'I suffer from acute kleptomania. But when it gets bad, I take something for it.'
Ken Dodd was a legend of British comedy. He launched his career in 1954, adopted his trademark 'tickling stick' two years later and went on to enjoy a sixty-year career as the nation's jester. Dodd's act was frenzied and zany, exploiting his saucer-eyed, buck-toothed appearance and deploying a repertoire of one-liners, whimsical and verbal inventions and liberal doses of saucy – but never dirty – jokes.
Louis Barfe charts Dodd's life and extraordinarily long career, revealing him to be the last of the great variety acts – and a comic phenomenon who delighted his audiences across seven decades.
Reviews for Happiness and Tears:
'The definitive account' The Times.
'An industriously thorough, entertaining biography' The Spectator.
'Sure to delight Dodd's many admirers' TLS.
'Fascinatingly odd' Daily Express.
'An absolute joy' Choice.