Peter Cook created a wonderful charter, E.L. Wisty. He was this off-beat fellow who sat on a park bench and delivered long monologues on all range of topics, solving the world's problems, at least as he saw it, which was usually askew. Many of these were put together on an album, The Misty Mr. Wisty, which I got many decades ago on a family trip to London.
The monologues aren't for everyone -- they long, slow and often wax eloquent on what, in lesser hands, would be the more boring of observations. But with Cook (and Mr. Wisty), they are generally hilarious, wildly witty digressions into the world of grand theory and minutiae.
Mr. Wisty began life in the revue, Beyond the Fringe, with three other brilliant comic minds, the later-stage and opera director and neuropsychologist Sir Jonathan Miller, playwright Allan Bennett (The Madness of King George), and Dudley Moore. Whether the character Cook portrayed in Beyond the Fringe was specifically Mr. Wisty, I haven't been able to determine, but the character is the same -- an off-beat fellow who sat on a park bench and explained at length why he'd rather have been a judge than a miner.
And here, though the magic of lost videos, is Peter Cook from Beyond the Fringe around 1962 with "Down the Mine."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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