From a letter to Stense, 23-Sep-1999

I went to see my psychiatrist wearing underpants made out of cling-film. The psychiatrist said, "I can clearly see you're nuts".

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Hi Nite Owl

    Quiet isn't it?

    I feel cyberspace is haunted by the echo of Richard's rantings to Stense. Gruts ex machina. I hope that family business isn't too serious.

    That joke is always attributed to Tommy Cooper, but I'm sure he was dead before clingfilm was in widespread use. My favourite of his runs like this...

    "So I rang up British Telecom and said 'I want to report a nuisance caller'. And he says 'Oh, not you again!'"


  2. Gosh yes, isn't it!

    Well, I guess it's just you & me for the time being then. In my experience, family business is always serious business. (In my case, four grown up children, two grandchildren &, strangely enough, they never have enough money to last until the next pay day!

    Now, Richard would probably scoff at the following statement, but it is absolutely true....

    One evening back in the mid eighties we were watching one of those awful variety shows on the television & Tommy Cooper was doing his act: I turned to wife & said "you know, I dreamed last night that Tommy Cooper had died". As the words left my mouth, he clutched at his chest & collapsed & died on the stage!
    A similar thing happened a few years earlier involving the comedian, Arthur Askey.
    I've tried to re-create this artificially but so far, Daniel O'Donnell is still alive!
    Such is life (or not, as the case may be)

    Well, it's been lovely talking at you, but I had better get back to my ward duties.

  3. It's probably like Douglas Adams definition of flying as falling over without hitting the ground (killing comedians, that is). If you try you can't do it, and it was only the distraction of spotting some luggage he thought he had lost at Athens airport years earlier that allowed Arthur Dent to achieve it at all. At least that's how I remember the book.

    Nevertheless, Nite Owl, I am holding you personally responsible for the demise of my favourite comedian and will inflict Tommy Cooper jokes on you for the foreseeable future (or at least until Richard gets back and starts deleting them).

    "'Cos it's funny isn't it. Scream 'Aaaaargh!' in a Library and everyone just looks at you. Do the same thing on a plane and everyone joins in".

  4. Hi Leo, I thought you might find this gem of interest.

    Way back in the 60s, my uncle was walking past Shepherd's Bush Empire, when he noticed Tommy Cooper walking down the steps at the front of the theatre. After quickly acquiring the great man's autograph for my collection (long since lost, although I did find the one he got of Gerry Marsden recently), he realised that they were both heading in the same direction. "Where are you off to, Tommy?", asked my uncle. With this, Tommy pointed at Barclays & started to laugh his trademark laugh. "I'm laughing all the way to the bank!" he replied, as he disappeared through the door.

  5. My favourite Tommy Cooper tale is how he used to carry a tea bag around with him. When he was supposed to tip someone, he would stuff it into their top pocket and say, "Here, have a drink on me!"

    I dare say most people would prefer receiving a tea bag from Tommy Cooper than a tip.

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