Lubna Kerr


Laurel and Hardy: Two funny men, one fat and American, and one slim and English. They made over 32 short-silent films as well as 40 short-sound films and 23 full feature-length films. I think I have seen them all. Slapstick humour that was not vulgar, racist or crude, but just plain funny. We had to go to the cinema to see these films before they became regular on television.

 Charlie Chaplin: Another star of the silent movies. I used to go with my siblings on Saturday morning at the cinemas in Glasgow and Charlie Chaplin was a favourite. He was not only an actor in silent movies but also a director and a composer. Amazing how silent slapstick comedy films would keep young children amused for ages although, of course there was popcorn, sweets and lots of juice.

 Bob Hope: English by birth but American by accent. He was one of the comedians who made it big in films, though I never got to see his live stand-up comedy on TV till I was much older. He had one of those faces that made you laugh without trying. Often seen with Bing Crosby in the ‘Road’ musical comedy movies which again, I adored. His comedy style was based around, the one-liner and self-deprecating humour.

 Billy Connolly: Billy worked in the shipbuilders near where we first lived. So, it was inevitable that I would love the man who spoke about the area I first knew as home. His long hair, flair and use of swearing incessantly did not endear him to the older generation, though. However, when I saw him in Cardiff and Edinburgh, I enjoyed the magic of comedy from one of the best.

 Mike Yarwood: Another Saturday night favourite in our house, he was one of the first comedians I remember who did impressions of famous people. He paid extreme attention to the voices, facial characteristics and body language of those he was impersonating. This made him engaging to the millions who watched him on his TV show, which also featured sketches enhancing his popularity.

Morcambe and Wise: A double act that graced

our TV screens on a Saturday night. This very funny duo, whose brand of slapstick humour could keep both children and adults amused for decades. Their theme tune Bring Me Sunshine was recognisable all over the world. A favourite during the festive period, Christmas specials had viewers numbering over 30 million in the 1970s and I was one of those. You can still catch their stuff on TV.

Two Ronnies: The long-running BBC comedy show consisted of sketches and humorous musical routines with the large Ronnie Barker and the small Ronnie Corbett. They were another family favourite on a Saturday night in Glasgow. Ronnie Corbett being Scottish added to the incentive to watch it. A great example of two comedians with wonderful timing.

Victoria Woods: This wonderful lady was not only a comedian but also a writer, singer, producer and director and could be seen in a wide range of sketches, plays and musicals. Her televison show Dinner Ladies can still be seen on TV.  Her style of comedy was observational and satirical and was based on every day things and social classes.

 Dave Allen: An Irish Catholic comedian, he was one of the first I remember seeing on TV in his own show. He sat on a chair, with one finger shorter than the others and smoked a cigar. So cool. He told different stories about how he lost the top of his finger. His humour was observational with a political bent, which I love. Having sketches on his show was also genius. He was one of my dad’s favourite comedians and hence mine.

 Miranda Hart: Miranda’s route to success is something I want to follow and she is my role model. She is a comedy writer, performer and actress. She went to the Edinburgh Fringe for 20 years doing solo shows. You will have seen her in TV shows such as Not Going Out and her own sitcom named after herself. Spy was her first Hollywood feature film with Melissa McCarthy.

Lubna Kerr is a Scottish-Pakistani actress, comedian and writer. Catch her at the Glasgow Comedy Festival, which runs from March 16-31. Twitter: @LubnaKerr and www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com