Review: Life With Cooper
DVD: Life With Cooper (1966 – 69)
Collapsing and dying of a heart attack on live television in 1984 (which I still remember my dad and myself watching while laughing, thinking that it was part of his act), he departed this earth in a manner fitting to his irreverent style of humour. Often catching the audience off guard with what they were expecting to happen, he seemingly blundered through his act as though it was his 1st time performing it, yet on closer inspection it was fined tuned and required a level of skill that not many could achieve, yet he made to seem effortless.
Unseen for 50 years, Life With Cooper is a potpourri of magic, sketches, jokes and monologues…all delivered with that trademark Cooper comedy that crosses generations.
Guest stars including Stanley Unwin, Henry McGee, Warren Mitchell, Sheila Hancock, June Whitfield, Derek Guyler, Dandy Nichols and Patricia Hayes all add their own particular flavour to the show…Stanley Unwin’s monologues still crease me up just as much now as they did when I was a child.
The magic tricks are still great to watch, and it’s a pleasure to revisit how adept Tommy was with his sleight of hand…often being more skilful than the guesting magicians on the show.
It is when the magic goes ‘wrong’ though that Cooper comes into his element. Never slipping from his ‘bumbling buffoon’ persona, he continues his act laughing along at the ‘mistakes’ just as much as the audience does.
Growing up watching Tommy Cooper I have a deep affection for his comedy, and it is thanks to Network that I can now watch Life With Cooper for the 1st time. Needless to say I loved it.
In an age of 4k HDR, widescreen, and surround sound, immerse yourself in some old school black and white, grainy UK television and treat yourselves to timeless comedy that is suitable for all of the family. You never know, your kids may then want to play with a magic set instead of their smartphone!
- The sole surviving episode of Cooperama – Tommy’s only other series for ABC Television.
- Script PDF for missing show Cooper King-Size
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