July 10th 1972

“Me + Mick DR Rick + Andy 5-5” / “Went swimming during games 68°C” / “Taped Doddy’s ½ hour – not very good”

I can beat two people by myself – as witnessed a few days ago – and yet when teamed up with Mick” I can barely scrape a draw. Either this “Mick” was a total loser at tennis or the opposing team remembered their racquets this time?

I went swimming again I see. Despite the fact that I can’t swim. Did I just write “went swimming” to kid myself?

“Doddy’s Half Hour” was a 30-minute show highlighting the talents of one of Britain’s finest stand-up comedians, Ken Dodd.

Even in the 70’s Doddy was considered “old school”, one of a group of comedians who had honed their acts in the music halls and working men’s clubs across the country long before they ever became TV sensations.

With his harsh Liverpudlian accent, tickle stick, shock of hair and silly catchphrases, Dodd endeared himself to the old (and the teenagers) with his silly humour, which only occasionally bordered on the ‘dirty’.

He is often considered the “comedian’s comedian”, still does three-hour (or more) long shows, remains touring at the grand old age of 81, and will doubtless appear in pantomime this coming Christmas if his health holds up.

Back in 1972 though, his TV show that night failed to make me feel tickled in the slightest.

I do want to use this opportunity to comment that one of the best verbal tongue-twisters ever to exist is “Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead” – trying saying that quickly a few times after a couple of pints of falling-over liquid!

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