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Frankie Howerd

Started by lauraxsynthesis, February 04, 2022, 10:21:09 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

lauraxsynthesis

Howerd's End - a 2 man show about Frankie Howerd and his partner Dennis Heymer is touring in 2022 and 2023 and I recommend it. Funny, moving, all the good stuff one expects from live theatre http://markfarrelly.co.uk/2015-schedule/

I'd say it covers different ground from  Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me which I also thought was great. This one has a lot of psychology and psychoanalysis stuff in it. And it made me want to watch Frankie's shows again. 

lauraxsynthesis

Tomorrow it's 30 years since Frankie Howerd died. I recently found out he filmed a scene for the Beatles Help! that wasn't used http://www.meetthebeatlesforreal.com/2015/04/deleted-from-help.html

the science eel

Great - thanks! My favourite comedian, probably. Will book for Rosehill when it's up on their site.


Blumf

http://www.thats.tv/ is showing Frankie Howard Live at 2305h tonight.

Worth checking it out at night in general, loads of archive comedy. Kenny Everett is on right now.

Quote from: lauraxsynthesis on April 18, 2022, 10:00:35 PMTomorrow it's 30 years since Frankie Howerd died. I recently found out he filmed a scene for the Beatles Help! that wasn't used http://www.meetthebeatlesforreal.com/2015/04/deleted-from-help.html

It's thirty years since Howerd passed?  Ooo-ooooooooo-oo!

It's coming up for that time since Benny Hill snuffed it, isn't it?

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

Benny Hill pre- snuffed Frankie Howard by a day or two, I believe, but his body wasn't found until a couple of days after his dying in front of his television set.

The Bumlord

Quote from: Lisa Jesusandmarychain on April 19, 2022, 08:49:54 AMBenny Hill pre- snuffed Frankie Howard by a day or two, I believe, but his body wasn't found until a couple of days after his dying in front of his television set.

I love the glamour of showbiz.

Quote from: Lisa Jesusandmarychain on April 19, 2022, 08:49:54 AMBenny Hill pre- snuffed Frankie Howard by a day or two, I believe, but his body wasn't found until a couple of days after his dying in front of his television set.

Yeah, it was a very big TV.

Gurke and Hare

Wasn't Benny Hill quoted as being upset by Howerd's death?

He said, "Frankie, do you remember me? Frankie??"

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

Quote from: Gurke and Hare on April 19, 2022, 12:26:52 PMWasn't Benny Hill quoted as being upset by Howerd's death?

His agent made that quote up, not having the knowledge that Benny was, in fact dead in front of his telly at that point.

Tony Tony Tony

Ahhh Frankie. As a youngster Howerds shows provided the requisite titillation unavailable unless one happened on some hedgerow porn. Youngsters these days don't know how lucky they are with naked flesh barely a click of the mouse away.

My favourite Howerd tale is about his wig(s) being buried with him then exhumed later to be put on display. There's a comprehensive piece Here that tells the whole sordid story.

Twonty Gostelow

It used to baffle me that writers who worked with him had contradictory stories. I think it was Rory McGrath and/or Griff Rhys Jones who said they'd put in a few Nooooo Missuses, Titter Ye Nots and the like into the script only for Howerd to berate them and say he'll decide where he needs to say those. But I heard others say he'd criticise them if they didn't put the catchphrases in. I thought they can't both be true, but according to Cary and Cohen on their Sitcom Geeks podcast, they were. Howerd was just being contrary to wind them up (when he wasn't making passes at them).

Quote from: Gurke and Hare on April 19, 2022, 12:26:52 PMWasn't Benny Hill quoted as being upset by Howerd's death?

Quote from: Lisa Jesusandmarychain on April 19, 2022, 12:59:12 PMHis agent made that quote up, not having the knowledge that Benny was, in fact dead in front of his telly at that point.

For some reason, this really amuses me!

PeterCornelius

I am sure I read somewhere about a gig where Howerd was in the middle of a monologue and an audience member heckled him, accusing Howerd of being - I think - racist, based upon a remark that Howerd had made, during the act. Howerd proceeded to have a debate with this person and won decisively, much to the delight of the audience.

The story may be apocryphal, but I can definitely remember reading about it. Am I going doolally, or does anyone recall this anecdote?

Des Wigwam

Quote from: Phoenix Lazarus on April 19, 2022, 05:18:08 PMFor some reason, this really amuses me!

"He said I don't like it but I'll have to go along with it"

Tony Tony Tony

Glad this thread has been bumped up as it reminds me that C5 are airing a two hour doco on Frankie tonight.

Hopefully it will be an improvement on the last few C5 Saturday night progs on various comedy shows/figures, which seemed to be cheaply cobbled together from previously aired stuff.

Brundle-Fly

What's interesting about him is how he went in and out fashion. Howerd's career was described by Barry Cryer as being "a series of comebacks".

Wasn't it Peter Cook who revived his career in the early sixties by putting him on at The Establishment club?

McChesney Duntz

Yep. That and a well-received appearance on That Was The Week That Was (Frosty swooping in on Cookie's territory again, I suppose).

neardark

Never knew his surname was spelt like that and now I'm annoyed

poodlefaker

Quote from: Brundle-Fly on May 07, 2022, 12:25:36 PMWhat's interesting about him is how he went in and out fashion. Howerd's career was described by Barry Cryer as being "a series of comebacks".

Wasn't it Peter Cook who revived his career in the early sixties by putting him on at The Establishment club?
Yeh, then Jonathan Ross again the 80s

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Brundle-Fly on May 07, 2022, 12:25:36 PMWhat's interesting about him is how he went in and out fashion. Howerd's career was described by Barry Cryer as being "a series of comebacks".

