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24 September 2014

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Barry Took

Barry Took

One of the writing powerhouses behind a lot of the comedy legends of the 1950s and 1960s, Barry Took was perhaps one of the first modern comedy figures.

Took became a standup comedian and revue performer in London in the 1950s. His work bridges the gap between the age of the old-time artists such as Arthur Askey and the edgier satire of Hancock, the Goons and Kenneth Horne.

Took's writing style was sardonic, observational and cutting – writing unusual in the 1950s, but presaging the Alternative revolution.

During the 1960s and 1970s, he was best known for writing with marvelous, goggle-eyed genius Marty Feldman for Round the Horne, Beyond our Ken and others. He was one of the few British writers brought over to the States to work on formats there in the 60s, most notably Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

In the 1970s, Took was head of comedy at ITV, trying to match the BBC's success.

The 1970s also saw his two greatest legacies to comedy: helping to devise The Goodies, and introducing the members of Monty Python to each other.

In later years, Took used his wit to fend off slightly irritating complaints on Points of View, and putting panel members in their place as chairman of The News Quiz.

Appearances by Barry Took
Start YearAliasProgramme BrandCountry

As a Performer

The News Quiz 1977

As a Writer

Marty 1968
Beyond Our Ken 1958
Round The Horne 1965
One-Upmanship 1974
Comedy Playhouse 1962

As a Creator

Round The Horne 1965

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