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[Archived] Bernard Manning Dies


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Very funny guy. Last of the old school stand-up comics. I never saw him live but apparently it was unwise not to have gone to the toilet first.

Anybody rem the oh so terribly affronted woman on a chat show who was having a right old go at him for his act whom he completely destroyed? Esther Rantzen maybe? Merciless and priceless.

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Anybody rem the oh so terribly affronted woman on a chat show who was having a right old go at him for his act whom he completely destroyed? Esther Rantzen maybe? Merciless and priceless.

I think it was Rantzen on the Parkinson show, Theno. I'd love to see it again.

Saw him at the Leyland Tiger in the 80's.

I found him very funny.

Not everyone's cup of tea, perhaps, but people knew exactly what to expect at one of his shows.

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Probably the best deliverer of jokes there has ever been IMO. Saw him once in the old John Lewis complex on Nuttall Street. He came in, did his bit and then went an hour later. I didn't stop laughing but couldn't remember a single gag. All in the timing they reckon.

RIP

(Racism debate to follow no doubt)

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Probably the best deliverer of jokes there has ever been IMO. Saw him once in the old John Lewis complex on Nuttall Street. He came in, did his bit and then went an hour later. I didn't stop laughing but couldn't remember a single gag. All in the timing they reckon.

RIP

(Racism debate to follow no doubt)

"You are what you eat .... I'm a c**t"

"I remember Des o'Connor when he was white"

:lol:

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Wonderful man. Mr Roversmum used to sing at the Embassy now and again.

You can imagine the banter that went on, especially the first time when Bernard hadn't realised John was one of the acts!

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I think it was Rantzen on the Parkinson show, Theno. I'd love to see it again.

Saw him at the Leyland Tiger in the 80's.

I found him very funny.

Not everyone's cup of tea, perhaps, but people knew exactly what to expect at one of his shows.

I remember Richard Wilson had him for breakfast when he was on with Mrs Merton.

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I remember Richard Wilson had him for breakfast when he was on with Mrs Merton.

Quite the opposite as I recall it.

Manning started off trying to be pally with Wilson when he came on, saying something like "You're going to enjoy this" (meaning that as two extremely funny men they were going to have a good crack.) I think Wilson misheard and wrongly thought Manning was trying to insult him.

Wilson spent the rest of the interview in total Victor Meldrew mode, pulling his face and making comments like "You disgusting little man" Made himself look a complete tool imo. Of course Manning quickly picked up on the hostility and the more Wilson whinged, the more Manning played up to him to wind him up.

Anyway back to Manning, obviously his material wasn't to everyone's taste but few could argue he was the absolute master of his craft in terms of delivery and timing.

Saw him live twice. Once at his Embassy Club about fifteen years ago and once at the Moat House in Blackburn about eleven years ago. Very very funny indeed.

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Very funny guy. Last of the old school stand-up comics. I never saw him live but apparently it was unwise not to have gone to the toilet first.

When I went to his Embassy Club a bald chap made that very mistake.

When he came back Manning spotted him and quick as a flash said "f ****** hell, if your hair goes back any further you'll be combing your arse!"

I still giggle at that today.

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I saw Manning in Blackpool & thought the guy was brilliant. He wasn`t racist....he hated everyone equally!

RIP Bernard Manning......

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I saw him quite a few times over the years and as others have said his comic timing was probably the best there has ever been.

He was accused of all sorts of racism and bigotry, but compared to some of the black artists in America, he was very tame.

In any event, he was bloody funny.

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Found on another forum. Apparently he wrote this 4 months before at the charity wake:

Shortly before he died, my old mate Spike Milligan said he wanted an inscription on his tombstone to read: "I told you I was ill.' Well, now that I'm gone, I want carved on my gravestone these words, in letters so small that any visitor will have to move right up close to read them: "Get off! You're standing on my privates."

Oh, I know there'll be a few who won't mourn my passing, like mothers-in-law up and down the country. I'll never forget the day I took my own mother-in-law to the Chamber of Horrors in Madame Tussauds. Suddenly, one of the attendants whispered to me: "Please keep her moving. We're trying to do a stock take."

