J.B. Morton – ‘..one of the greatest English humorists of all time’

IMG_1914The Daily Express  celebrated the 80th birthday of the humorist J.B. Morton (aka ‘Beachcomber)  on 7 June 1973 with a long article and a tribute from Spike Milligan. Chesterton had described Morton as “a huge thunderous wind of elemental and essential laughter” and Evelyn Waugh wrote that he had “the greatest comic fertility of any Englishman.” He was certainly an inspiration for the Goons and subsequently Monty Python. Spike wrote:

I have met him once, though I have been a Beachcomber addict for a million years

It was a dinner the BBC gave to launch the television version of his column.

For years, when I was young back in Australia, I had collected all his stuff and stuck it in a book. I didn’t realise I had a sense of humour-myself until a discovered this man.

I didn’t know what to expect. But when he arrived he was just like his writing. There were lots of grey people there, and they did not know what to make of him. He kept launching into fantasy world. Continue reading

Very short poem from Spike Milligan

Found in Words Etc.,: A Miscellany (Wordspress, Haslemere 1973) this very short poem (above) by the British comedian Spike Milligan A Poem for the Lonely. Spotify also has a recording of Spike Milligan reading this excellent poem along with another inspired piece Orchids in my Glass. It goes like this:

We have cracked the midnight glass,
And loosed the racketing star-crazed night
The blind harp sings in the late firelight
And your hand is decked with white promises.
What wine is this?

There are orchids growing in my glass,
Good God, I'm pissed.

Spike with the young Prince Charles and fellow goon Harry Secombe