Today is the 57th birthday of the brilliant comedian Stephen Fry. I celebrated his birthday last year in the birthday post. But I didn’t talk about him much. (That was the way with birthday posts at that time.) So he deserves a real birthday.
At 17, he stole the credit card of a family friend. If you believe Wikipedia, this was a mistake. Listening to Fry talk about on a fairly dreadful documentary, I didn’t get the impression that it was such a naive act. But it could be that Fry has an incentive to make it sound worse than it was—like reformed Christians who claim to have been Satanists before they found God. Regardless, he spent three months in jail for the crime.
But unlike, say, a young black man in the United States, Fry was given another chance. Plus, he’s incredibly smart. So after a bit of time at City College Norwich, he got a scholarship to Queens’ College, Cambridge. That was where he met Hugh Laurie, who doesn’t have nearly as interesting a back story (his father has five names). The rest, as I say all the time, is history.
Here is a sketch from A Bit of Fry and Laurie, “Welcome to the Private Police Force.” It is making fun of the privatization of services and the Americanization of Britain. It’s very funny and brilliant satire:
Happy birthday Stephen Fry!