English comic magician who specialised in magic tricks that went wrong and bad jokes. Had great timing tho. Wore a fez and had a catchphrase Jes Like That! (said through gritted teeth and while shaking his hands in front of him. Sounds odd but was funny!) Died live on stage, on TV even, in the 1980s and it seemed like part of the act.

I was watching the television when Tommy Cooper dropped dead on stage, what a performer! And in front of the Queen of England too (it was a Royal Gala performance). Here are some of his one-two liners, old but good.

Police arrested two kids yesterday. One was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

A blind bloke walks into a shop with a guide dog. He picks the dog up and starts swinging it around his head. Alarmed, a shop assistant calls out: "Can I help, sir?" "No thanks," says the blind bloke. "Just looking."

Cos it's strange, isn't it. You stand in the middle of a library and go "Aaaaaaagghhhh" and everyone just stares at you. But you do the same thing on an aeroplane, and everyone joins in.

He said "I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library." I thought "That's a turn-up for the books."

And the back of his anorak was leaping up and down, and people were chucking money to him. I said "Do you earn a living doing that?" He said "Yes, this my livelihood."

So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me "Can you give me a lift?" I said "Sure, you look great, the world's your oyster, go for it."

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said "Parking Fine." So that was nice.

So I went down my local ice cream shop, and said "I want to buy an ice cream." "He said hundreds & thousands?" I said "We'll start with one." He said "Knickerbocker glory?" I said "I do get a certain amount of freedom in these trousers, yes."

I went to Millets and said "I want to buy a tent." He said "To camp?" I said (butchly) "Sorry, I want to buy a tent." I said "I also want to buy a caravan." He said "Camper?" I said (campy) "Make your mind up."

So I went to the dentist. He said "Say Aaah." I said "Why?" He said "My dog's died."

So I got home, and the phone was ringing. I picked it up, and said "Who's speaking please?" And a voice said "You are."

So I rang up my local swimming baths. I said "Is that the local swimming baths?" He said "It depends where you're calling from."

So I rang up a local building firm, I said "I want a skip outside my house." He said "I'm not stopping you."

Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mum or my dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu. But I think it's Colin.

So I was in my car, and I was driving along, and my boss rang up, and he said "You've been promoted." And I swerved. And then he rang up a second time and said "You've been promoted again." And I swerved again. He rang up a third time and said "You're managing director." And I went into a tree. And a policeman came up and said "What happened to you?" And I said "I careered off the road."

Now, most dentist's chairs go up and down, don't they? The one I was in went back and forwards. I thought "This is unusual." And the dentist said to me "Mr Cooper, get out of the filing cabinet."

I am surprised to see that Cooper's most famous one-liner is not included above:

I went to see the Doctor, right, and I said to him "Doctor! It hurts when I do this!" (lifts arm).
And he said "Well, don't do that, then".

Short but sweet. Unlike Tommy Cooper, who was 6'4" and looked like an ex-boxer (he was, in fact, an ex-boxer - well, for that portion of his life after he stopped being a boxer that is. Before then he was a pre-boxer and a boxer respectively), although apparently, as a person, he was as affable as he appeared on stage. He was born in 1922 and died, on stage, in 1984.

His comedy was all about delivery. The material was groansome, but the delivery was all. To achieve the full effect of the above line:

1. Prepare a simple-looking magic trick.
2. Grin sheepishly at the audience, as if you are having difficulty.
3. Have difficulty.
4. Break off. Wander around the stage. Blat out a few one-liners at breakneck speed, look sheepish.
5. Go 'hurhur!'.

And repeat.

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