Peter Cook’s Birthday


Today is Peter Cook’sbirthday.

Wikipedia says of him

“Cook is universally acknowledged as the main influence on British comedians who followed him from amateur dramatic clubs of British universities to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and then to the radio and television. On his death some critics choose to see Cook’s life as tragic, in so far as the brilliance of his youth had not been sustained in his later years. However, Cook himself always maintained that he had no ambitions at all for sustained success. He assessed happiness by his friendships and his enjoyment of life. Eric Idle and Stephen Fry said Cook had not wasted his talent but rather that the newspapers had tried to waste him.

“Several friends honoured him with a dedication in the closing credits of Fierce Creatures (1997), a comedy film written by John Cleese about a zoo in peril of being closed. It starred Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin. The dedication displays photos and the lifespan dates of Peter Cook and of British naturalist/humorist Gerald Durrell.

“In 1999 the minor planet 20468 Petercook, in the main asteroid belt, was named after him.

“Ten years after his death, Cook was ranked at number one in the Comedians’ Comedian, a poll of 300 comics, comedy writers, producers and directors throughout the English-speaking world.[14] Channel 4 broadcast Not Only But Always, a television film dramatising the relationship between Cook and Moore, with Rhys Ifans portraying Cook. At the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe a play, written by Chris Bartlett and Nick Awde, examined the relationship from Moore’s view, Pete and Dud: Come Again. Tom Goodman-Hill played Cook.

“At the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Goodbye – the (after)life of Cook & Moore by Jonathan Hansler and Clive Greenwood was presented at the Gilded Balloon. The play imagined the newly dead Moore meeting Cook in Limbo, also inhabited by other comic actors with whom they had worked, including Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams. In May 2009 the play was seen again in London’s West End at the Leicester Square Theatre (formerly “The Venue” and home to Pete and Dud: Come Again) with Jonathan Hansler as Cook, Adam Bampton Smith as Moore and Clive Greenwood as everyone else.

“A green plaque was unveiled by Westminster City Council and the Heritage Foundation at the site of the Establishment club on 15 February 2009.”


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