The late, great Tommy Cooper was one of the most recognisable comedians in the world, his frantic act a perfectly delivered mixture of jokes and calamitous magic tricks that rarely failed to raise a laugh. I remember watching him as a kid, mesmerised, fully convinced that he was never out of character, that actually there was no character — in my mind, Tommy Cooper always wore a fez, even at home; the grin, the props, the one-liners a constant. Which is why this joke-filled letter, written by Tommy to his mum at some point in the 1970s, on fez stationery, fills me with joy.
Transcript follows (with mistakes, as the second line of Tommy's letter seems a little mangled. Not important, though). From the wonderful book, Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures.
(Source: Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher; Image of Tommy Cooper via.)
How nice to hear you are getting on so well! Looking forward very much to seeing you and have a nice long rest with us Jan. All day yesterday, I heard a ringing in my ears — Then I picked up the phone and it stopped. I was going to see my doctor, but he isn't a very good doctor. All his patients are sick. Dove & myself are on a new diet. We eat our breakfast in the raw. Then we eat our lunch raw. For dinner we put on clothes.
See you soon
All my love