Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Norman Wisdom

"Norman Wisdom was born in the London district of Marylebone to Frederick and Maude Wisdom. His father was a chauffeur and his mother a dressmaker. After a difficult and poverty-stricken childhood he joined the 10th Hussars and began to develop his talents as a musician and stage entertainer

After he left the army he went into show-business, gradually becoming one of Britain's most successful stars. In 1954 he released the best-selling single that is still closely associated with his name, "Don't Laugh At Me (Cause I'm A Fool)".
Moving into film in the 1960s, he created an accident-prone, clownish character called Norman Pitkin, a lovable fool who appeared in several successful films, most notably The Early Bird (1965). His famous and widely imitated cry as Pitkin was "Mr Grimsdale! Mr Grimsdale!

In 1967, he was widely praised for his performance as a serious actor in The Night They Raided Minsky's, but his career began to decline in the 1970s and he was out of favour with British tastes in comedy for many years. On 11 February 1987 Norman Wisdom was the subject of Thames Television's This Is Your Life.
He became widely popular again in the 1990s, helped by the young comedian Lee Evans, whose act was heavily influenced by Wisdom's work. The highpoint of this new popularity was the knighthood he received in 1999 from Queen Elizabeth II.
After he was knighted, true to his accident-prone persona, he couldn't resist pretending to trip on his way out off the platform."

Discover more about Norman Wisdom HERE

Norman Wisdom & Joyce Grenfell - Narcissus

Norman Wisdom - The Joker

These You Send It files are available for seven days or until exhausted.


Cocaine Jesus said...

he made me laugh as a child and he makes me laugh now. brilliant.lee evans owes him bigtime.

michael said...

I think Narcissus is one of the funniest songs ever. I love the way it starts off all gentle and builds to a wonderful snorting climax with Norman going into gormless giddy hysterics at the end. I defy anybody not to have a smile on their faces by the end. The films however have dated rather badly but still worth it for those odd moments of slapstick and the cry of "Mr Grimsdale!"

spice-the-cat said...

Another of the unique English talents.

By the way - referring back to your Tiny Tim post - the record label Rhino Handmade - who do special limited edition reissues of fairly obscure stuff - have just issued a 3 CD box set of Tiny Tim's recordings that were made for the Reprise record label.

It's worth a look at their website, if only to see the attention they lavish on some long, forgotten artists.

hazel said...

Thanks for the Tiny Tim info. Spice. Sounds like Rhino are doing some good work.