The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse

The United States had…we had Bob Monkhouse, always there like a background noise in everyday lives. The best way to describe him was smarmy and slick as Listerine. He was on TV every Saturday night for my whole lifetime and before that he was a scriptwriter and successful comedian courted by film and theatre. He was the English Bob Hope.

I don’t begrudge him his money or his success. He’d over a million jokes and he recorded every show of any note over the last 40 years. His audio library went back 50 years or more. And even his schoolboy jotting on comedy were meticulously kept. He was a master of timing and of comedy that sought out fame and laughter as an antidote to whatever demons possessed him. With over a million jokes, statistically some of them are bound to be funny and with his impeccable timing and feel for an audience there were more Blankety Blank noughts than crosses. I don’t like him for a very simple reason: wrapping himself in the flag and aligning himself with Maggie is, especially in these times, with attacks on the poor being seen as wholly justified, one joke too many. It’s going too far.