"When I was at school and I said I wanted to be a comedian, everyone laughed at me. Well they're not laughing now!"
British stand-up comedian, prolific Game Show
host and comedy writer. A Long Runner
, he rose to prominence in The Fifties
and was still going strong more than four decades later (joking that his 70th birthday celebration programme was actually a hastily re-titled funeral celebration). This became a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment
as he died only a few years later from prostate cancer in 2003, at the respectable age of 75 but only shortly after his older friend Bob Hope
, whom he had spent years writing for. After his death, CGI technology was used to allow his image to star in PSAs raising awareness of prostate cancer - these were praised for being one of the first examples of such a 'resurrection' that did not slip into the Uncanny Valley
As well as hosting just about every single British Game Show
in existence at some point, he also worked as a comedy actor, although in his more serious roles he tended to get typecast as the villain - he joked that "I'm always cast as the sort of man who would keep his cocoa warm by burning down an orphanage", and cited Sylvester Le Fley
from Jonathan Creek
as an example.
He was also a fan of silent films and possessed an extensive obscure film collection, as well as a vast library of archive TV shows, which was examined after his death and found to contain many programmes that no longer existed in the official archives
He also kept records of every joke he'd ever told, in large notebooks. When these books were stolen (and later recovered) the theft was jokingly attributed to "the Thief of Bad Gags
- Always Someone Better: Jokingly claimed to Lily Savage that Jim Bowen of Bullseye UK was a bigger gameshow-host guru than he would ever be.
- Catch Phrase: He began every show with the ironic phrase at the top of this article. Also, in a non-verbal example, whenever he walked down to begin a game show, he would throw a salute (which he claimed was a reference to the suits he always wore being reused props from Dads Army!)
- He also had a Catch Phrase for each gameshow, such as the tongue-twister "In Bingo lingo clickety-clicks, it's time to take your pick of the six" for Bob's Full House.
- The Eponymous Show: Aside from two for The Bob Monkhouse Show, there was also The Bob Monkhouse Hour, The Bob Monkhouse Comedy Hour, Bob Monkhouse On The Spot etc.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Most people probably know him best as the voice of Mr. Hell on the animated sitcom/sketch show Aaghh! It's The Mr. Hell Show!
- Improv: An acknowledged master of the form.
- Logic Bomb: His signature catchphrase (see top of page).
- Rhyming List: The "Detective Inspector Hector Vector" sketch uses this trope extensively. He also used it in his "An Audience With Bob Monkhouse" programme in which he demonstrated how to mnemonically remember the names of all the celebrities in the audience.