It has been a bad year for the death of people I admired. It seems not a day goes by without another photo appearing in my Facebook feed… ‘No! He can’t be dead?’ I think… but he is. Dead. Today marks the passing of perhaps the most important man of the year so far. The most influential. Specifically, for me.
Ronnie Corbett was a comedy great. If you are unaware of his work then I suggest you Wikipedia him right now. And then YouTube him. Or the other way around. Watch the ‘class’ sketch from ‘The Frost Report’. That’s Corbett on the right.
I am as big a fan of comedy as I am of music. I have stated many a time that I believe the two art-forms are intrinsically linked. Where I admire many comedians and can pinpoint influences in my own work, I have to doff my whole self to Mr Corbett. There are influences and then there are influences. Influences in capital letters. Ronnie Corbett was part of the iconic Two Ronnies double-act, starring alongside Ronnie Barker. It was on ‘The Two Ronnies’ where Ronnie Corbett changed my life. There was a section of the show where Ronnie would sit in a large armchair and deliver a monologue direct to camera. However, what should have been a simple joke each week became a lengthy, twisting tale of woe. For, you see, Ronnie Corbett developed the act of veering away from the point. Jokes within jokes within jokes became his forte. What seemed like absentmindedness was, in reality, genius. As a boy I picked up on this dirty secret and it remains with me. I understand the power of not getting to the point. I understand the power of taking your time. I understand the power of being undervalued. I understood the power of Mr Ronnie Corbett.
RIP sir. Another one bites the dust.
It’s goodnight from me… and it’s goodnight from him.