The one bad thing about dying quietly in Manchester is that I cannot fulfil the solemn promise I made to the old battleaxe. "When you die, I'm going to dance on your grave," she once said. To which I replied: "I hope you do, because I'm going to be buried at sea."

I don't think the Commission for Racial Equality will be holding a wake for me, either. Nor will the Lesbian and Gay Rights lot or the feminists. They were always banging on about how I was sexist or anti-gay.

It was their campaigning that kept me off mainstream television for years, while filling the airwaves with a bunch of fifthrate so-called comics who were about as funny as a dose of bird flu and whose acts had all the humour of a funeral parlour. (Trust me, I'm in one now and there's not a laugh to be had anywhere).

In their obsession with turning comedy into a branch of Left-wing politics, they forgot that the only point of jokes is to make people laugh. And that was what I was good at, whether I was on the cabaret circuit in Manchester or at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Well, at least I won't be seeing any of the po-faced, politically- correct brigade where I'm going. I had quite enough of them in my lifetime.

What they never understood was that I was an equal opportunities comedian. Unlike them, with all their little checklists and taboos and easy targets, I never discriminated against anyone or anything. I was quite happy to get a laugh out of any situation. All that mattered to me was whether the gag was funny or not.

"I had a distant German relative who died at Auschwitz. He fell out of one of the watchtowers."

Now that's humour, precisely because it's close to the edge, unlike so many of the tired, comfortable, right- on lines

about George Bush in which modern comics indulge, massaging the consciences of their middle-class audiences instead of giving them raw entertainment.

Oh, I can see the other obituaries already: "Bernard Manning, racist bigot", the smug types will say when they hear of my departure.

But that's not what the great British public, especially in Lancashire and the rest of the North, will say. They knew that I was a funny bloke. That's why they kept flocking back to my own cabaret club, even when I was barred from the airwaves.

And I was never a racist. That's just an easy, catch-all term of abuse bandied around by the media elite against anyone who does not follow their agenda. It was just meaningless.

When told by some toffee-nosed southerner that I was prejudiced, I used to say: "Have you actually seen my act?" They would then admit they hadn't. "Then you don't know what you're talking about. You're the one who is prejudiced because you are pre-judging me."

If they'd ever bothered to turn up at one of my shows, they'd have soon discovered I told gags about everyone, including all sorts of politicians and the Royal Family.

In fact the Queen once told me with a smile, after a Royal Command Performance, how much she liked my act. If it was good enough for her, it should have been good enough for anyone.

Racist? Rubbish. Did these selfrighteous critics know that Clive Lloyd, the great West Indian cricket captain, asked me to perform as part of his testimonial?

Or that I did a fund-raising event for the Lancashire and India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer and another for the great black boxing champion John Conteh? For goodness-sake, I was multi-racial myself, a descendant of Jewish immigrants from Sevastopol. Throughout my life, a sign with the Jewish greeting 'Shalom' hung by door of my home in North Manchester.

I was born in 1930 in the Ancoats district of the city, and I never lived more than five miles from my birthplace. I always loved Manchester and her people, though that kind of loyalty and sense of belonging is never understood by the metropolitan elite who despise their own country.

My dad was a greengrocer and it was a tough upbringing, for the North was in the pit of depression and money and food were short. I was one of six children and was forced to share a bed with all my siblings, some of whom regularly wet the bed. In fact, I learnt to swim before I could walk.

I remember one night, my mother asked me: "Where do you want to sleep?" I replied: "At the shallow end."

I went to an ordinary local school and left at the age of 14, taking up a job at the Senior Service tobacco factory in Manchester. From my earliest years, I had a bit of a talent for performing, singing in choirs and at work. Then, when I was 16, my life changed dramatically on being called up to serve in the Manchester Regiment of the British Army.

