Saturday 16 October 2010

Britain is a country whose depressed old men might be cheered by the comedian in Tommy Cooper while turning a blind eye to his failings as a man

I came across a study published in 2004, entitled :

Depression among older people, men and women, in Europe aged 65 years and over living in the community.

The results in themselves were depressing and the levels of 'depressive illness' were: Iceland 8.8%.
Liverpool 10.0%.
Zaragoza 10.7%.
Dublin 11.9%.
Amsterdam 12.0%.
Berlin 16.5%.
London 17.3%.
Verona 18.3%.
Munich 23.6%.

If we cut the figures in half for men it means that nearly one in ten of old men in London is depressed.

I found the perfect antidote to depression in the comedy of Tommy Cooper, who died at the age of 63 in 1984 :
Magic Cloak :

I decided to investigate Tommy, expecting to find a cheery story, the result, however, was depressing when I found that he :

* collapsed and soon after died from a heart attack in front of millions of television viewers, midway through his act on a live television variety show.

* was a heavy drinker and smoker who experienced a decline in health during the late 1970s and by 1980, his drinking meant that Thames Television would not give him another starring series.

* would leave a taxi, slipping something into the taxi driver's pocket saying, "Have a drink on me" and 'that something' turned out to be a tea bag.

* asked a retired variety pro who had seen better days, and was advised to walk on at the beginning, put a parafin heater down in front of the audience and say, "They told me to go out there and warm them up" .

* got an uproarious reception but offered not a word of thanks to the old pro when they met and when on he asked if Tommy's driver could give him a lift home was told by Cooper : "I'm not a f....... taxi service."

* had a wife who several times called his agent and manager to say she was leaving him after he had struck her in front of the children.


In a 2005 poll, 'The Comedians' Comedian', he was voted the 6th 'greatest comedy act ever' by fellow comedians and is commonly cited as one of the best comedians of all time.

P.P.S. A statue him was unveiled in his hometown of Caerphilly, Wales in 2008 by fellow Welsh entertainer Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is patron of 'The Tommy Cooper Society'.

Anyway, after all that, if want some more laughs :

Glass Bottle Trick :


1 comment:

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