This is a bit of bad news – comic Norman Wisdom has died at the age of 95 after a series of strokes.
This is one of those times when phrases like “comic genius” and “legend” cease to have any real meaning. Wisdom really was a comic genius and he will easily take on legendary status now he’s gone.
I remember watching his films during the summer holidays, and I never miss a chance to watch them now. He still cracks me up whenever I see him.
His style was slapstick, but never crude or vulgar. His most famous character was Pitkin, the downtrodden nobody who was always at odds with the establishment. Along with his accidental trip (which he apparently did in front of the Queen when he was awarded his Knighthood), he made millions laugh from the 60s onwards.
He was a national superstar in Albania, of all places, and he is being mourned over there. Albania showed his films at a time when all other western movies were banned.
As an update to this story, I saw an advertisement in today’s press for a boxed set of his films. Mine’s on order.