Yikes, it’s Eric Sykes

I was overjoyed yesterday to read that Eric Sykes was celebrating his 87th birthday.  This is marvellous news because it means, of course, that he’s not dead.  Like Norman Wisdom and Leslie “I say, ding dong!” Phillips, I can never remember if Sykes is alive or dead half the time.  It’s a shame that such great comic talents fade away, their humour no longer required by modern audiences – especially when those audiences are laughing themselves into incontinence at mirth-free acts such as Michael McIntyre, Flight of the Conchords and The (allegedly) Mighty Boosh.

I haven’t heard anything about Sykes since his great friend Spike Milligan died in 2002.  At the time, I was reminded of a marvellous anecdote: it seems that Milligan and Sykes had, in their old age, collaborated on a pilot for an intended sit-com, and mailed it off to the BBC more in expectation than hope.  Unfortunately, it was rejected almost immediately.  The script was returned to them bearing a post-it note, upon which was written one word: “Unfunny.” 

Milligan took this rather personally.  “Unfunny?” he ranted.  “Have they seen Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush?  Auschwitz was funnier.”

Happy Birthday, Eric!

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6 Responses to “Yikes, it’s Eric Sykes”

  1. Frank Simons Says:

    Yes, don’t forget your toothbrush what a pile of DUNG it is a shame all the best comedians have almost all gone.the rest well they couldn’t make me laugh if i was on Nitrous oxide. ERIC SYKES and SPIKE MILLIGAN were very funny and are still,all the very best ERIC

  2. He’s still pretty active for his age, it was nice to see him make a cameo in Son of Rambow, used to love “Sykes” as a kid in the 70’s

  3. Hallo Eric. Do you remember ‘Three Bags Full’ ? I am to be
    90 next week. Your name often pops into my head and
    our friendship and collaboration in the RAF and shows we put on
    in 1944/5 still lights up many a dull day. Every blessing
    Eric. Ron Rich

    • Steve Errington Says:

      Hi Ron.

      My name’s Steve Errington, Bob Errington’s son whom you may remember served in the RAF with yourself, Eric, Dennis and Steve.
      Sadly, my Dad, like Eric passed away recently (Jan 2013). He was very proud of the fact he knew you all and has a treasured collection of photos of you all on stage and in Europe plus letters after your demob, in fact I was reading only last night one of your letters inviting him down to the bright lights of London to make his fortune in showbiz.

      If you want to get in touch please feel free,

      steve.errington@yahoo.co.uk

  4. I don’t understand why people compile these lists as it can be very upsetting

    • Hi Vonnie,
      Thanks for your comment, but I’m not entirely sure what you’re referring to. Firstly, it isn’t a list, and secondly, it’s a fond tribute to an entertainer I’ve admired all my life – albeit in the House Style of varying degrees of gallows humour. Sorry if upset you.
      Johnnie

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