Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: Little Richard III: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2005
Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: Gold ‘n’ Decayed – A Century of Song: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2006
Barry Cryer: The Elephant in the Pub: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2007
Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: At Their Pique! Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2009
I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue Live: Royal Festival Hall, London, 2010
Barry Cryer: Butterfly Brain: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2010
Barry Cryer: Innit: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2011
Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: Going Ga Ga: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2012
Laugh Till It Hurts Comedy Gala: Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 2013
Barry Cryer and Colin Sell: Twittering On: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2014
Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: Old Masters: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2015
Barry Cryer and Friends: An 80th Birthday Celebration: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2015
Ealing Comedy Festival 2016: Walpole Park, Ealing, London, 2016
Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2016
Arnold Brown’s 80th Birthday Bash: The Comedy Store, London, 2016
Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: Historical Objects: Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh, 2018
Barry Cryer: A Celebration: Lyric Theatre, London, 2022
One of the UK’s most celebrated comedy writers and performers, Barry Cryer has written for all the comedy greats – Max Miller, Bob Hope, Tony Hancock, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Frankie Howerd, John Cleese, Morecambe and Wise, he Two Ronnies, Les Dawson, Eric Sykes, Dave Allen and Tommy Cooper to name a few, in fact he has written for almost all the great comedy creators since the 1950s.
The Gilded Balloon is one of the best spaces to watch comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since I started to go there (since 2005) and probably earlier, Barry Cryer has performed for an hour usually in the early evening at the legendary venue. He is a master joke teller having written for so many comedians and can recall at will, classic stories about his experiences in the world of modern comedy. I have seen Cryer perform at Edinburgh over the years mostly, but not always with long-time friend Ronnie Golden, a brilliant songwriter and musician. The music, jokes and comedy songs complement each other extremely well and their show is a joy to see year after year at the Festival.
The versatility of the man is amazing to watch. Whilst I watched him performing his solo show The Elephant in the Pub in 2007, Cryer sat in a giant chair going through the alphabet of comedians that he has worked with telling jokes and stories related to the comedian. In 2010 I saw him appeared live as part of a panel on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue (which has been broadcasting on the radio since 1972 and shows no signs of slowing down). In 2015, I saw a host of comedians including on stage Arthur Smith, Michael Palin, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Milton Jones, Ronnie Golden, Jo Brand and on screen Michael McIntyre, Terry Wogan, John Cleese and Rob Brydon help Cryer celebrate his 80th birthday both in Edinburgh and London. In 2016, I saw him at the age of 81 as a very funny Master of Ceremonies at the Ealing Comedy Festival welcoming amongst others, Alan Davies.
Cryer’s regular show that I saw again at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2018 where he appeared alongside fellow stalwart Ronnie Golden featured well-crafted jokes delivered in pitch-perfect timing by the eighty-two-year-old comedian.
A day or so after seeing Cryer’s show at the Fringe, he was sitting having dinner in the same restaurant as myself and two friends. As he got up to leave, I shook his hand and told him that we see his show every year at the Festival. As he walked out, he grinned at us warmly and said, ‘You’re the ones!’ Genuis!
I was extremely saddened to read to read of Cryer’s passing in January 2022. It happened the day after I had seen the memorial show: Stand Up for Jeremy Hardy where all the comedians had been talking about how great Cryer was as a resident guest on the Radio 4 panel show I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. With news of his death, the tributes from the comedy world for the legend were nothing but praise. In June 2022, I was privileged to attend a wonderful memorial evening at the Lyric Theatre in London organised by Cryer’s son, Bob. The amazing roll-call of comedians and celebrities were: live on stage – Arthur Smith, Ronnie & The Rex, Paddy O’Connell, Rebecca Front, Pauline Daniels, John Moloney, Milton Jones, Stewart Lee, Barry Humphries, Matthew Sweet, Pierre Hollins, Gyles Brandreth, Edie Izzard, Jack Cryer & The Kites, Bob Cryer, Ronnie Golden and Harry Hill. On video – Stephen Fry, Colin Sell, Bernie Clifton, Joe Brown, Jools Holland & his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Sandi Toksvig, Emma Thompson & Greg Wise, Count Arthur Strong, Judi Dench, Miriam Margolyes, Jack Dee, Rob Brydon, Lee Mack, David Mitchell, Stephen Merchant, Ross Noble, Eric Idle and Eddie Izzard.
Cryer had written for many of the comic greats of the twentieth century and he will be an enormous miss. Having had the privilege to watch him many times live over the years and the honour of interviewing him for my podcast, I did meet him twice and I only wish I had a photo with him. Nevertheless, my interview stands as my tribute to a comic genius and a wonderful man who wanted to make people laugh.
The link to my interview with the comedy legend is here: