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How Very Interesting! Peter Cook's Universe And All That Surrounds It [Secure eReader]
eBook by Peter Gordon & Paul Hamilton & Dan Kieran

eBook Category: Humor/People
eBook Description: Who is The Zsa Zsa Man? What are the demands of The Sydney Darlow Dancing Troupe? What lurks Behind The Fridge? What was The Glidd Of Glood's true nature? Why can't we go to Heaven when we die? What was the true genesis of Monty Python's Parrot Sketch? Why is Morton P. Fergleberger terrified of titanium rods? Who is Morton P. Fergleberger anyway? The Peter Cook Appreciation Society has the answers. How Very Interesting contains interviews with those who worked with Cook during his long and varied career and who saw him as an inspiration: his colleagues, collaborators, co-writers, producers, directors, fans and friends, including John Fortune, Barry Fantoni, Eleanor Bron, the staff of Private Eye, Trevor Baylis, Robyn Hitchcock, Chris Morris, Will Self, Jerry Sadowitz, Malcolm McLaren, Elvis Costello, Nigel Planer, Mel Smith, John Cooper Clarke, Barry Cryer, Auberon Waugh, Clive Anderson, and more--including the great man himself. Alongside the interviews, revelations and slanging matches, How Very Interesting unearths rare pieces of Cookiana, cocks an ear at Private Eye's Famous Flexies and Derek & Clive, sits through The Hound of the Baskervilles and Cook's many screen outings, and otherwise digs, delves and disappears into the universe of Peter Cook, and all that surrounds it.

eBook Publisher: Snowbooks/Snowbooks
Fictionwise Release Date: November 2006




PETER COOK: Oh dear... Oh dear, oh dear... Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear... ELEANOR BRON: What?s wrong? PETER COOK: Oh, nothing... just thinking aloud. (From a writing session for an unfinished, unperformed Cook/Bron stage revue, 1994.) ?Just thinking aloud.? That is what Peter Cook did best and it was a gift (or curse) that never left him. It was there in the black-and-white Fifties when he developed his loner persona Arthur Grole (the twin brother, albeit from different parents, of E.L.Wisty), the solitary whining mine of ill-digested misinterpreted nuggets of information?his ?interesting facts? that were never entirely factual nor attention-grabbing (?Did you know the whale is not really a fish? It?s an insect... and it lives on bananas?). It was there when he established the perfect attraction of opposites in his double-act with Dudley Moore when, for a decade (1965-1975), they huddled in their caps and raincoats and wittered endlessly about ?very important things like life, death, Heaven, the universe, swimming.?1 And it was still there in his 1993 radio series of improvised confrontations with Chris Morris, Why Bother? (?I feel nothing but pride; that?s all I do feel. An empty pride, a hopeless vanity, a dreadful arrogance, a stupefyingly futile conceit... but at least it?s something to hang on to?) and his multi-guesting on the Christmas ?93 edition of Channel 4?s Clive Anderson Talks Back. One of his characters there, Norman House, the environs-of-Ipswich-based biscuit tester abducted by aliens, tells of the atmosphere on the planet Ikea being ?very thin??luckily, he had some air stored in his jumper and socks?and one might reasonably assume Peter Cook pulled his comedic inventions out of similar thin air. Dudley Moore remembered them improvising the Frog And Peach interview for the 1966 Not Only But Also series?their chosen modus operandi was in extemporisation and then rigorous cutting of dead-ends and superfluous chaff; the physical act of writing slowed their ability and opportunity for invention?and was astounded by Peter?s spontaneous description of how his character Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling had met his wife during the war: ?Yes, she blew in through the drawing-room window with a piece of shrapnel, became embedded in the sofa and, you know, one thing led to her mother and we were married in the hour.? The casual throwaway elegance of that statement, blending ludicrous cartoon imagery, everyday objects (?drawing-room window?, ?sofa?), the creative twist of the linguistic shortcut cliché ?One thing led to another? (perversely, a working-class phrase) and the logic-defying abandonment of real time (?we were married in the hour?) culminate in nothing less than Comedy Poetry. Peter Cook?s preferred method of creating?winging it; ?daring to fail? as Alan Latchley, his football manager from the celebrated Anderson showcase, would have it?was not an entirely flawless one. Since it was a predominantly verbal invention, the power of Cook?s humour is overwhelmingly reliant on one hearing it. When his riffs and skits are set down on the page, as they have been in two anthologies (Tragically I Was An Only Twin and Goodbye Again), they can seem the aimless, drifting flotsam and jetsam of an unconcentrated mind, self-indulgent maunderings or even lifeless. It?s hard to see where the joke is, what the joke is, what the point is. Cook?s comedy only works, makes sense and becomes outrageously vital when it is enacted.


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