Any comedy fan is aware of Spike Milligan. Irish father & English mother.
Co-founder of The Goons and the creator of some of the most groundbreaking radio & TV shows of all time – plus the writer of books like Puckoon & Adolf Hitler; My Part in his Downfall. Any good home with kids should have his books of ‘silly verses’. Like ..
The Ant and The Elephant
Said a tiny Ant
To the Elephant
“Mind how you tread in this clearing!”
But alas! Cruel fate!
She was crushed by the weight
Of an Elephant, hard of hearing
He was truly a wordy comedy legend and had no equal. Gay Byrne on the Late Late Show often entertained Spike and when the red light was on they both raised their game – the respect for each other was obvious.
Here is a tickled pink GAY & SPIKE
Also both shared a love of jazz. Spike as a musician and Gay as a listener. What some people forget is that Gay Byrne started out as an entertainer – hosting variety shows and telling jokes in halls throughout Dublin before he broke through into TV. That is why he felt at home in the company of comedy folk. Especially genuine naturally funny people & comedy storytellers Spike Milligan … Peter Sellers .. Peter Ustinov .. Billy Connolly .. Lenny Henry .. John Cleese .. all sat in the late late chair & he loved them all. And what was obvious to all is that they loved him. He knew when to step back and let the funny take over.
Spike had comedy bones and loved nothing more than taking the piss out of his adopted nation. Here is his black & white version of the Irish Olympics.
And before you leave, scroll down his funniest quotes. Move over Oscar Wilde – Spike is the man.
“All men are cremated equal”
“Money couldn’t buy friends, but you got a better class of enemy”
“How long was I in the army? Five foot eleven”
“I have the body of an eighteen year old. I keep it in the fridge”
“Are you going to come quietly, or do I have to use earplugs?”
“All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy”
“I thought I’d begin by reading a poem by Shakespeare, but then I thought, why should I? He never reads any of mine”
“Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion”
‘Said Hamlet to Ophelia, I’ll draw a sketch of thee. What kind of pencil shall I use? 2B or not 2B?’,
“Life is a long agonized illness only curable by death”
‘My Father had a profound influence on me. He was a lunatic’.
“I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”
Spike Milligan B. 1918 – RIP 2002