News Fortune was at his best in the Long Johns' sketches that poked fun at authority

John Fortune was the comedian and satirist best known for his work on the long-running television comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune, together with fellow comics Rory Bremner and John Bird, that ran for 16 series from 1999 to 2010.

Wiping the smiles off their faces

The intention behind biographical studies of comedians seems to be to prove that they're actually miserable gits like the rest of us. Whether this is the product of some fear of envy or a conspiracy to prove the theory that all great comedy is steeped in tragedy is hard to tell, but if I had a quid for every time I've heard a comedian say that they'd learnt to be funny to overcome bullying at school, I'd probably have enough for a packet of cigarettes by now.

Goodbyee . . . Dud bids poignant farewell to his partner Pete

Not only from Dud, but also farewell from Richard, Spike, Willie and Jo hn ...

OBITUARY : Vivian Stanshall

"And looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes!" Vivian Stanshall's ultimate musical spoof, "The Intro & the Outro", was one of the best-loved lines that he devised in the heyday of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. It typified the inventive, oblique humour and love of the absurd that Stanshall invested in all his work during an extraordinary career.

Something for the weekend

The NFT's comedy weekend, titled "Are We Having Fun Yet?", makes no claims to be a definitive round-up of rib-ticklers, which is just as well. It's based around three sections: the first is a tribute to John Candy and Peter Cook. Candy never quite found the vehicle his talents deserved (certainly not in Wagons East, during the filming of which he died) but he was an endearing figure who will probably be remembered more as a Fatty Arbuckle than a Buster Keaton. Cook, on the other hand, who is featured in the priceless Bedazzled (left, with Dudley Moore), dominated any film he appeared in. The weekend also features four previews, including IQ, whose American cast (Tim Robbins, Walter Matthau, Meg Ryan) is given a touch of spice by Stephen Fry. Finally, there are five features plucked from an NFT members' poll of all-time great comedy films. The top 25 features some preposterous choices but the five faves - including Bringing Up Baby, Some Like It Hot, and Airplane! - are hard to dispute, surely. Oh, go on then, if you must: "Don't call me Shirley".

The schlock of the new

Talk Radio UK promises Britain's first `shockjocks'. They don't know the meaning of the word, says Chris Morris, anchorman of the spoof radio show `On the Hour'. Move over Jeremy Beadle...

Letters: Just fancy that

n The creative writing group to which I belong has been challenged to write a 1,000-word story starting: "Inside the bag were three nails, a torch and a box of chocolates".

Letters: The doors of perception

Of course the Weasel is quite right, there can be no comparing Larry Grayson with Peter Cook, but I do think that a word on behalf of "Shut that door" is in order.

Letters: Cooked up

n My 40 years of rationalism have been overturned by one short, hilarious letter (14 January). The soul is immortal and the Great Ridiculer of Humbuggery is still at it.

Snapshots from Cookyland Peter Cook, who died on Monday,has been eulogised by many an old lag. Harry Enf ield, a young lag, remembers a friend

`Something very important's happened,' he said. `Jimmy Hill's grown two inches in the course of an hour'

Not only frozen in time ... but also unfunny

Was Peter Cook so very funny? Reading the extravagant tributes to his comic genius this week, I've felt like an outsider at a select media club, listening to people raving about something which had become a semi-private phenomenon. Watching the sh ort clips on television news from the Pete and Dud routine has been equally unilluminating. Did they make you laugh?

Want a laugh? Just log on and go looking for quips

People sometimes ask me how a column like this gets written. Not quite in those words, perhaps. They say things like, "How do you churn it out?" or "Where do you get these silly ideas from?" or "Ever thought of getting a proper job?" or even "How come you didn't get asked to write a piece about Peter Cook?"

LETTERS : Cookery test

From Ms Gillian Bevan Sir: The death of Peter Cook has reminded us of a much-loved and often-told true family story.

As always, he left us laughing

For more than three decades his savage and spontaneous wit pointed the way for British comedy. Clive Anderson offers an appreciation of the funniest m an in England, who died yesterday He was a satirist out to poke fun at the powers that be, not always out of a se nse of moral outrage but because they are funny

So, farewell then . . . Peter Cook

Peter Cook, one of the most significant influences on British comedy of the last 35 years, died yesterday aged 57. He suffered a gastrointestinal haemorrhage in the intensive-care unit of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London.

Obituary: Peter Cook

Peter Edward Cook, writer and entertainer: born Torquay 17 November 1937; married 1964 Wendy Snowden (two daughters; marriage dissolved 1971), 1973 Judy Huxtable (marriage dissolved), 1987 Lin Chong; died London 9 January 1995.
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