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Thread: Welsh Comedians

  1. #1
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    Anyone have any comments or reminisinces of Welsh comedians. I was trying to draw up a list of Welsh Comedians and comedy peformers, here are a few.



    A lot of these would have been familiar nationally.



    Maudie Edwards, Stan Stennett,Wyn Calvin, Ryan and Ronnie, Tessie O'Shea, Harry Secombe, Bryn Phillips(a standup who was a regular on The Comedians."

    Rob Brydin, Terry Jones (born in Colwyn Bay), Max Boyce.



    Ryan Davies and Ronnie Williams did a series in the Welsh language, which used to be shown on a lunchtime in the seventies on BBC Wales. For some weird reason they did an English version which shown nationally on BBC telelvision in Friday childrens slot normally occupied by Crackerjack.



    Ryan Davies was a also an acotr and cabaret peformer, died tragically young, love to see some of his work.

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    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='bhowells']Anyone have any comments or reminisinces of Welsh comedians. I was trying to draw up a list of Welsh Comedians and comedy peformers, here are a few.



    A lot of these would have been familiar nationally.



    Maudie Edwards, Stan Stennett,Wyn Calvin, Ryan and Ronnie, Tessie O'Shea, Harry Secombe, Bryn Phillips(a standup who was a regular on The Comedians."

    Rob Brydin, Terry Jones (born in Colwyn Bay), Max Boyce.



    Ryan Davies and Ronnie Williams did a series in the Welsh language, which used to be shown on a lunchtime in the seventies on BBC Wales. For some weird reason they did an English version which shown nationally on BBC telelvision in Friday childrens slot normally occupied by Crackerjack.



    Ryan Davies was a also an acotr and cabaret peformer, died tragically young, love to see some of his work.


    There's a few more listed under the category "Welsh comedians" on Wikipedia





    That includes some who aren't usually thought of as Welsh like Dawn French (born in Holyhead), Helen Lederer (Llandovery), Tessie O'Shea (despite the Irish surname she was born in Cardiff), Tommy Cooper (Caerphilly), Paul Whitehouse (Stanleytown, Glamorgan)



    It's not an exhaustive list, but it's a start



    Steve

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    Tessie O'Sheas great nephew works in my office. Its odd working near someone who's Auntie appeared in hollywood films like "The Russians Are Coming."

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    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    'Welsh comedian' ......... a contradiction in terms, surely ?

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    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='julian_craster']'Welsh comedian' ......... a contradiction in terms, surely ?


    Typical Seisen



    Steve

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    John Sparkes of Absolutely fame, still works on Welsh TV apparently - a very talented man, although seemingly over-interested in bodily functions!

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    You are right about John Spakres fascination with bodily functions, he is a very funny man, he has presented a quiz for BBC wales in the character of Frank Hovis and the show is wall to wall crudity.



    Many of the characters in his repototoire are grotesque, he did a few seasons of a comedy show called,"Barry Welsh is Coming." a spoof chat show intersperesed with skethes.



    Nowadays he can mainly be seen presenting documentaries on ITV Wales.

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    Don't know if you are interested in Welsh language comedians? Charles Williams was a very entertaining comedian/compere, with anecdotal material. His son Idris Charles is not so strikingly original. Co Bach had a successful career with an act based around the Caernarfon Welsh dialect. There was also a Welsh language vent act called Glyn a Taid - youngish vent with an old man doll, bit like a working class Lord Charles.



    Ruth Madoc (HI De Hi etc) was a feed for Ryan Davies (of Ryan & Ronnie fame) at times. I saw Ryan & Ronnie live a number of times and they were very good. Did some magic and illusion stuff in the stage act as well as a lot of singing. Their shows are repeated on S4C from time to time.



    Hope this helps!

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    You have, of course, overlooked the great Gladys Morgan.



    You might find the book "The Dragon Entertains" helpful.

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    Thanks very much, Cymro Glan for the info on Welsh speaking comedians, very interesting, I like the sound of the vent act. I must look out for the Ryan and Ronnie repeats on S4C.



    I keep meaning to buy the album of Ryan at the Top Rank, he sings Aznavour's She, I would imagine that his version would be incredible.



