Tam's Tall Tales


Billy Connolly Postage Stamp

On April Fool’s Day the Royal Mail launched of a set of stamps to mark the contribution to the world of entertainment and comedy by some of the nation’s most cherished performers across the decades since the 1950s.

The British sense of humour is celebrated with the Comedy Greats issue. The set features iconic comedians who have provided some of the nation’s most memorable laugh-out-loud moments in television, film and theatre history

The set of stamps focuses on performers who emerged from the tradition of stand-up and sketch show artists, rather than those more widely regarded as comic actors.

The stamp set includes two Scottish comedians - Billy Connolly and Ronnie Corbett (one of the much loved "Two Ronnies" double act with Ronnie Barker).

Billy Connolly is in a distinctive class of his own as a stand-up performer and writer. He regularly tops polls to find the greatest stand-up comedian of all time. The graphic of the postage stamp above includes Connolly in his early days wearing his "banana boots" which are now in a Glasgow museum!

Other British comedians featured include Norman Wisdom, Morecambe and Wise, representing the continuity of a variety style of comedy reaching back to the 1940s, of huge popularity on TV in the 1970s and still reaching a wide audience in the 1980s.

In contrast, another double act, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are featured representing the Cambridge Footlights generation that dominated the early 1960s comedy scene, and their partnership in particular reinvented the sketch show format. Their ground-breaking TV series, ‘Not Only But Also’ premiered in 1965 and hence this year marks its 50th anniversary.

Royal Mail also issued a special postmark across the country on 1 April to mark the stamp set. And Royal Mail vans in the locations with strong links to the comedians featured an image of the relevant stamp.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
April 2015

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