Ken Dodd 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
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
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.