1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 6 (UK)
49 x 30 minute episodes
2 x 40 minute episodes
12 x 45 minute episodes
5 x 60 minute episodes
3 x short specials
Wonderful comedy show from Les Dawson featuring stand-up, musical interludes and hilarious sketch comedy.
Some of Les’ favourite characters were Cosmo Smallpiece, the man who could drag even the weather forecast into the permissive age; the Great Roberto, defying the laws of nature with incredible stunts and the aptly-named failed superhero, Superflop (pictured at right).
Why is Leeds a city of fear? Who is the masked Fred? Can anybody save the people? Yes, one man . . . SUPERFLOP!
Born in Manchester in 1933, Les Dawson soared to fame at the end of the 60s, delivering – with tremendous deadpan panache – a succession of mother-in-law jokes and humorous observations on life.
His jokes were aided greatly by his face – which he himself described as resembling “a sack of spanners” – and he would use it to gurn in the manner of traditional British seasiders and effect wonderful female impressions, usually in the gossipy leaning-over-the-wall characters he evolved with Roy Barraclough, Cissie and Ada.
An accomplished piano player in his own right, Les Dawson’s off-key piano playing has to be one of the consistently laugh-out-loud funny comedy institutions.
Dawson’s successes began to accumulate after TV appearances on Comedy Bandbox and Opportunity Knocks in 1963, which led to spots in variety shows, and eventually to his own series, Sez Les, which propelled his name to the top.
Roy Barraclough was his regular sideman, although in two 1971 shows, and then two complete series in 1974, John Cleese – having quit the last Monty Python series – helped out.
Les Dawson died on 10 June 1993, aged 60.