Bring on the clowns - Ken Dodd (Style, career and achievement)
Dodd's stand-up comedy style is fast and relies on
the rapid delivery of one-liner jokes.
He has claimed that his comic influences include
other Liverpool comedians like Arthur Askey,
Robb Wilton, Tommy Handley and the "cheeky chappy"
from Brighton Max Miller.
He intersperses the comedy with occasional songs,
both serious and humorous,
in an incongruously fine light baritone voice.
Dodd has had many recording hits,
charting on nineteen occasions in the UK Top 40,
including his first single "Love Is Like a Violin" (1960),
produced on Decca Records by Alex Wharton,
which charted at number 8 (UK), and his song "Tears" (Columbia),
which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965,
selling over a million copies.
At the time it was the UK's biggest selling single by a solo artist,
and remains one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all time.
Dodd was selected to perform the song on A Jubilee Of Music
on BBC One on December 31, 1976,
a celebration of the key pop successes of Queen Elizabeth
II's first twenty-five years as UK monarch.
Dodd is renowned for the length of his performances,
and during the 1960s he earned a place in
the Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest ever
joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours (7.14 jokes per minute),
undertaken at a Liverpool theatre,
where audiences were observed to enter the show in shifts.
More recently, Ken Dodd appeared at the
Royal Variety Performance in 2006 in front of Charles,
Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall,
where he reprised some of his famous jokes,
including those about tax accountants as well as
singing his famous song "Happiness".
2 - Vocabulary
- magician = conjurer
- Pretending to be foolish
- to make fun of somebody
- to poke fun at somebody
- Making a joke at somebody's expense
- Making them look silly
- It had its disadvantages.
Did have its disadvantages
had = did have
had (No auxiliary verb) = Did have ( with an auxiliary verb to make a point STRESS )
verb /scamper [I] Intransitive + adverb or preposition]
When small children and animals scamper,
they run with small quick steps, in a playful or frightened way
The children scampered off into the garden.
- What part of speech is the word
How many word forms can you make from this word.
- What are the verb forms of these adjectives?
- Which words can take the suffix -en?
Bring on the clowns - (Vocabulary wordforms exercise)
- What are the differences between comedians, clowns, conjurers and jesters.
- What type of person would make a good comedian, clown, conjurer or jester?
For each word listed, what other forms of the word do you know?
Sometimes there may be more than one
in each part of speech, for example "Imagination" and "Image" are both (nouns).
Sometimes there might not be a word which matches that part of speech.
Some verbs exist as phrases using another verb with the noun form.
Eg:make, do or take.
There may be -ed -ing participle adjectives and the -ing adjective
can form an adverb -ingly.
|Verb||Noun||Adjective ||Adverb |
||Image / Imagination||Adjective ||Adverb |
ensure (Not assure)
It's a sure thing! sureness
childlike, childish (negative)
Take advantage of
Make the acquaintance of
4 - Sentence Making
Choose five words that you have added to the box above
and make good sentences with each of them.
Read the text below. use the words in the brackets to form
the correct word.
Mention the word 'jester' and the
conjures up a picture of a scampering playful fellow hired for the
(amuse) of others.
As a rule, the jester was in the service of a particular monarch, and his job to
(sure) that the king and
his court were kept in high spirits.
(tradition), court clowns were not valued for their
humour, but for their
frivolity and rather disrespectful
brand of slapstick comedy. While His Royal Highness was in a good mood,
the jester enjoyed the honour of
being permitted to say or do almost anything.
However, his chosen occupation did have its
if the king was having a bad day, the jester could very well be beheaded
or receive some other form of severe
(punish) for his entertaining efforts.
5 - Questions
- What's the difference between
to make something certain to happen
The airline is taking steps to ensure safety on its aircraft.
[+ (that)] The role of the police is to ensure (that) the law is obeyed.
[+ two objects] Their 2-0 victory today has
ensured the Italian team a place in the
Cup Final/ensured a place in the Cup Final for the Italian team.
to tell someone confidently that something is true,
especially so that they do not worry
The unions assured the new owners of the workers'
loyalty to the company.
[+ speech] "Don't worry, your car will be ready tomorrow, "
the mechanic assured him.
[+ (that)] She assured him (that) the car would be ready the next day.
The Prime Minister assured the electorate (that)
taxes would not be increased after the election.
You can rest assured (= feel confident) that I shall be there as promised
- When do we prefer to use
- Find good antonymns for the adjective forms in exercise 1
- What does "Many a true word is said in jest" mean ?
- What styles of comedy are there?
- What do the words "banter" and "larking about" mean?
- What does "Having a laugh" mean?
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