I've put up with this myth for a loooong time but now I have to speak out. It started (for me) in my early teens when there was a Tommy Cooper show on prime-time TV and, with only a couple of channels, I watched a few episodes. It was absolutely AWFUL! A bumbling buffoon, wearing a funny hat, getting card tricks (hilariously!) wrong and cracking a few terrible jokes. I knew he was popular at the time but it didn't bother me because most TV was terrible and I thought he appealed to an adult audience rather than me.
Fast forward 40 years and I am an adult now myself! I have seen Cooper every so often over the years and my opinion has never wavered: totally unfunny rubbish. Yet now, every few weeks it seems, there are TC retrospectives (and a movie!) with contemporaries and modern comedians falling over themselves to say what a genius he was and how hilarious his bumbling character was.
My question is: Am I wrong? Was he a genius? Or is there a giant conspiracy to fool the modern audience into thinking his act was hilarious? Surely, anyone watching him for 5 minutes could see that he was a total charlatan??