January 3, 2004 by

Bob Monkhouse

14 comments

Categories: Actors

bmonkhouse.jpgRobert Alan Monkhouse, one of Britain’s best known comedians and game show hosts, died on Dec. 29 from prostate cancer. He was 75.
Monkhouse was the class clown at Dulwich College. His parents hoped he would join the family’s custard business, but Bob and his friend Denis Goodwin had other plans. The duo became a crack writing team, penning jokes for comedians like Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis. The partnership would last for more than 30 years, until Goodwin committed suicide in 1975.
Monkhouse self-published his own comic strip and spent a brief time working as an animator with the Walt Disney studios in London before doing his National Service with the Royal Air Force. After returning to civilian life, he became a full-time radio gag writer and stand-up comedian, appearing in revue with his close friend and mentor Benny Hill before breaking into television.
For nearly half a century, Monkhouse entertained viewers of the BBC and ITV as the host of popular TV game shows. He fronted more than 30 different programs, including “Celebrity Squares,” “The Golden Shot,” “Family Fortunes,” “The $64,000 Question” and “Bob’s Your Uncle.”
Off-screen, Monkhouse performed in 150 cabaret and stand-up gigs each year. In 1993, he published his autobiography, “Crying With Laughter,” and was honored with the Order of the British Empire. Last year, the Television and Radio Industries Club gave him a lifetime achievement award.
Famous Monkhouse One-Liners

14 Responses to Bob Monkhouse

  1. Pete Perry

    Not only a great entertainer, – also a great artist too. as an entertainer, he worked with my cousin, Carol Dilworth of ‘The Golden Shot’ fame, and as an artist, he worked with Disney animator David Hand, on the Rank-backed ‘Animaland’ and ‘Musical Paintbox’ series of animated cartoons. I am now working with David’s son, also David, to ressurrect these 1940s films, and to produce new ones, as an Anglo-American concern. I feel that to do this would not only be a great tribute to David, but also to Bob, and his great love of cartoons and old movies.
    Anyone interested, please get in touch.

  2. Mike Thorpe

    I worked with Bob many times on the cabaret circuit during my times with the Bailey Organisation.He was a great performer a great professional and a great person.The world will laugh a little less now that he has passed on
    I miss you my friend…

  3. kaleem ullah

    I loved watching Bob as a child and especially The Golden Shot where I remember on a Sunday directly after the show I would go upstairs and set up my own version of this by strapping an elastic band over a table and start firing pencils at a wall.

  4. bunny thomas

    i was a mate of larry graysons and lal used to tell me so many fond stories of bob i didnt meet the great man my self till 1990 and for once i decided to audition for op knocks .. after my spot i went in to the dressing room at the riverside studios and taping me on my shoulder was bob , i couldnt believe it, he said i was a fine and out standing …… any way does it matter, he took that time to come to me and seek me out , one year later he wrote me a letter to encourage me more and we exchange many a happy note i tresure his cards and letters his last from barbados.. whilst with jackie there. he was kind sincere. i loved him i miss hiom as all of us in and out of this silly game… show not over. xx bunny thomas xxx

  5. Keithanthony

    Laughter is the best cure, I believe this to be true; and so it is that Bob had many cures and even from beyond the grave now continues in his new post death video with the fight against prostate cancer!
    The Doctor of comedy is indeed a fine Physician!
    I have taken the time as I am sure many have, to spread the link for the new video, in this case putting it onto the comments section of MySpace account.
    That video is a fine tribute to Bob, and I feel that he would have passed among the many people that were involved with its making, unknown to them looking over their shoulders with approval and I am sure even a little guidance since all that has gone is the temporary physical body. Everything else that Bob created remains, the laughter being immortal, and I believe the legacy of all my laughter from people like Bob even helped me overcome accidental paralysis which at one time would have precluded me sitting let alone typing this tribute!
    I hope that the laughter that Bob taught us will always endure, and continue because it is when we are at our weakest that the laughter we have known from people like Bob will as I believe it did with me strengthen, and give you the direction back even from death itself! If I learned anything when I died in that accident it was that, “You should do all the good that you can, in as many ways as you can, to as many people as you can, for just as long as ever you can!” If it was Bob Monkhouse, and likely understanding this philosophy It would be great to hear him say! “Okay then, let’s start with a joke!”

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