Sunday 5 March 2017

Frankie Carries On at the Oxford Union!

Tomorrow is Frankie Howerd's centenary. It seems hard to believe that so much time has passed, not only from Frankie's birth - that he'd be 100 if alive today! - or that it's been twenty five years since he passed away. Frankie is one of those comedy performers who is still very much in the public's consciousness, we still hold him in high regard and people are still interested in his life and work.

As most people will know, Frankie's career went through many ups and downs over the years. Following early success in radio comedy in the 1940s and 1950s, he moved into feature films before falling out of fashion. Following an appearance at Peter Cook's Establishment Club in the early 1960s, Frankie was back and riding the wave of critical acclaim thanks to the satire boom. He joined forces with David Frost and co on television before finding success in the stage version of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. 

The late 1960s Frankie had appeared with the Carry On team with a starring role in Carry On Doctor. Up Pompeii, also written by Talbot Rothwell came soon after and he was once again a big draw. However the rise of alternative comedy in the 1980s saw him struggle once more. That was until his stand up routine became the talk of the University student unions. A whole new generation of young people discovered Frankie's work and quite simply loved it. By the late 80s and early 1990s Frankie was a star once again. Here, thanks to the wonderful world of Youtube, is a chance to enjoy one of Frankie's classic performances at the Oxford University Student's Union in 1990. In his early 70s, Francis was back!

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