When discussing the concept of sincerity, one man stands colossus over all others. Bob Monkhouse.
Remember his famous touchstone motto? The secret of success is sincerity.
Don’t be fooled by that oleaginous mien. No man can ignite such true* empathy so quickly.
I witnessed him in action at the recording of a TV game show. (Not the classic Golden Shot, something dull and brown.) That cured me of any illusion about the romance of television. He also seemed to epitomise that saccharin impatience that passed for feeling on the telly back then. I couldn’t stand him.
Ach! Just realised. I left out part of his famous motto. Here’s the full version: The secret of success in show business is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
And yet… Maybe it was just time. Or the different perspective that years can give you. I began to appreicate his longevity, his work rate, the effort he failed to conceal behind the teeth baring.
Someone stole his jokebook. He was bereft. Not necessarily a stunt in those days. I felt sympathy not satisfaction or derision.
And he did have some cracking gags.
- “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now.”
- “I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my father. Not screaming and terrified like his passengers.”
- “I see that the Guardian has said that I am a cult.” (on Have I Got News For You) (The Guardian newspaper being infamous for its spelling errors.)
And some others may raise, c’mon, a tiny smile?
- ‘A thief trying to rob a supermarket, was driven off by a shop assistant with a labelling gun. The police are looking for a man with a price on his head.’
- (on stage as a veteran comic)”You’ll be glad to hear, I can still enjoy sex at 74. I live at number 76 – it’s no distance.”
- “With my wife it was sex, sex, sex… Yes, three times in 35 years.”
He also has the distinction of making what could be the ultimate comeback from for Prostate Cancer Research.
And now – I humbly beseech you with all of my heart, scroll down the right-hand column to where it says Loose Bloggers Consortium. There you can click on the links and discover untold delights, wits, insight and revelation on the subject oof sincerity.
Too much, huh? My sincerity still needs a little polish. Well, click on Maxi anyway. ‘Cos she’s new.
* True in a theatrical sense.