Even though the war was over, I had to go out to Germany, where I was one of the armed guards watching over the Nazi hierarchy locked up in Spandau prison. For a 16-year-old, it was a bizarre experience, standing over the likes of Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer with a Bren gun.

Back home, I was a good enough singer to make it as a professional. It looked like I'd really hit the big time when, in February 1952, I was booked to sing at the London Lyceum theatre with the Oscar Rabin Big Band, with the show to be broadcast on the radio.

But the very day I was due to take to the stage King George VI died, so the event was cancelled. I'll never forgive the King for dying like that. He left me high and dry.

But soon I found that I was even better at telling gags than I was at singing and in the late 1950s I opened my own club in a converted billiard hall, Manchester's famous Embassy Club.

THE venue attracted many of the biggest names in British showbusiness including Matt Monro, and even the Beatles. It also led to my show on ITV called The Comedians, which was so successful that in 1978 I was even asked to play at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Indeed, my act was an equally big success on the other side of the Atlantic, though I had to adapt his material for American audiences. So Irish jokes became Polish ones, such as: "This Polish man gets a job in Californian zoo. One day a workmate says to him, "For $2,000, would you have sex with the gorilla in that cage?"

"The Pole thinks for a minute and then says, "Yeah, all right. But on three conditions. First, that I don't have to kiss her. Second, that you don't tell any of my mates. And third, that you give me a fortnight to get the money together"."

I supposed the animal rights lobby would get me on that one.

But despite my TV appearances being reduced since the Eighties, I've still managed to enjoy a long and fruitful career. I wouldn't have changed any of it for a moment.

I was glad I managed to make it into my late 70s, but then there was always a very strong survival instinct in my family. I had an uncle who was still having sex at 74. Which was lucky, as he lived at Number 72.

It was also a contented end, which reminds me of another longlived uncle, a bus driver who went peacefully in his sleep - not screaming like his passengers.

And as I look down now on all the over-paid executives who have made such a mess of television and undermined true comedy, and as I sense the affection from the mass of the British public, I know that I am the one having the last laugh.

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Interesting to se a positive consensus about Bernard here. I was expecting Blue Phil and Theno to be fighting the others in his defence.

As for me, whilst I am of the generation that is a little uncomfortable with some of the jokes, other jokes that Bernard and that generation told are funny. I guess my personal view is its the tone in which you tell the more controversial jokes, and how you say it, as I like Jimmy Carr and Parker and Stone's films.

He may have been a bit dodgy sometimes, but he was infinately more funny than almost all the black and/or female stand up comics I've seen. Show me a black comedian that doesn't base his act on race, or a female comedian who doesn't base her act on gender and sex, and I'll show you a unicorn that can play darts.

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Wilson spent the rest of the interview in total Victor Meldrew mode, pulling his face and making comments like "You disgusting little man" Made himself look a complete tool imo. Of course Manning quickly picked up on the hostility and the more Wilson whinged, the more Manning played up to him to wind him up.

I remember that . Wilson is a Labour Party member ...and , typical of the new breed of intolerant snobs , made up his mind beforehand that he was going to be offended .....

Anyway , RIP Mr Manning . Not a great fan of stand up comics ....but at least he was his own man .

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Manning was reasonably funny for 10 minutes or so but his crudeness soon palled.

For sheer comic genius, he was not in the same league as the late Les Dawson or Ken Dodd, both of whom prove that it is possible to be funny without swearing or being lewd. Ken Dodd is the best live act I have seen.

Note all three (and Peter Kay) are from Lancy: it's the way we tell 'em.

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You're right about Ken Dodd , jimbo ........a true genius in a class of his own .

Tommy Cooper was similar ...no need for profanity in their acts and both marvelously spontaneous .

Peter Kay seems a nice bloke but not anywhere near the premier league of comics .

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I remember that . Wilson is a Labour Party member ...and , typical of the new breed of intolerant snobs , made up his mind beforehand that he was going to be offended .....

Anyway , RIP Mr Manning . Not a great fan of stand up comics ....but at least he was his own man .

Is there any difference between his intolerance and Manning's?

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