Doddy packs them in at Cromer Pier

Richard BatsonReview: Ken Dodd, Cromer Pier Pavilion He is a comedy phenomenon whose wild hair, buck teeth and tickling sticks have spanned the decades and generations.Richard Batson

Review: Ken Dodd, Cromer Pier Pavilion

He is a comedy phenomenon whose wild hair, buck teeth and tickling sticks have spanned the decades and generations.

And despite being 81 there was no sign of tireless gag-master Ken Dodd running out of steam as his Happiness Tour stopped at Cromer pier this week for two sell-out shows.


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Yes the hair and voice are thinner than during his plumptious pomp, but the magic and charm that is Doddy are still there and packing in the crowds.

After 55 years of TV and stage appearances he is a master at working the audience, with constant mentions of Cromer and picking out people in the front row.

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Okay, most of the material is a bit dated, but - in the nicest way - so are most of his audience, so they lap it up. However some of it is also bang up to date with topical tilts at porn film expense claims.

Even battling with a chesty cough - prompting the comment 'I should have paid the congestion charge' - Doddy was at his tattyfilarious and hilarious best when rattling out the quick quips.

The machine gun jokes range from the deliciously daft to saucy seaside postcard humour bursting with buxom blondes.

He is famous for his 'value' shows, and constantly jokes about their length. The Cromer one was one of his five hour marathons, and, while it seems churlish to criticise a legend, that was too long - way too long, with the audience noticeably flagging even if dynamo Doddy did not.

Size isn't everything, by Jove, and a tighter show distilling the doyen of the Diddymen down to his concentrated best would be easier on the stamina, and bottom.

But I don't suppose he is going to change now, and however discumknockerated the audience felt at the end will be outweighed by how tickled they were.

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