This is the long thin piece that I made which now resides in the book box which was the subject of my most recent post. I suppose I should give it a more sonorous title, but I feel like I have been at the mercy of this project for a very long time and maybe this is a way of trying to take the wind out of my muse’s sails. I will blog about the work in the piece later, but a quick post for the weekend about title seems fitting.
‘Have you got the scrolls?’, ‘No, I always walk like this.’ is a joke from Morecambe and Wise, from the Christmas sketch about Napoleon. An old and corny joke but a joke nevertheless. I was brought up with Eric and Ernie and it is comforting to include them in this project.
For years when I was a stand-up trainer people used to approach me and say, ‘You know, you really remind me of Victoria Wood’ which was great as she is a highly talented Northern comedy writer and performer and it’s a flattering comparison. In the spoof spy sketch she did on the London Eye she looked fabulous, so that’s good too. But…
I expect that’s more the kind of thing people had in mind, though, rather than a glamorous spy in a white fur hat. Sometimes people would say that I reminded them of Dawn French, which is okay, but I think I prefer the Victoria Wood comparison. That said, Dawn French has great hair, scrubs up beautifully and did get the toothsome tall, dark, handsome stranger in the last episode of The Vicar of Dibley:
But it came as a big surprise to me a couple of years ago to realise that I get most of my schtick from Eric Morecambe:
And we have family jokes like: ‘I’m playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order’ which come directly from the tv show.
I think my taste in comedy was fixed early and has never really got over the loss of this man. I also adored Les Dawson:
His piano playing still reduces me to tears of laughter. Also northern. Also a great wordsmith.
So, it seems fitting that a project which will be about the role of the 1970s in shaping identity for women should have a reference to some of the great figures of popular culture.
They are a huge part of the identity that this project will explore for me and for a lot of women of my generation.