Author(s): Louis Barfe
In this, the first serious biographical assessment of Ken Dodd since the death of the feather duster-wielding Liverpudlian in spring 2018, respected historian of British light entertainment Louis Barfe charts the life and extraordinarily long comedic career of a man whose career straddled the very tail end of variety and the golden age of television comedy.
When Dodd died, social media divided into two camps: those who wondered what all the fuss was about, and those who had seen him in live performance. Barfe argues that Dodd was the last of the great variety acts, a creator of superb absurd vulgarity who was at his best not on the small screen but on stage, where his act - 'a rolling boil of cumulative humour' - delighted his audiences across seven decades.
This is the definitive life of the man called 'the last great music-hall entertainer', and a true British eccentric, who beat his audiences into submission with stand-up shows that stretched into the wee small hours of the morning.