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Bob Monkhouse

From Academic Kids

Robert (Bob) Allen Monkhouse (June 1, 1928 - December 29, 2003), was a British entertainer in the traditional sense, though primarily known as a comedian and game show host.

Contents

Biography

Bob Monkhouse was born in Beckenham, Kent, and worked briefly as an animator before his national service. On leaving the RAF in 1948, he was one of the first comedians to be given a contract by the BBC.

Originally employed as a scriptwriter for radio comedy, Monkhouse gradually moved over to television, hosting programmes such as Candid Camera in the early 1960s. He also appeared in comedy films, including the first of the "Carry On film" series (Carry on Sergeant). One of his biggest television successes was as host of The Golden Shot during the late 1960s. He went on to host several quiz shows, including Celebrity Squares, Bob's Full House, Family Fortunes and Wipeout. He also starred in the 1979 sketch comedy television series Bonkers with the Hudson Brothers.

A keen movie collector, he presented Mad Movies in 1966, in which he presented clips from comic silent movies, some of which he had helped to recover and restore. His film collecting hobby caused a brush with the law in the 1980s when he was arrested for suspected theft, but was soon cleared.

Monkhouse became a favourite with impressionists, and, as his style of comedy fell out of favour, was often mocked for his slickness and apparent insincerity. He came back into fashion during the 1990s, and appearances such as guesting on Have I Got News For You restored his popularity. In July 1995, Monkhouse was in the headlines when he appealed for the safe return of his joke book which had been lost or stolen. The book, which contained notes on sketches and one-liners, for which Monkhouse was most famous, was eventually returned to its owner. He was appointed an OBE in 1993.

Monkhouse died at his home in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire of prostate cancer on 29th December 2003. He was 75.

In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.

Partial Filmography

TV

AS A PERFORMER

  • Fast And Loose UK 1954
  • Christmas Box UK 1955
  • The Bob Monkhouse Show UK 1956
  • Beat Up The Town UK 1957
  • My Pal Bob UK 1957
  • The Bob Monkhouse Hour UK 1958
  • The Big Noise UK 1964
  • Mad Movies UK 1966
  • Friends In High Places UK 1969
  • The Bob Monkhouse Comedy Hour UK 1972
  • I'm Bob, He's Dickie UK 1977
  • Bonkers! UK 1979
  • The Bob Monkhouse Show UK 1983
  • An Audience With Bob Monkhouse UK 1994
  • Bob Monkhouse On The Spot UK 1995
  • Bob Monkhouse - Over The Limit UK 1998
  • Bob Monkhouse On Campus UK 1998
  • BBC New Comedy Awards UK 1999
  • Aaagh! It's The Mr Hell Show UK/Canada 2001
  • $64,000 Question (UK version of The 64,000 Dollar Question)
  • All or Nothing
  • Celebrity Squares (UK version of Hollywood Squares)
  • Family Fortunes (UK version of Family Feud)
  • The Golden Shot UK 1967
  • Wipeout
  • Bob's Full House
  • Opportunity Knocks

AS A WRITER

  • Fast And Loose UK 1954
  • Cyril's Saga UK 1957
  • Early To Braden UK 1957
  • My Pal Bob UK 1957
  • The Bob Monkhouse Hour UK 1958
  • The Big Noise UK 1964
  • The Bob Monkhouse Comedy Hour UK 1972
  • I'm Bob, He's Dickie UK 1977
  • Marti UK 1977
  • Bonkers! UK 1979
  • An Audience With Bob Monkhouse UK 1994
  • Bob Monkhouse On The Spot UK 1995
  • Bob Monkhouse - Over The Limit UK 1998

Films

  • Carry On Sergeant 1958
  • The Secret People 1952
  • Dentist in the Chair 1960
  • Dentist on the Job 1961
  • A Weekend with Lulu 1962
  • She'll Have to Go 1962
  • Thunderbirds Are GO 1966 (voice); see: Thunderbirds (television)
  • The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom 1968
  • Simon Simon 1970

Quotes

  • "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They're not laughing now."
  • "Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one?"
  • "Silence is not only golden, it is seldom misquoted."
  • "Marriage is an investment which pays dividends if you pay interest."
  • "Bernie.... the bolt!" - catchphrase on The Golden Shot.
  • "Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional."
  • "As a comic, you need every wrinkle. Having a facelift would be like asking a tap dancer to have his feet lopped off."
  • "I'm rather relaxed about death. From quite an early age I've regarded it as part of the deal, the unwritten guarantee that comes with your birth certificate."

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