English comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd has died in his childhood Liverpool home aged 90.
The vaudevillian star, famous for hours-long stand-up shows, bad teeth, “tickling stick” props and madcap extroversion, died just days after leaving hospital, his publicist said.
He married Anne Jones, his partner of 40 years, on Friday at their home in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash.
His publicist Robert Holmes described him as “one of the last music hall greats”.
“He passed away in the home that he was born in over 90 years ago. He’s never lived anywhere else. It’s absolutely amazing.
“With Ken gone, the lights have been turned out in the world of variety. He was a comedy legend and genius.”
Mr Holmes added: “He asked Anne if she wanted to marry. They got the registrar and were married in the house on Friday.
“He died two days later on Mother’s Day. Anne is obviously very upset. They had been together for 40 years. It’s a love story to beat them all.”
Dodd continued to perform right through to his later years, never losing his madcap energy.
Even when he was taken to hospital for a “minor operation” on New Year’s Eve in 2007, it came just hours after completing a four-hour sell-out gig at Liverpoool’s Philharmonic Hall.
Earlier this year, the performer spent more than six weeks in the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, following a chest infection, leaving at the end of February.
The comedian was a master of the one-liner. His shows were dominated by them.
Here are some of his best:
- Just read a book about Stockholm Syndrome, it started off badly but by the end I really liked it.
- My teeth are all my own. I just finished paying for them.
- My act is very educational. I heard a man leaving the other night saying, ‘Well that taught me a lesson.’
- Men’s legs have a terribly lonely life – standing in the dark in your trousers all day.
- The trouble with Freud is that he never played the Glasgow Empire on a Saturday night after Rangers and Celtic had both lost.
- Do I believe in safe sex? Of course I do. I have a handrail around the bed.
- Honolulu: it’s got everything: sand for the children, sun for the wife, sharks for the wife’s mother.
- “Age doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese”, on approaching his 80th birthday
- How many men does it take to change a toilet roll? Nobody knows. It’s never been tried.
- My dad knew I was going to be a comedian. When I was a baby, he said, ‘Is this a joke?’
- I have kleptomania. But when it gets bad, I take something for it.
- Did you hear about the shrimp that went to the prawn’s cocktail party? He pulled a mussel.
- So it turns out that if you bang two halves of a horse together, it doesn’t make the sound of a coconut.
- Five-thirds of people have trouble understanding fractions.