Last night I made Eric Morecambe’s son laugh. I’m chalking this down as a personal achievement.
(It was probably out of politeness, to be fair. I don’t care: I’m still proud of it.)
The location of this momentous event was St Albans' Alban Arena (try saying that after a few drinks). I was there to watch my friend Bob in the exceptional Olivier-Award-winning one-man show Morecambe. I’d tell you to go and see it, but you can’t, as yesterday was the final performance. If you missed it, you missed out on a treat. Bob’s portrayal of the comic legend is uncanny; as Eric’s daughter Gail said herself in a brief post-show Q & A: “Even his shadow looks like my dad’s”.
It was during the interval that I managed to score a couple of laughs from one of Eric's descendents. His son Gary was sitting front of house, signing copies of his latest book on the nation’s favourite duo (not us). I’ve read a couple of his books about his dad in the past and found them fascinating, so I couldn’t miss out on the chance to say hello.
Our conversation was brief, but lovely. He was very friendly. I also surprised him by saying that I owned a copy of one of his first books, ‘The Illustrated Morecambe’.
“Blimey, that’s an old one” he said. “Where did you manage to get that?”
What made him laugh doesn’t bear repeating. It doesn’t matter. To briefly amuse the son of one of the funniest and most beloved men to walk the planet is something to cherish.
(I promise he was laughing with and not at me.)