Hit Me With Your Tickle Stick

I’d always hoped that I could have gotten to see Ken Dodd do one of his epic multi-hour shows. It had been a dream of mine for some time, to be fair, after reading about it in Dara O’Briain’s book “Tickling The English”.

Again it all stems back to my dad – he used to enjoy watching Ken Dodd whenever he was on anything, and so by extension, I got to watch it as well. I used to know that the man with the feather duster was funny, and it grew from there.

I think there was an opportunity to see one of his epic shows at City Varieties a few years ago but, for whatever reason, we didn’t book it. It might have been that it had sold out, or it might have been that there were only a few seats left and they were terrible – not that, really, any seats in City Varieties are that bad for visibility. But you see restricted view on a booking form and you immediately think you’ll be watching The Phantom Of The Opera blissfully unaware of anything happening in the upper half of the stage. If I could have been blissfully unaware of anything happening in the lower half as well we’d have been on a winner. But hey ho.

But yes, Ken passed us by for whatever reason. Probably some nonsense excuse from me, because that’s usually the case. There will be another chance was what I always thought. In much the same way as any time I thought about applying for GBBO and not doing, I figured there would be another opportunity to have Mary Berry’s claw-hands digging into a sponge cake. And that passed me by as well.

I could kick myself at all these missed opportunities. And, in a way, I do. The first thing I thought, this morning, on reading of Ken Dodd’s passing was that I’d never get to experience a show that lasts so long half of the audience don’t have the stamina for all of it. I’d never get to laugh at jokes that are incredibly cheesy but, at the same time, amazing displays of comedy. Things like “I suffer from Kleptomania, but when it gets really bad I take something for it.” All delivered by a man holding a feather duster – his tickling stick – and occasionally accompanied by the Diddy Men, essentially small puppet versions of Dodd himself.

So yeah, bugger.