Heroes of Comedy (1995– )
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Frankie Howerd ... Himself / Various (archive footage) (as Frankie Howerd O.B.E.)
Clive Anderson Clive Anderson ... Himself
Barry Cryer Barry Cryer ... Himself
Cilla Black Cilla Black ... Herself
Craig Ferguson ... Himself
Eric Sykes ... Himself
Ned Sherrin Ned Sherrin ... Himself
Nicky Campbell Nicky Campbell ... Himself
Madeline Smith ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bernard Delfont Bernard Delfont ... Himself (archive footage) (as Lord Bernard Delfont)
Denis Healey Denis Healey ... Himself (archive footage) (as Lord Denis Healey)
Katie Johnson ... (archive footage)
Brian Johnston Brian Johnston ... (archive footage) (as Brian Johnston C.B.E.)
David Kernan ... (archive footage)
Eartha Kitt ... (archive footage)
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Details

Release Date:

1 January 1995 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
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User Reviews

 
A Largely Favorable Account of the Career of the Great Comedian
12 August 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

HEROES OF COMEDY was never a series designed to explore the psychological complexities of its subjects. Rather it strung together a series of clips from film and television, together with a series of largely favorable testimonials from the subject's contemporaries or admirers. This profile of Frankie Howerd is a case in point: offstage he was an incredibly complex character, unable - or unwilling - to come to terms with his latent homosexuality, and perpetually fretting about whether his act would be a success on stage or not. Every tic, every pause, every glance at the audience was always impeccably rehearsed; it was part of Howerd's genius as a performer to make all of these gestures seem spontaneous. In this profile, however, Howerd's life as a comedian - first on radio, and then on films and television - is traced, with the help of reminiscences from luminaries such as Eric Sykes and Cilla Black. We learn about his rapid climb to stardom in VARIETY BANDBOX; his emergent radio career during the Fifties; his decline in the early Sixties, which was abruptly halted when he appeared at Peter Cook's Establishment Club in 1962; his burgeoning television career in series such as UP POMPEII!!; and his second renaissance during the Nineties, when he became something of a cult among the student population. What emerges most tangibly from this profile is Howerd's durability as a performer; he seemed to reinvent himself in successive decades without appearing to change much of his comic material. Like many comedians, he might have been a tortured soul offstage, but he gave pleasure to millions of people on stage, radio and television, and for this we should be grateful.


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