I just found out that Ronnie Corbett died. He was 85 years old, so it isn’t a big surprise. I know him from some movies, most notably one of my favorite undervalued films, Fierce Creatures. Before I go on, let me just say that people ignore this movie because it wasn’t A Fish Called Wanda. But it is wonderful. And the reason it is so wonderful is because its filled with so many great characters, like Corbett.
Here is a brief scene from it. Corbett is at the beginning and the end of it. The idea is that a Rupert Murdoch like character has purchased this little zoo so John Cleese is put in charge of making it profitable. He wants to make the zoo “dangerous” and so get rid of all the nice animals like the anteater. So the staff stage a bunch of fake accidents to get him to keep the animals. Eventually, he falls in love with the animals and the zoo. It’s totally my kind of movie: silly but extremely sweet.
Mostly, I know Ronnie Corbett from the sketch comedy show The Two Ronnies. But it wasn’t the show so much. It was that every episode had an “armchair monologue” where he would tell a joke. But the joke didn’t matter. It was just an excuse for him to be amazingly funny getting around to telling the joke. In this case, it is the parrot joke, which is one of those great jokes you can tell your grandmother.
But most of the lead up to the joke is about Ronnie Corbett’s wife. Why? Who knows?! That’s what’s so great about these bits. But it is interesting to noted that they married 30 May 1966, which means that they were just about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Corbett was diagnosed with ALS just one year ago today, and he died, as is appropriate, surrounded by his family.
Death is not such a bad thing. But it is sad when a great person like Ronnie Corbett is taken from us.