Saturday, March 12, 2005

Dave Allen

Dave Allen, funny man and intelligent comedian, has died. He had a wry sense of humour, and was a skilled user of subtle language.

Saw him in Cardiff in the 1970's. It was at the height of the Jeremy Thorpe scandal - it had been revealed that Thorpe, then leader of the Liberal Party, had paid someone to shoot his homosexual lover, they had missed and killed the man's dog. An election was called. The Liberal Party had posters all over Cardiff. Allen had one and asked audience members to come on stage and open it out. There was a big picture of Thorpe and the slogan was "Don't turn your back on the Liberals". Huge laugh. Allen stood serenely and said "you cant make stuff up all of the time!".

When I interviewed him for my comedians project he was probably the most intellectual comedian I came across. He understood the psychodynamics of humour, was a master of irony and took his art very seriously. He was also, it seemed to me, a very kind man.

Speaking of humour, we watched a film last night I love Huckabees with Dustin Hoffman, Lilly Tomlin, Jude Law (yes, another film with the ubiquitous actor), Isabelle Huppert, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Whalberg and Naomi Watts. Weird stuff and not especially funny. The idea had potential - existential detectives looking for clues as to the meaning of an individuals life and how several "cases" intertwine - but not well executed here. Huppert, though, is my kind of lady, though I thought her performance in Le Pianiste was a little too "tight".

Interesting week - JetsGo (Fly a Little, Loose a Lot) went bankrupt (the third airline its CEO has "lost"); Tony Blair loses big time in the attempt to pass legislation concerning terrorism in the UK; Mr Dithers, our Prime Minister here in Canada, dithers again.

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