Forgotten Heroes of Comedy
(Published by Unbound, 2021)
Forgotten Heroes of Comedy, my latest and certainly longest book to-date, is being published this year.
It is an elephantine tome to be sure. Over six hundred pages worth!
Whether it's celebrating comedy catalysts or punster film-makers, amusing actors or whimsical writers, this is an encyclopaedia of the comedy under-dog with well over one hundred entries: including Florence Desmond - fabulous impressionist of the thirties. Hovis Presley - plaintive poet of the Comedy Club generation. Larry Semon - pioneering clown of silent slapstick. Elsie & Doris Waters - cheerful wartime icons Gert & Daisy.
As well as an affectionate over-view of their life and work, each and every forgotten hero boasts their own champion, including Simon Callow on Alfie Bass & Bill Fraser, Graeme Garden on Lloyd Hamilton, Sir Michael Palin on John Wells, and Vera Day on Mario Zampi.
A labour of love for many years, the Forgotten Heroes of Comedy project was the idea of the much-missed Terry Jones, who not only provided an engaging foreword piece but also fights the corner for erudite entertainer Ronald Frankau: the forgotten hero who started it all!
The book pays long over-due tribute to legends of humour who, for a variety of reasons, didn't quite reach the heady heights of stardom or, once they had, couldn't cope with the pressures. Whether it be personal demons, changing trends in comedy, or a rival act undermining their fame, the ups and downs of the Forgotten Heroes of Comedy make for fascinating reading.
Presented in alphabetical order for ease of reference and to give a scattered through the ages feel, the Forgotten Heroes of Comedy will finally elevate them to the Hall of Fame where they belong. Forgotten, no longer.
This is a book that will enthral and enlighten the most die-hard of comedy fans.
To purchase Forgotten Heroes of Comedy, direct from the publishers, please visit Unbound