In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.
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For his many friends and fans, Peter Cook was quite simply the funniest man they’d ever encountered. And nearly eight years since his death, his status as one of Britain’s greatest comedians shows no sign of shrinking. Despite his reputation for idleness, Peter Cook was a great comedy writer, who created countless outrageous sketches and articles and was famed for his prolific role in the satire boom of the 1960s. The very best, the most famous and some of the most unusual of his comic masterpieces are collected here. Some of these pieces have never been published before, others are out of print, a few only survive in print, and many have only ever been seen or heard – never read. This collection ranges from Cook’s first writing, at school and university, via Beyond The Fringe, with Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller, his dualogues with Moore as Pete & Dud and Derek & Clive, and their brilliant TV series, Not Only But Also, to transcripts of his late, great TV appearances, and a selection of his journalism for the Daily Mail, the Evening Standard and Private Eye.
Review: Pretty funny in the way only loony British humour can be funny. The real revelation here is Chris Morris in the “Why Bother?” series. Morris turns out to be the perfect foil for Cook. Dudley Moore was mostly a set-up man, feeding Cook opportunities for witticisms. Morris goes for his own laughs, and Cook for once is forced to compete or at least to rise to a real challenger. The result is the funniest section of the book. There are even sometimes when Cook can’t come up with a topper for a question Morris has flung at him, and you can “hear” him floundering until Morris relents with a feeder line. I recommend the book for that section alone, or in tandem with the “12 Days of Christmas” interviews that are in the same section (with Ludovic Kennedy instead of Chris Morris).
Peter Edward Cook (17 November 1937 – 9 January 1995) was an English comedian, actor, satirist, playwright and screenwriter. He was the leading figure of the British satire boom of the 1960s, and he was associated with the anti-establishment comedic movement that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s.
Born in Torquay, he was educated at the University of Cambridge. There he became involved with the Footlights Club, of which he later became president. After graduating he created the comedy stage revue Beyond the Fringe, beginning a long-running partnership with Dudley Moore. In 1961, Cook opened the comedy club The Establishment in Soho, Central London. In 1965, Cook and Moore began a television career, beginning with Not Only… But Also. Cook’s deadpan monologues contrasted with Moore’s buffoonery. They received the 1966 British Academy Television Award for Best Entertainment Performance. Following the success of the show, the duo appeared together in the films The Wrong Box (1966) and Bedazzled (1967). Cook and Moore returned to television projects continuing to the late 1970s, including co-presenting Saturday Night Live in the United States. From 1978 until his death in 1995, Cook no longer collaborated with Moore, apart from a few cameo appearances but continued to be a regular performer in British television and film.
Referred to as “the father of modern satire” by The Guardian in 2005, Cook was ranked number one in the Comedians’ Comedian, a poll of more than 300 comics, comedy writers, producers and directors in the English-speaking world.
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