Kenneth Williams

Posted: February 28, 2008 in humor
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Thinking about some of the older comedians and actors of British Radio, TV and Films I was reminded about Kenneth Williams.
Kenneth Williams (22 February 1926 – 15 April 1988) was an English comic actor, star of twenty six Carry On films and notable radio comedies with Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne, as well as a witty raconteur on a wide range of subjects. I first heard him on Hancocks Half Hour with Tony Hancock and Sid James. Truly funny shows.
When Hancock tired (or grew envious) of him, Williams joined Kenneth Horne in the series Beyond Our Ken (1958–1964), and its sequel, Round the Horne (1965–1968). In the latter, his roles included Rambling Syd Rumpo, the eccentric folk singer; The Amazing Proudbasket, human cannonball; J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock, professional telephone heavy breather and dirty old man; and Sandy of the extremely camp couple, Julian and Sandy (Julian was played by Hugh Paddick), notable for their double entendres and use of the underground gay slang, Polari.
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Kenneth appears in an episode of Parkinson from 1980. This is a masterclass in anecdote telling.
Everything about this performance is perfect. The versatility of the voice, the timing, the material, and most of all…the man.
Behold, a comedy genius at his very peak.

“Seven guineas for a bra?…cheaper to have your tits off!!…”

He was also famous for one of my all time favorite lines, which I have remembered all these years and never been able to find a reason to use. In April 2007, Williams’ line “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me”, was voted the greatest one-liner in movie history by a poll of a thousand comedy writers, actors, impresarios and members of the public for the launch of Sky Movies Comedy Channel. The line was borrowed by scriptwriter Talbot Rothwell from Frank Muir and Dennis Norden.

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