I was sad to read the news today that Eric Sykes has passed away, aged 89.
I am a huge admirer of Eric Sykes, both as a scriptwriter for legendary British comedy acts (The Goons benefitted from his genius) and as a performer.
Seeing him perform with Spike Milligan or Tommy Cooper always has me laughing like a proper pranny let me tell you! Google the show ‘Curry and chips’ and you’ll see what I mean!
My Godfather (who met him once at the BBC) often told me the story of how Eric Sykes took time to talk to people in the audience and was a humble and genuine man for it, not to forget, very, very funny when ad-libbing.
I often flick through the TV and find myself uninterested from offerings like ‘Mock The Week’, ‘8 out of 10 Cats’ and heavens forbid, ‘Top Gear’. They are all shows that contain sarcastic and shock-tactic comedians who couldn’t hold a candle to the class and genius exhibited by someone like Eric Sykes.
Many modern comedy programmes like the above have a reputation for having a witty and spontaneous format; people that I know who have sat in the audience for said shows generally conveyed an annoyance of how ‘canned’ and scripted the shows actually were!
That’s why the passing of Eric Sykes makes me sad, it’s the end of an era?!
Rest in peace.