbeat pause before he continues, as hope dies. Watch the full five minutes here.

The company that supplied Cooper's props - including the duck - is still trading, and has a subterranean store near Charing Cross station. It's called Davenports. Their print catalogue is one of my favourite bedside books. Have a look here.

Clip © London Weekend Television

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