Wasn't it Peter Cook who revived his career in the early sixties by putting him on at The Establishment club?

Yes - it's incredible that not only was Howard's career was so long but had so many steep up and downs.  More thoughts about that later.

Re: Cook - yes, that's the headline and that booking at The Establishment Club did revive Howerd's career, leading to being booked for That Was The Week That Was (as mentioned) but there were more factors in the mix and more actors at play than Cook.  Very importantly, whilst in the wilderness, Howard enjoyed strong support from friends and colleagues, such as Galton and Simpson, Johnny Speight and Eric Sykes. With those, there's obviously a business connection as Howerd was co-founder of Allied London Scripts, but also strong friendships - Speight wasn't going to forget that Howerd's intervention was a key one in his career. Prominent mention should also be given to ALS typist turned agent and manager Beryl Vertue (and there should have been more discussion about her passing in February, here) - if it had not been because of her, Cook would not have seen Howerd performing and most likely, had his offer accepted by the comedian.

According to Harry Thompson's biography of Cook, the Establishment Club offer when Cook saw Howerd providing the inexpensive cabaret at The Evening Standard Awards, with the writer commenting that Howerd hadn't performed in London for quite a few years and Cook's invitation led to 15 years of being in demand for Howerd.

However, there is a very famous story that Howerd, utterly despondent at his career problems, decided to leave show business for good and run a pub but relented when Vertue persuaded him not to and accept a booking at the Blue Angel club in Mayfair instead; indeed, this was mentioned in her obituaries earlier this year.  (Slight tangent, but Lance Percival was also spotted performing at the club by Ned Sherrin, which led him to joining TW3 and would feature prominently in the film version of Up Pompeii and the two cinema follow-ups, all pridouced by Sherrin, but I digress...) I'm not sure of the exact time and previously haven't been able to discover it, but my educated guess is that was around the same time that Cook saw Howerd - possibly, Thompson has conflated events or the two are connected.

Vertue is aslo credited with having influenced Howerd into adapting his act for a younger crowd, which led him to accept Cook's invitation. When appearing at The Establishment, script duties were handled by Speight, Galton, Simpson and - I think - Sykes. Not too shabby, especiallly as the latter three are probably the writers were the best ones that Howerd had throughout his career and the former was one Howerd rated incredibly highly and provided the political element for his routine. With TW3, the first monologue (IIRC, it overrun by nearly ten minutes; not bad going for a live broadcast) was written by Speight and other material provided by Barry Took and Marty Feldman.

So yes, Cook giving Howerd that gig was a key turning point in Howerd's career, further enhanced by appearing on TW3, but without Vertue, he wouldn't have still been in the business (barring some kind of u-turn) and possibly, not willing to accept the offer. Plus, there was top writing talent, who knew him well and determined to pull out all the stops to ensure that he had the best material available for the comeback.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: poodlefaker on May 09, 2022, 05:25:05 PMYeh, then Jonathan Ross again the 80s

Happy to stand corrected if I'm wrong, but believe that Howerd's star was already in the ascendency when he was on Ross' show. For example, he had been 'rediscovered' by the student crowd.

Although young - a mere babe in arms - I remember being delighted that Howerd appearing as a guest. In his slot, they discussed about Howerd acquiring a student following (jokes about him being a cult etc. etc.) and one indie band being fans. I can't recall for the life of me if he was in one of their videos (or the group's name, annoyingly) but suspect that he was and had just featured in large feature and photoshoot for one of the weekly music papers.

Looking at IMDB, Howerd is listed as appearing on The Last Resort in 1988- possibly, there might have been an earlier appearance but when the series started a year earlier, the television special Superfrank! was also shown. That was to all intents and purposes, something of a comeback special and got him a lot of attention. That's not to say, Howerd wouldn't have benefitted from the exposure thanks to Ross, but don't feel that the latter was ahead of the curve to make the invitation.

DrGreggles

Up Pompeii was repeated on BBC2 in the late 80s, which probably helped gain Howerd a new set of fans.

The Bumlord

Enjoyed that wig article. I used to be fascinated by his later appearances where it just sort of sat on his old grey head like a squashed guinea pig.


30 years since he popped it, oooooh! *puffs out cheeks, attempts to bum Bob Monkhouse*

pigamus

Quote from: neardark on May 07, 2022, 03:56:03 PMNever knew his surname was spelt like that and now I'm annoyed

Wait till you find out about Gorden Kaye

poodlefaker

Quote from: Ignatius_S on May 10, 2022, 05:51:59 PMAlthough young - a mere babe in arms - I remember being delighted that Howerd appearing as a guest. In his slot, they discussed about Howerd acquiring a student following (jokes about him being a cult etc. etc.) and one indie band being fans. I can't recall for the life of me if he was in one of their videos (or the group's name, annoyingly) but suspect that he was and had just featured in large feature and photoshoot for one of the weekly music papers.
He did a video w/The Farm, but that would've been a few years later I think.

Billy

It's one of my earliest TV memories of him performing on ITV and my Dad trying to explain he'd recently died, which confused the hell out of 4 year old me how someone dead was able to walk around and tell jokes so easily. When he then appeared in an R Whites advert I started wondering if he was some sort of immortal god who could pop in from the afterlife whenever he pleased.

lauraxsynthesis

Quote from: Billy on May 11, 2022, 08:23:41 AMI started wondering if he was some sort of immortal god who could pop in from the afterlife whenever he pleased.

That's a good summary of his career trajectory innit