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Ken Dodd

From Academic Kids

Ken Dodd, born November 8, 1929, Liverpool, is a veteran British comedian and singer, famous for his buck teeth, frizzy hair, feather duster (or "tickling stick"), and his catchphrase, "How tickled I am!" He works largely in the music hall tradition, although he has appeared in several dramatic plays.

His comedy style is fast and furious, relying on a high number of one-liner jokes. Dodd sometimes intersperses his comedy with music, and sings with a baritone voice. He has had many recording hits. His song Tears is still one of the biggest selling singles of all time in the United Kingdom.

His stage performances used to involve Diddy Men - children dressed up, or ventriloquists dummies - supposedly residents of his mythologised home town, Knotty Ash (a real place in Liverpool in which he still lives).

His performance stamina is legendary. His solo stage shows can still run for more than three hours. He claims that on one occasion the caretaker of the theatre handed him the keys on stage and told him to lock up when he was finished. Whilst appearing on a Comic Relief television special, he overran his spot but refused to be silenced, forcing the presenters to enter the stage and attempt to manually remove him. He is a very difficult television interview subject because of his seeming inability to stop performing and reciting jokes.

He always ends his stage performances with a soulful rendition of his hit song "Happiness".

More controversially, he went on trial for tax evasion in 1989. Although he was eventually acquitted, he was forced to hand over 800 000 in unpaid taxes, and had his passport confiscated.

Unlike many other famous Liverpudlians, who have left the city on finding fame, Dodd has stayed loyal to his roots and still lives in the part of Liverpool where he was born, in Knotty Ash.

In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.

UK chart singles

  • "Love Is Like A Violin" (1960)
  • "Once In Every Lifetime" (1961)
  • "Pianissimo (1962)
  • "Still" (1963)
  • "Eight By Ten" (1964)
  • "Happiness" (1964)
  • "So Deep Is The Night" (1964)
  • "Tears" (1965, number 1 hit and sold over a million copies)
  • "The River (Le Colline Sono In Fioro)" (1965)
  • "Promises" (1966)
  • "More Than Love" (1966)
  • "It's Love" (1966)
  • "Let Me Cry On Your Shoulder" (1967)
  • "Tears Won't Wash Away These Heartaches" (1969)
  • "Broken Hearted" (1970)
  • "When Love Comes Round Again (L'arca di Noe)" (1971)
  • "Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms)" (1972)
  • "(Think Of Me) Wherever You Are" (1975)
  • "Hold My Hand" (1981)
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