The stand-up comedian is our hero. Unchanged fundamentally since the days of the Music Hall, he - and occasionally she - has been a waspish or laconic or outrageous commentator on politics, sex, work, friends and the family. In Funny Way to be a Hero John Fisher traces the traditions of the music hall comedian as they are handed down through the great British comics of the twentieth century. Dan Leno, the Crazy Gang, Will Hay and Max Miller are seen to pass the baton to the great radio comics like Arthur Askey, Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd and the Goons. In time Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, Benny Hill, the Two Ronnies and Ken Dodd are seen to hold the flame. The comedians understand us as no-one else, and in this brilliantly original and funny book John Fisher comes close to understanding them, what makes us laugh and the connecting themes in their humour and our responses. Quoting widely from their acts, he approaches the essence of their art: 'The best book about twentieth-century British entertainers I have ever read.'
(The Times) First published in 1973 when he was in his late 20s John Fisher's Funny Way to be a Hero is regarded as the finest book ever written on 20th century comedians and comedy. Fisher in his career as a television producer went on to become a friend to many of the subjects written about in his book. Forty years later he has revised and expanded the original from this perspective and added six new chapters. With spectacular new design and over 350 illustrations, many never published before, this will be a landmark publication.