Happiness and Tears

The Ken Dodd Story

Louis Barfe


A definitive life one of the best-loved and most enduring figures of British comedy, the eccentric genius and national treasure Ken Dodd, whose seven-decade career straddled the end of the era of variety and the golden age of television comedy.
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'I suffer from acute kleptomania. But when it gets bad, I take something for it.'

Ken Dodd was a legend of British comedy. He launched his career in 1954, adopted his trademark 'tickling stick' two years later and went on to enjoy a sixty-year career as the nation's jester. Dodd's act was frenzied and zany, exploiting his saucer-eyed, buck-toothed appearance and deploying a repertoire of one-liners, whimsical and verbal inventions and liberal doses of saucy - but never dirty - jokes.

Louis Barfe charts Dodd's life and extraordinarily long career, revealing him to be the last of the great variety acts - and a comic phenomenon who delighted his audiences across seven decades.

Reviews for Happiness and Tears:

'The definitive account' The Times.

'An industriously thorough, entertaining biography' The Spectator.

'Sure to delight Dodd's many admirers' TLS.

'Fascinatingly odd' Daily Express.

'An absolute joy' Choice.

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Book publisherHead of Zeus
Publication date6 Aug 2020
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