    Ronnie Williams came to my secondary school in 1972, with Harry Secombe .our school choir sang on the soundtrack of a film called,"Sunstruck.

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    Senior Member Country: UK Wee Sonny MacGregor's Avatar
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    Ronnie Williams later kept a pub in Cerrig Y Drudion and died quite young in tragic circumstances.



    "Don't call Will on your father!"

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    Now - don't get me started! Tom Owen was one of South Wales's most prominent comedians at the beginning of the last century. He ran a Picture Palace at Gorseinon. He was a member of Ted Hopkins Pierrot Troupe at Mumbles Pier, Swansea. He did a Welsh costume drag act.











    Ted Hopkins is an unsung legend of Welsh Music Hall and Theatre fame. The Hopkins family boasted at least four members who performed theatre, opera and Music Hall. Ted was one of the very few (only?) Welsh Music Hall performers to make wax cylinder recordings of his act - as Sir Harry Lauder did (Scottish performer). Ted also made very early films but we have yet to find them. He was involved in a Welsh National Theatre movement in 1914. His brother Will was billed as a "comedian and Oddfellow from Wales" at Glanmaen's Palace of Varieties in May 1913.



    In 1911/1912 a Welsh comedian called Tom Jones was rocking the aisles in Staffordshire, Hampshire, Leeds. Among his reviews are "the funny Welshman caused roars of laughter", "Welsh comedian of exceptional merit" and "the whimsical Welshman".



    Then there was "Rowland and Ford " who were "Welsh and Scotch patter comedians". they also toured the UK Music Halls.



    In February 1912 Alf Thomas was at the Gnoll Hall, Neath, described as "very popular, his patter being most laughable".



    We must never forget that there were many many Welsh acts gracing the stages of theatres across the Uk and who have all been forgotten.



    As to some of the more recent - I worked two pantomimes with Stan Stennet and could not really express my true opinion here. I also did panto at the New Theatre, Cardiff with Ted Rogers, Ann Aston and Wyn Calvin in 1982/83 and was horrified when he told a joke about Pakistanis in front of children. Wouldn't be allowed today.



    I knew Ronnie (Ryan & Ronnie) and still have a badge he gave me which he had printed. I would be prosecuted if I revealed the text of the badge here. You have to be Welsh to understand it.



    I once produced some radio commercials with Ruth Madoc (and worked with her husband, Phil, in theatre and TV drama). Again, It was not the easiest experience as I did not know that she was dyslexic at the time.



    I also opened Curry's 500th store in the UK in Cardiff and Leos Homecentre in Llantrisant in a series of live radio commercials with Max Boyce.

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    Must qualify that - it was Wyn Calvin who told the bad joke not Ted Rogers.

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    I am very surprised that Wyn Calvin would resort to making racist gags, shame on him, I thought he would be the sort to be a bit more pc. I dont think Stan Stennett would have stooped as low as that.



    Have you ever seen the clips of early Television Wales and West programmes on the ITV Wales webiste there is complete programmeo of TWW first night compared by Ralph Reeder, no Welsh standups on there ecept Harry Secombe, plenty of actors like Donald Houston.

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    I loved 'Ryan and Ronnie'....................and Sycombe...............

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    i am currently researching my family tree and read your comments regarding Ted Hopkins. I believe we may be related to May Hopkins who performed with Ted. Do you know if she was his sister or wife? i would be grateful for any information you have.

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    Senior Member Country: England ChuckEddie's Avatar
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    Well there was Mr Jones, my English teacher, and 'Holy Joe' Williams RE teacher, both thought they were hilarious.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK Onedin's Avatar
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    Can we add Steve Crook to the list?




  19. #19
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onedin View Post
    Can we add Steve Crook to the list?



    Only half Welsh, and only half funny

    Steve

  20. #20
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    As Ryan and Ronnie would have put it,
    'If there's anything I hate,I'm fed up,
    that's what I wish!' Classic stuff!
    And I know I am showing my age,but
    Sir Cumference always cracked me up!
    (Sir Harry Secombe to those too young!)

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