The late Tim Brooke-Taylor was a member of The Goodies were a trio of English comedians who performed on TV in the seventies and early eighties.
There is a unusual story associated with them:
On 24 March 1975 Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King’s Lynn, literally died laughing while watching an episode of The Goodies. According to his wife, who was a witness, Mitchell was unable to stop laughing whilst watching a sketch in the episode “Kung Fu Kapers” in which Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a black pudding-wielding Bill Oddie (master of the ancient Lancastrian martial art “Ecky-Thump”) in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art of “Hoots-Toot-ochaye.” After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter Mitchell finally slumped on the settee and died from heart failure. His widow later sent the Goodies a letter thanking them for making Mitchell’s final moments so pleasant
Here is a dramatization of the event.
The BBC had pulled some previous YouTube videos of this episode. Hopefully they will leave this one up.
4 thoughts on “The man who died laughing”
The Goodies did a great Jack and the Beanstalk episode with a cameo by John Cleese. I really like them. They were halfway between Monty Python and Benny Hill if such a place can be imagined. I had to order my Goodie DVDs from the UK.
Another great British comedian is Leonard Rossiter. Have you seen The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin? The series starts leisurely, but once it warms up it’s hilarious.
Another side note… Have you seen the Monkees’ movie Head? Micky Dolenz is a gifted physical comedian. The others just stand around, but he is quite good.
I have seen Head. And in a movie theater to boot. But it was ages ago. I’ll take a fresh look. Thanks for the suggestions.
Clip from Head…