The diminutive Scottish-born comedian and comedy actor, Ronnie Corbett, has passed away at the age of 85. Rocket aficionados will note that he appeared in the 1957 comedy in the film Rockets Galore, a sort of successor to the remote Scottish Island-set comedy, Whisky Galore, made some years before. However, it was for his comedy television performances, most notably with Ronnie Barker in the BBC’s The Two Ronnies, that Ronnie Corbett will be remembered most for. The show which dominated the BBC’s Saturday night schedules in the 1970s and 1980s, contained a series of amusing sketches, musical numbers and monologues.
The Rons’ very popular show usually ended with a mock news-casting session by the pair including jokes like the following:
“The perfect crime was committed last night, when thieves broke into Scotland Yard and stole all the toilets. Police say they have absolutely nothing to go on.”
“And we’ve just heard that in the English Channel, a ship carrying red paint has collided with a ship carrying purple paint. It is believed that both crews have been marooned.”
And then the pair would make their famous sign off with Ronnie Corbett saying: “And now, it’s goodnight from me…” and Ronnie Barker saying “…and it’s goodnight from him.”
While modern day life is strangely split into the puritanical humourlessness of the workplace, or into the excessively crudeness and cruelty of modern day stand-up humour, The Two Ronnies’ humour actually had that “naughty but nice” quality that all the family could enjoy.
And for that we salute Ronnie Corbett, along with his late comedy partner Ronnie Barker, and give our condolences to his family and friends.