Tommy Cooper was a British comedian and magician, and well known for both. His stage presence often seemed chaotic and bumbling, but his shows were always perfectly choreographed to give that impression. In fact, he had an unbelievable sense of timing, for both tricks and jokes.
In a 2005 poll The Comedians’ Comedian, Cooper was voted the sixth greatest comedy act ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. He is commonly cited as one of the best comedians of all time, with several polls placing him at number one.
Cooper performed literally to the end of his life, dying on stage in front of millions of viewers, while he was, still, performing at the age of 63, doing what he loved to do – making people laugh with material like this:
When I was a kid, I went to a psychiatrist for one of those aptitude tests. On the desk he put a pitchfork, a wrench, and a hammer and he said to the nurse: ‘If he grabs the pitchfork, he’ll become a farmer. If he grabs the wrench, he’ll be a mechanic, and if he takes the hammer, he’ll be a carpenter.’
I grabbed the nurse!
The town was so dull, one day the tide went out and it never came back.
Every day she takes the car out, she comes back with the same question: ‘Guess who I ran into.’
A piano-tuner was called to a nightclub to tune the piano. He was at it for five hours, but the bill only came to £3.
The manager said: ‘Is that all? How come you worked for five hours to tune the piano and you only charge £3?’
He said: ‘What?’
A dog bit a chunk out of my leg the other day. A friend of mine said: ‘Did you put anything on it?’ I said: ‘No, he liked it as it was.’
My wife is really into Do-It-Yourself. Every time I ask her to fix something, she says: ‘Oh, do it yourself!’
My wife does her own decorating, but she overdoes it. The other day I opened the fridge and there was a lampshade on the light bulb.
I swam the English Channel once.
‘But a lot of people have swum the Channel.
She’s always smiling. She’s the only girl I know whose teeth are sunburnt.
A leopard went to see a psychiatrist. He said: ‘Every time I look at my wife, I see spots before my eyes.’
The psychiatrist said: ‘That’s only natural.’
The leopard said: ‘But, doctor, she’s a zebra.’
A drunk was brought into a police station. He pounded his fist on the counter and said: ‘I want to know why I’ve been arrested.’
The sergeant said: ‘You have been brought in for drinking.’
He said: ‘Oh, that’s all right, then. Let’s get started!’
I always sit in the back of a plane. It’s much safer. You never hear of a plane backing into a mountain!