Tommy Cooper’s statue – just like that?

MAGIC AND COMEDY WERE HONOURED with the erection of a nine feet bronze statue of the late comedy magician Tommy Cooper in his home town Caerphilly Wales, unveiled by by one of his greatest fans, Hollywood star Sir Anthony Hopkins.

I didn’t know Tommy intimately but met him on many occasions in Davenports and Harry Stanley’s studio and once played Spoof with him and a group of journalists on  a plane flying all the way from Gibraltar to London.

It is good that one of our greatest stars, ackowledged as the “comedians comedian”, is honoured in this way but on looking at the photographs of the statue am I alone in thinking if the pose chosen is the one most remembered by his public?

 He is shown wearing evening dress with tails  and waving a magic wand over a top hat. I saw him scores of times in performance and nearly always he wore a dinner jacket or a lounge suit and I can never remember him wearing tails for his comedy magic act. He did in some of the later  comedy sketches that he did on TV but his most identifying feature was of course his fez.

And whilst the artist probably featured the top hat and wand to signify that he was a magician, I think most people will remember him by the fez and his two hands lifted chest high as he emitted his famous trademark laugh – “ha- ha- ha”

His fame was so widespread that I am sure that this singular pose would have rendered him instantly recognizable. Much as the bronze statue of Eric Morecambe with one hand behind his head and skipping on one leg instantly identifies that other great comedian of the last century. 

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