Veteran Irish comedian Frank Carson has died following a period of ill health. Last year it was revealed that Frank was fighting a battle against stomach cancer. Belfast-born Frank passed away surrounded by his family, at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire. In a statement, they said he was a "husband, father, Gaga and comedian" who had "set off for his final gig". They went on to add, "He went peacefully at his home in Blackpool surrounded by his greatest fans - his extended family. It's quieter down here now. God help them up there!!"
Frank would have appreciated their humour at this sad time.
He became a familiar face on British TV in the late 60s and70s following a stint on the ITV show The Comedians. He went on to appear on many TV shows as well touring the UK. Sadly a lot of the comedy greats from that era are all rapidly growing old. Another new generation of funny men and women will of course take over but whether they will reach the popularity of these from this bygone era remains to be seen.
Fellow Irish man Eamonn Holmes paid many tribute to Frank on early morning TV today February 23, 2012. He will be attending Frank's funeral on Saturday, March 3, 2012. Eamonn said, "He was just a complete bundle of energy and at 85 he was still going and still cracking jokes." Unlike many comedians Frank was a comedian 24/7 it seems. Among Frank's classic lines recalled are,
- My father fought in World War I, single-handedly destroyed the Germans' lines of communication. He ate their pigeon
- A fella walks into a pet shop and says: "Give me a wasp." The shopkeeper replies: "We don't sell wasps." He says: "There's one in the window."
- A man goes into Boots and says: "Have you got Viagra?" "Do you have a prescription?" asks the chemist. "No,” he replies, "But I've got a photograph of the wife..."
- A fella walked into hospital and the doctor said: "You've got three minutes to live." The man said: "Can you do something for me?" "Yes," he said. "I'll boil you an egg."
- I don't think my wife likes me very much. When I had a heart attack she wrote for an ambulance
- A fella said to the doctor: "What's the good news?" "You've got 24 hours to live." He says: "What’s the bad news?" And the doc says: "We should have told you yesterday."
- I rang British Telecom. I said: "I want to report a nuisance caller." He said: "Not you again."
- My wife said to me: "If you won the lottery, would you still love me?" I said: "Of course I would. I'd miss you, but I'd still love you."
As one of the old school of stand up comedians his comedy was ignored at one time. Now audiences are remembering what classic performers such comedians were. Frank's other catchphrase, It's a Cracker. Well they all were when he told them.
Frank managed to retain a naughty boyish charm and rarely if ever offended. Today a host of celebrities, fellow performers and famous people have been paying tribute to Frank. Many have recalled personal funny stories. The World has lost on its great comedians. RIP and condolences to the family.