Oh Fucking Hell.

Ronnie Barker died.

Many of you won’t know who he is, much less care. Even those who do know will shrug sadly and say something like “oh, he was 76. Had a good innings, etc etc.”

Fuck that. I’m not going to shrug it off, because he was, and will remain, the greatest of my comedy heroes. I learned a great deal from David Jason about the power of expressions, as much from Mark Lamarr about a well-timed jibe (and also where the line is and why not to cross it), but from Ronnie B I learned everything. Every eyebrow lift, every nuance of tone and timing, every double-take. And I’m not the only one. Where would Peter Kay be without Ronnie? Or Rob Brydon or Jack Dee or even The Great And Lofty David Jason himself?

Mind you, most of you already know that I adore Ronnie Barker. texted me this morning asking how I was. I hadn’t heard the news yet, so she didn’t say anything, but knowing that she knew I’d be upset is a strangely comforting thing to know. And proof that she’s an excellent friend, too! *hugs*

You all wanna talk about the greatness of British comedy? If you’re over the pond or an ocean or wherever else in the world, no, Monty Python is not the sum of it. Monty Python is not the greatest laugh ever. Check out Porridge and Open All Hours and everything Ronnie Barker ever touched.

The Pythons could make you laugh, but Ronnie Barker could make you feel like you’d die laughing. And you wouldn’t mind.

Ronnie Barker was the kind of man who doesn’t come along very often. A character actor and a comedian. Who else could even think of being Norman Stanley Fletcher AND Arkwright at the same time? A ginger ageing recidivist from Muswell Hill and a snowy-haired tight-wad of a Northern shopkeeper captivated the people of Britain, and they did it at the same time! Porridge ran from 73-77 with the film in 79, and Open All Hours ran 73-85. He did these two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT characters at the same time, and they’re each so convincing that it’s hard to tell they’re not real people! And this alongside The Two Ronnies.

And anyone who could make RONNIE CORBETT appear amusing must be a GENIUS.

To any boys out there, remember this: make a girl laugh, really laugh, and you’ll own her heart for ever. Ronnie Barker was not handsome. He was himself quiet and quite introverted. And yet he has a country mourning him, because laugh and the world laughs with you.

I have for many years gone on about Richard Beckinsale (yes, Vapid Kate’s dad) and how funny he was. And he was, but he was always best stood next to Ronnie. Ronnie was, in my opinion, best stood next to Richard. And now, one hopes, they have joined together for some celestial porridge, as it was once called on the show.

And if I were God, I’d feel most lucky today. But I am not God, so I shall shed some tears as the voice of Ronnie Barker sends himself to prison in the introductory credits of Porridge. And then the man himself will turn up as the snarlingly charming Fletch and I know that I will laugh.

God love you Ronnie, and so do I.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Oh Fucking Hell.

  1. midnight_ljc says:

    God I know, I nearly burst into tears when I found out. I grew up with him on the TV :/ He’ll be very much missed on the comedy circuit

  2. annearchy says:

    I think The Two Ronnies used to be broadcast by our Public Broadcasting Network – or else it was just my local PBS station that broadcast it. Older episodes, I’m sure, but they were very funny. Back before everyone had cable TV, the only way Americans could see British TV was by watching public television. That’s how we got shows like Monty Python (yes, our original exposure to British comedy), Blackadder, Mr. Bean, The Two Ronnies, Are You Being Served? and Keeping Up Appearances.

  3. logansrogue says:

    I remember watching the Two Ronnies as a kid. Totally loved that show, and have been giggling my tits off at the skits they’ve been playing on the radio. He was brilliantly talented. It’s a very sad thing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ah I did like “Fletch” -only Ronnie could make prison seem like quite a fun place! How’s the new job? Not run into you on the tube recently to ask… Loux

    • apollarock says:

      Hee!

      Well, I was off sick Weds, thurs and Friday and still don’t feel great, but whatever! Ronnie going really dragged me down for a while, cos there’s None Funnier in my eyes. Watching my Porridge DVDs helped, of course. Him and Richard B were just a dream team in my eyes.

      And yes, only Ronnie could make an habitual criminal look cuddly and prison look like fun!

      What are you doing this Friday? I think I’m invited to a ‘work drink’ after work and so will probably stay with Teh Grandad if you wanna go out after that. You can stay here on the Friday night adn we’ll sod off back to WGC together. I could do with a good stint of dancing, I think.
      *hugs*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s