My Comedy Hero: Jessica Fostekew on her many, many funny faves
- Brian Donaldson
- 17 April 2020
The stand-up, actor, writer and host of the Hoovering podcast has something of a struggle in naming less than 35 comedy heroes
I'm going rogue and listing a sort of Desert Island Discs of comedy heroes because it's given me a wonky heart trying to just pick one. The first comedian I laughed out loud to was Tommy Cooper, on the TV. It had to have been re-runs because he died when I was one and I wasn't laughing at his ghost. I used to do impressions of him to make my family laugh like the precocious, annoying, creepy only child that I was.
Next was Richard Curtis and Ben Elton's Blackadder II, The Third and Goes Forth. Oh GOD. That's the first time I would have lines running around my head for hours and days and weeks afterwards. Baldrick learning maths: 'if you have two beans and two beans, how many beans is that?' 'A very small casserole'. Or or or or or the one where Percy makes 'PURE GREEN'.
I went on to laugh at everything Rik Mayall did, obsessive about Drop Dead Fred and Bottom especially. His physicality, his penchant for the grotesque. But I couldn't put him as my only hero because at the same time I'd fallen so head over heels for Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Oh god, I'm running out of words, so I'm doing it like this from now on …
Tommy Cooper. Dawn French. Rik Mayall. Kathy Burke. Jennifer Saunders. Tony Robinson. Harry Enfield. Ade Edmondson. Ben Elton and Richard Curtis. Victoria Wood. The Fast Show and everyone who sailed in her. David Walliams and Matt Lucas (early stuff). The League of Gentlemen. Julia Davis. Miranda Hart. Sue Perkins. Mel too. Monkey Dust. Steve Coogan, OH GOD, STEVE COOGAN. Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes. Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt. Oh GOD, I NEARLY FORGOT NEWMAN AND BADDIEL. And now because I haven't even nodded to stand-up, and stand-up is my LIFE, these are here all for mad, different reasons: Bill Hicks, Sara Pascoe, Katherine Ryan, Lou Sanders, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Doug Stanhope, Deborah Frances-White, Fern Brady and Jen Brister.
Oh god, there's so many more. I've found this very stressful. Dolly's coat of many colours? That's me but with all my heroes.