FRANK CARSON

Tiswas Reunited (TV recording): ITV Studios, Southbank, London, 2007

One of my favourite television clips ever is when Irish comedian Frank Carson has one minute to make the cast of children’s cult Saturday morning TV series Tiswas laugh.  He succeeds with such lightning quick speed with pulling a funny face, making a funny noise or telling one of his many legendary jokes. Chris Tarrant’s face trying not to laugh is a picture.

One of the original Comedians from the seventies TV show of the same name along with Mike Reid, Roy Walker, Jim Bowen, and the rest, I had always wanted to see Carson live on stage for years.  My wish came true when I got to see him tell a few rapid-fire jokes at the Tiswas Reunited TV recording in 2007 celebrating 25 years of the anarchic show.  The old magic was still there and he brought the house down whenever he appeared.   Carson was infamous for never switching off always telling jokes to passers-by in the street or anyone who wanted to listen.  I always remember just before sadly he passed away age of 85 in 2012, I was at Blackpool Station and I saw him get off a train.  He seemed to be struggling a bit so someone went to help him.  As the member of the public took his bags, Carson thanked him and started telling jokes – he was always on! 

After Carson’s death, when I went to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 I saw a play telling the story of his life:  Frank Carson – Rebel Without A Pause written and performed by Dan Gordon.  The play was a fitting tribute to a very funny and great comedian.

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