Whether you’ve been enjoying British comedy for a number of years or have just discovered in recent years, Ronnie Corbett is a name that you need to be familiar with. Unfortunately, while Ronnie Barker (Open All Hours and Porridge) is no longer with us, Ronnie Corbett happily turns 79 on December 4.
Ronnie Corbett first met Ronnie Barker in the mid-60’s when they both began working on The Frost Report. It was during the Frost years where Ronnie met a “slightly taller” individual, John Cleese, and this “classic” sketch with was immortalized with the three of them.
It was also at this time that they began to be thought of as a comedy duo which led to The Two Ronnies, which ran on the BBC from 1971-1987 and has been seen off and on over the years in the U.S. on public television. In looking back, neither of the “Ronnies” were thought of as one being the straight man, one being the funny man. The writing and the dynamic between the two of them had both sharing punchlines equally.
Ultimately, to me, the highlight of each show was the Ronnie Corbett monologue which consisted of a simple joke taking an inordinate amount of time to tell with the obligatory loss of the train of thought. Somehow, he would always masterfully bring it to closure with the punchline that was well worth waiting for. Happy 79th, Mr. Corbett!