Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher

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Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher

Category: Biography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: An interesting, alternative biography of Tommy Cooper. Filled mostly with photographs and pamphlets there isn't that much text, but it's packed with all the jokes you'd expect and has enough information about Tommy's life to be interesting.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: October 2012
Publisher: Preface Publishing
ISBN: 978-1848093119

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I grew up watching Tommy Cooper, and watching my dad do impressions of Tommy Cooper. I thought he was hilarious (the real Tommy!) and loved his expressions as he repeatedly tried and failed to do magic tricks! This book is rather unusual as although it is a biography of sorts, giving information about Tommy's life and his history in the world of entertainment, it isn't text heavy, and so mostly Tommy's story is told through photographs and pictures.

There's a lot to look at in the book, and it's one of those that you can pick up and put down quite easily, sneaking in a couple of jokes before breakfast and then coming back for a longer read after dinner. In true scrapbook style, each page is loaded with photographs, excerpts from newspapers, flyers for Tommy's shows, notes he made about sketch ideas and scripts for shows. There's a commentary throughout, explaining Tommy's life or what some of the material is, but it's very easy to just browse through, enjoying the pictures and the snippets of jokes in the making.

On many pages there are Tommy's jokes written out to enjoy. It's almost impossible to read them without hearing his voice saying it aloud, for example I said to my wife, 'I can't eat this beef stew.' She said, 'shut up! It's custard pie!' I particularly liked the anecdote about Tommy's performance in a gala to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. Apparently he came on stage with a sword and kneeled down behind it in silence. A few seconds later he stood up, shrugged and said Well, you never know! and the whole theatre, including the Royal Box, fell about laughing!

Although you might feel some disappointment if you were looking for an in depth biography of Tommy's life this provides an excellent introduction to him, and to his humour. I was less interested in seeing the flyers for his shows and felt perhaps there were too many of them, but I really enjoyed his own notes of ideas as well as all the photographs over the years. A good book for Tommy Cooper fans.

You might also enjoy Turned Out Nice Again: The Story of British Light Entertainment by Louis Barfe or Stop Me If You've Heard This by Jim Holt

Buy Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tommy Cooper 'Jus' Like That!': A Life in Jokes and Pictures by John Fisher at Amazon.com.


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