An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.
The comedy team of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore was huge in England during the sixties, but in America . . . I don't want to talk about America in the sixties - There were protesters in the streets, the troops were in Vietnam, I was in kindergarten - I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were a classical comedy team - Cook was tall, handsome, and glamorous and Moore wasn't. The formula was that Cook enjoyed having Moore around because the little creep was the only person in the world who would listen to his crazy nonsense. A typical Cook and Moore routine began with Cook making some insane statement that you and I wouldn't even begin to respond to but curious Moore finds it captivating, encouraging Cook to go on and on getting crazier and crazier until Cook's initial premise has been inflated with Moore's interest into dementia of such gargantuan dimension that the future of Western Civilization is soon at stake. Hey! They shoulda made a "Curious George" movie with Moore as George and Cook as The Man In The Yellow Hat!
The first thing most folks think of when they hear about Dudley Moore is that damn movie "Arthur" or "Ten*", the movie that introduced Bo Derek to the world. See, I mention Dudley Moore and you're immediately thinking about some beautiful babe with huge tits and a great ass. Now, if you were really hip when I mention Dudley Moore you'd be thinking about Peter Cook. Wait a minute - I don't like Peter Cook that much! Let me start all over again.
* "Ten" is actually a pretty good movie but I'll give five hundred dollars to anybody who can sit through "Arthur" without going up on the roof and shooting at the neighbors with a rifle. And, no - I'm not blaming Liza Minelli for it at all. "Arthur" is such a genuinely bad movie that they could have put Bo Derek or Peter Cook in a wig and dress in it and it would still be bad. But Dudley Moore is still pretty funny in it - Just don't ask me to sit through it again to give a detailed analysis of his performance - I've got a deer hunting rifle with a telescopic site all loaded and the fat guy across the street is having a barbeque for all his horrible friends.
Who is this mysterious Dudley Moore and what did he do that all of a sudden his scarey little British ass was in Hollywood starring in romantic comedies with high class show biz broads like Bo Derek and Liza Minelli? "I bet it might have had something to do with that Peter Cook person," you're probably thinking and with a mind that sharp it's too bad you're in a corrupt society where you have to be a beautiful babe with huge tits and a great ass or Judy Garland's daughter to get anywhere.
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore first came to prominance as one half of the cast of "Beyond The Fringe", a comedy sketch show that was a huge hit on the London stage, Broadway, and a lot of other places full of people who ordinarily couldn't care less about anything on the London stage or Broadway. "Beyond The Fringe" starred Cook, Moore, Jonathan Miller, and Alan Bennett - Graduates of student revues at Cambridge and Oxford. Everybody knows that all the members of Monty Python got their start performing sketches at Cambridge and Oxford and from there moved on to writing and performing comedy for the BBC but it was "Beyond The Fringe" guys who made it possible to begin a career cutting up in college. Before Cook and Moore came along doing a little skit in which you dressed up like a chair and complained about people putting their rear ends on top of you all the time would have gotten you assigned to Her Majesty's Artillery and sent off to India for twenty years. There had always been little shows for and by the intellectual elite on the universities of Great Britain but before Peter Cook went to Cambridge it was all silly amateur night stuff everybody pretended to like just in case anyone involved became Prime Minister one day. Peter Cook singlehandedly put an end to all that with brilliantly written and performed comedy routines that were genuinely funny - And they still had to resort to Margeret Thatcher?
While still in his teens Peter Cook composed the masterpiece of his life - A sketch in which a one legged man auditions to play Tarzan. That may not sound like much, but everybody in England swears it is the funniest thing that ever happened... Yes, those are the same people who thought "Twenty Eight Days Later" was scarey, but if there was ever a comedian who was born to play a one legged man auditioning to play Tarzan it was Dudley Moore. Ah, yes - Life was going beautifully for young Dudley until the Doctor was about to cut the umbilical chord and noticed that the boy had a club foot and a deformed leg - Damn! "This is not my son! This is not my baby!!!" screamed Missus Moore holding Dudley up in the air right there in front of everybody in the maternity ward. Well, that's a fine "How do you do?"! "That's not my Mother!" screamed all the other infants "That is not me Mum!!" and then they all did one of those godawful production numbers from "Oliver" - England! Whatta place!
Moore probably never would have lived to become an adult if he hadn't become a musician. The list of Englishmen who would certainly been choked to death without being missed by a single soul had they not become musicians is as long as the reasons why I'll never earn a living as a writer and Dudley Moore is on the list right in front of Gary Moore of Thin Lizzy and Motorhead and right behind some other idiot who was almost certainly in Thin Lizzy if he was never in Motorhead. Dudley was the only British musician of his generation to never get a gig with Thin Lizzy or Motorhead because his club foot made him too grotesque to stand onstage playing guitar. Imagine that, children, an Englishman too grotesque to stand onstage playing guitar! Now, that is freaky! Dudley passed up on that Jimmy Page Jibbley Pooh to learn how to play the piano, getting a scholarship to Oxford and becoming one of the classy piano playing funny guys of comedy history like Chico Marx, Victor Borge, Bugs Bunny, and that guy with a beard I saw on the Conan O'Brien show.
"What about ME!?" says Steve Allen.
