"It's a funny kind of month, October. For the really keen cricket fan, it's when you realise that your wife left you in May."
Born in 1922 (as was Tommy Cooper, trivia fans), although I've always thought he didn't exist until the early 80's. Best known for hosting the British tv shows "It'll Be Alright On The Night" and "Denis Norden's Laughter File".
Norden is extremely fond of puns and wordplay, and often makes whimsical observations along the lines of "You know you're getting older when... (insert delightful comment here)". These were the inspiration for the Mary Whitehouse Experience joke "You know you're getting older when... oh dear, I've pissed my pants." He is fascinated with words, in particular why some words are funny and some aren't.
Details are sketchy on Norden's life, I couldn't find much on the web - not even a full birthdate. He wrote for troop shows during his time in the RAF, then ran a successful variety agency for a while. On his own, and in partnership with Frank Muir (a 50 year partnership! beat that), he created or wrote for loads and loads and loads of radio and TV comedy shows - too many to mention them all, but they included My Word (see Gritchka's writeup for more on that one), Take It From Here, The Frost Report, The Glums, The Peter Ustinov show and Whack-O.
Norden created It'll Be Alright On The Night in 1977, which has ensured that he'll never be short of money for the rest of his life - which is lucky, because he's been about 70 since I was a kid, and I've got a sneaking suspicion that he's immortal.
While I think he's currently about as funny as a dose of the clap, and wouldn't watch him wittering on in It'll Be... if you paid me, I must give respect to the man for being part of the early days of classic British comedy. And also for making the phrase "cock up" acceptable for early evening pre-watershed TV viewing.
I'll give him the final word (thanks to www.magicdragon.com/Norden.html for the quote), to make up for slagging him off in my original version of this writeup:
"It's customary to say, when pressured, 'Do you want it good or want it Tuesday?' With Barry Cryer you got it good, and you got it Tuesday. For some reason, they changed that line to read '...and you got it Monday.' I don't know why it doesn't work, but it doesn't. Tuesday is funny, Monday isn't. And if you can offer an explanation as to why it doesn't work, then you've got to the whole root of comedy."