For his many friends and fans, Peter Cook was quite simply the funniest man they'd ever encountered. And nearly eight years since his death, his status as one of Britain's greatest comedians shows no sign of shrinking. This collection ranges from Cook's first writing to transcripts of his late, great TV appearances.
Peter Cook may have had problems that prevented him ever fully achieving all that his comic genius was capable of, but that side of the writer and comedian is not the point of Tragically, I Was an Only Twin: The Complete Peter Cook, which is a quite marvellous anthology of the man's writings.
Cook's reputation has continued to flourish since his death, and many consider him (along with Spike Milligan) one of the greatest comic writers this country has produced. Although his public face was always the quaffing, sardonic commentator, he was, in fact, a writer who simply never stopped creating new sketches and articles for both public consumption and his own satisfaction. Many of these pieces have not been published before, and many have only been broadcast once. This collection brings together many high spots of Cook's career: from his early success with Beyond the Fringe (and his initial meetings with Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore) to his time as an éminence grise behind the magazine Private Eye.
Needless to say, all the marvellous EL Whisty monologues are here, as well as classic Pete and Dud routines, and even the more scabrous collaborations between Cook and Moore as the foul-mouthed Derek and Clive. The fact that Cook's Milligan-like drawings complement the text makes this a truly cherishable volume. --Barry Forshaw