After "Beyond The Fringe" Cook and Moore had a BBC TV show called "Not Only . . . But Also" and then made the classic movie "Bedazzled", their most lasting accomplishment - Only one movie, but it has more laughs and thrills and spills than every Rob Schneider movie thrown into a blender with the complete works of Eddie Murphy and sprayed all over the waterfront to kill the rats (Yeah yeah yeah, I know that Harold Ramis did a remake of "Bedazzled" a coupla years ago and it's pretty good - Brendan Frasier is very funny and Liz Hurley is Hot Stuff, but Ramis has finally caught on that without Bill Murray he's nothing and was last seen wandering the streets in his old Ghostbusters uniform bumming spare change and collecting bottle caps). In the original "Bedazzled", written by Peter Cook all by himself, Moore plays "Stanley", a poverty stricken grill cook so bummed out he tries to hang himself, the mechanics of which are as beyond him as building a machine that explains how a guy like Alan Bennett ever got into a show like "Beyond The Fringe". Then Peter Cook appears looking like a Secret Agent in a James Bond movie or an Executive Editor of Playboy magazine, announces that he is SATAN, and offers to buy Stanley's soul in exchange for Seven Wishes. Now, if Peter Cook approched you or me with that act we'd tell him to beat it - Not much of a movie there, and now you see why a guy like Peter Cook needed a guy like Dudley Moore. And not only that, but who needs Liz Hurley when your version of "Bedazzled" has Raquel Welch - SIXTIES Raquel Welch!!!
The last thing these crazy crackers did together was a series of comedy albums recorded at home for fun and eventually released to the public after members of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who got hold of them and began listening to em all the time. These tapes featured Cook and Moore as two disgusting foul mouthed oafs named Derek And Clive and are so obscene and distasteful Cook and Moore only released them to prevent The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who from ripping them off and selling them under their silly names. Seems to me that once you've heard a couple of Englishmen wacked out of their minds and making a lot of dirty jokes you've heard em all - Just for fun, play a Derek And Clive tape for your friends and tell em it's Pete Townsend and Keith Moon or Jimmy Page and Jibbley Poop - They'll laugh their asses off! But don't tell em it's Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. They'll just be annoyed.
Around this time Moore was trying to break into Hollywood and was terrified that someone in America would hear Derek And Clive and find out he had more personality than Alan Thicke or Tony Danza. Cook was aware of Moore's concerns and when Moore half heartedly showed up to record the final Derek And Clive album he was horrified to find that Cook had brought a film crew in to make a documentary of the proceedings which The Evil Prankster arranged to premier in London at the exact same time as "Ten"! A documentary? But I thought Michael Moore invented those things? Does that mean Peter Cook was accusing Dudley Moore of stealing the 2000 election? I'll have to ask Janeane Garofalo about that the next time she's begging me to save her crappy little radio show.
Derek And Clive were really popular with the late seventies Punk crowd and Cook hosted a musical variety show where he'd introduce bands like The Buzzcocks and then make disdainful remarks about how horrible he thought they were. Then Moore became a Big Movie star and when the Hollywood executives found out about Peter Cook they said "What? There's another one?!?! Oh, boy!!" and he came over to go to meetings drunk off his ass and make disdainful remarks that no one understood.
"Buzzcocks? Did he call us 'Buzzcocks'?"
"I think that's what he said!"
Graham Chapman of Monty Python was in Hollywood drinking himself to death at the same time and Cook joined him to drink and before they died they wrote the script for a movie that was somehow filmed and actually shown in real movie theaters called "Yellowbeard". Cook is in it with Chapman, Eric Idle, Marty Feldman, Spike Milligan, Cheech and Chong, and - Hey, why not? - David Bowie. It's really funny and really bad at the same time - Just like life!
One morning Cook woke up and found that he was the star of a CBS sit com called "The Two Of Us" in which he played either Mimi Roger's or Mimi Kennedy's English butler. I'm not sure which Mimi it was, I think it was the one without the huge tits. So then he had a few drinks to celebrate his newfound Hollywood stardom and when he woke up the damn show had been cancelled! Worse yet, a few years later ABC ripped off the whole idea with "Mister Belvedere"! Were there tits on that show? Mimi tits? I'll watch anything with those. Except for "The X Files", of course. I'm not that stupid.
Moore's private life once he became a Hollywood movie star was so repugnant that I bet the same creeps who made that horrible movie about Bob Crane are probably peddling a script about Moore and his sick scene right now. And, if they aren't, I've got a treatment right here that's just DYNAMITE! I see Ozzy Osbourne as Moore and the dug up corpses of John Belushi, Chris Farley, and John Candy as all of the movies he starred in after "Arthur".
They're both dead now, of course. It's a damn shame Peter Cook and Dudley Moore did so much funny stuff but all most people have seen of them was something thrown together between getting drunk in the morning with Keith Moon and drunk in the evening with Ringo Starr. But, hey - When did YOU ever get drunk with Ringo Starr?
"Well, I got drunk with him a few times in '78 . . . "
Uh oh . . .
"I got drunk with him one day in 1976 . . . "
Okay . . .
" . . . and a few more times that summer . . . "
I knew that was a mistake.
" . . . and a week later in New York . . . "
What do you think America? Leave your comments on the Guestbook!
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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