Today marks the 85th birthday of Scottish actor/comedian Ronnie Corbett. The diminutive half (or perhaps more accurate quarter) of The Two Ronnies plans to celebrate it somehow, in some place, with a bunch of people.
I’ve no idea what as I don’t know the guy! If you really want to become acquainted with Mr Corbett’s birthday itinerary, I’m sure the net or the Ronnie Corbett’s Birthday Plans magazine will quench your thirst for that piece of celebrity gossip!
One thing for sure is you won’t find out in this blog, as I haven’t got a chuffing clue! I thought I’d tell you early in the narrative in the event Ronnie’s plans are the reason for your visit to this short, but perfectly formed, ramble.
I didn’t want you wasting your time reading further if the Scot’s birthday proposals was the driver behind you opening this page within garystrachan63.com ! Let me be the one wasting their time writing this nonsense!
Corbett, whose impression of his voice is nearly as accurate as fellow comedian Rob Brydon, started his TV career in variety shows in the 1950’s. He became a household name, like his future comic partner Ronnie Barker, on the satirical show The Frost Report in the 1960’s……….. By the way, before you ask, I’ve no idea what Rob Brydon’s plans are today either!
Arguably, though, Corbett will be best remembered for his appearances in the 1970’s comedy sketch show with Barker, The Two Ronnies. In particular for his long rambling monologues, which he (deliberately) took off on various tangents, before finally arriving at the punchline of his gag several minutes later!
He always delivered the monologues in front of the live audience, on a minimalist BBC set, from an armchair. The gag itself wasn’t that funny (and was not really meant to be). However, the humour was in the overall monologue, where he pretended to lose his thread and wander off aimlessly.
As a kid in the 1970’s I wasn’t overly keen on Corbett’s monologues. As a youngster I didn’t appreciate the great skill in the writing and delivery of that segment of the show. As I got older and attempted to write humorous monologues, I realise how tough it is! Not just think of the idea, but also deliver it skilfully to make the gag as effective as possible!
In October, I wrote about Ronnie Barker and the fond memories I had of watching the Two Ronnies on Saturday evenings in the 1970’s. I’m not going to regurgitate that, apart from saying Ronnie Corbett was one of many people who royally entertained my family and I in that decade; leaving many a fond memory!
They say that good things come in little packages. However, as the small parcel I’ve just received had a rubbish Christmas present in it, that isn’t strictly true! Although, in the example of the 5’ 1” Corbett it is!
The Edinburgh born comic’s work over the last 6-7 decades, has earned him a BAFTA entertainment award, a British Comedy Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and a CBE. As well as those prestigious awards his pedigree ensures he commands the respect of his peers and the younger generations of comics.
One of his peers Ben Elton invited him to revive his armchair monologues on his weekly stand up comedy show, in 2000. I’m sure there is a gag in there somewhere about a 5′ 1″ tall man delivering jokes in an armchair on a stand up comedy show, but none are scanned at the minute!
In another collaboration, Corbett also starred in an episode of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Marchant’s comedy Extras, in 2006. He sent himself up in the spoof role, where he was caught taking drugs in the toilets with Gervais and Marchant, at the BAFTA awards.
Caught taking drugs with Gervais and Marchant in a scene from the comedy Extras!
Despite his reticence at sharing his birthday plans with bloggers from the north of England, he remains popular and in demand on TV.
Anyway, regardless of what he is doing on his birthday, happy 85th birthday to the wee fella from Bonny Scotland.
Below is a shot from perhaps the most famous Two Ronnies sketch. ‘Four Candles’