Robert Alan Monkhouse
June 1928 - December 2003
A familiar face to British television viewers of all ages, Bob Monkhouse is especially famous for his sharp one-liners and laugh-out-loud comedy suitable for family viewing. Hailing from Kent in Southern England, Bob never found solace following his family career path - custard making. As a young lad he found his own way as a comic artist, and a particularly talented one at that. His first strip was published when he was only 12 years old, which opened the doors for him to work on the Beano and Dandy comic before he had even left school. Through his own personal endeavors Bob became a skilled writer and comic, supplying jokes for Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra.
During this time Bob Monkhouse also began honing his skills as a host. His radio debut in 1949 paved the way for jobs as a host on various game shows (mostly British versions of American classics such as Celebrity Squares). During this time he established a writing partnership with gagster Denis Goodwin, which led to the duo being given their own TV sketch show in 1953 called "Fast and Loose". Around this time Bob could also be seen on the big screen in Carry On films, A Dentist (in the chair)/(on the job), and A Weekend with Lulu. In 1984 Bob was awarded with his own BBC TV series, "The Bob Monkhouse Show" and "Bob Says Opportunity Knocks", both being public talent showcases. By now he was well established as a national treasure and could be seen at various benefits, performances and public events.
Bob gained massive respect particularly for his one-liners and lightning fast reactions.
"I can still enjoy sex at 74 — I live at 75, so it’s no distance"
"They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian, well, they're not laughing now."
"I’m not saying my wife’s a bad cook, but she uses the smoke alarm as a timer."
As the new wave of 'alternative' comedians arrived in the 1980s, Bob stayed rooted firmly in his established style, managing to be a traditionalist without becoming stale. Despite the fact that he was hosting a lot of shows which were below-par in their planning and forethought, he made excellent filler through his friendly cheek and amusing quips.
As with the best of us, Mr. Monkhouse had his share of personal problems. After being scrutinized on "In the Psychiatrists Chair" he became uncomfortable and upset when the subject of his mother was mentioned, a woman who wore black at his first wedding before disowning him, something he chose to go into detail on in his autobiography "Crying With Laughter". In the same book he admits his womanising vices which caused his first marriage to break up. Also tempted by alcohol, Bob claimed to be on two bottles of wine and one bottle of malt whiskey daily during one period of his later life. Towards the end of his life he also had to cope with the loss of his two sons, one dying naturally at 40 years of age from cerebral palsy, and the other from a heroin overdose in 2001.
Bob worked hard right to the end of his life. Even after reaching the ripe old age of 70 he continued to be omnipresent on the box, showing no signs of slowing down even when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. Bob passed away by his wife's side on the 29th December 2003, aged 75. His last recorded appearance was as the voice of Mr. Hell in the animated series "Aaagh! It's the Mr. Hell Show!".
Written in shock that nobody has covered him yet.