About 85 years ago Rolf Harris cheated death by somehow managing to scramble to the bank (or at least that’s what he claimed in the public information film - I am not sure I trust him at all any more), but death waited patiently to get him. And finally he has gone.
He was a constant presence in my life - practically the earliest song I remember hearing and enjoying was “Two Little Boys” and like everyone else my childhood was full of trying to tell what it was that he was daubing on big canvasses and listening to him playing the didgeridoo. At college I remember feeling mildly jealous, but impressed that my friend Tony Brennan not only knew him, but had persuaded him to draw an image for a poster for his stand up show and then in 2011 I excitedly wrote this review of a performance of his.
I hadn’t heard rumours about him like I had about Savile and it seemed certain in 2011 that when he died Rolf would be cheered to the rafters. But when it came down to it his death was cheered for another reason. His obituary became “serial abuser and ex-entertainer”
(and I suspect the ex-entertainer would have stung him most), and his obituary photo is not of him with his stylophone or him waving with his foot in a swimming pool or painting the queen - it’s him looking grim at his trial.
What a fucking terrible and deserved fall from grace.
Showbiz is teeming with horrible narcissists who project one image to the public, but are rude and unpleasant to the people they work with and abuse their position. And Harris was much worse than that obviously. Without Savile he might have got away with it. Jim fixed it for him.
I know I’ve already done my one joke this year, but looking to take next year off I am always trying to come up with a second.
This one occurred to me today
"If you don’t go to other people’s funerals then they won’t come to yours.”
Though it felt too obvious an observation to be original. But Twitter’s main response was to inform me that the people whose funerals you’d been to wouldn’t be able to attend yours, due to being dead. Thank God for Twitter. I almost looked like an idiot.
As it turns out it’s quite a famous joke from Yogi Berra, whose version I most likely have heard at some point (which doesn’t mean I didn’t forget it and still come up with the -obvious- joke)
“Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.”
This sent me down a rabbit hole of trying to find out who Yogi Berra was (I’ve heard of him, but didn’t know anything about him - he was a basketball player) and whether Yogi Bear was named after him or vice versa. Seems likely that the bear was named after the man, though Hanna-Barbera said it was just a coincidence when Yoggi threatened to sue. But seems an unlikely coincidence given how famous he was. And how rare the name Yogi is and how famous Yogi Berra was, but then I came up with the same joke as Yogi (Berra) and that was just a coincidence, so I believe them.
We're live streaming the whole series of RHLSTP this time round, so if you can't make it to the theatre you can still catch it live (or watch later)+ see bits that we cut out cos they're too juicy. £10 per show (2 guests) or £50 for season pass for 7 shows gfsboxoffice.com