What is a Cooperism?

alex atkins bookshelf quotationsA Cooperism is a one-liner, often punny, that was the trademark of Welsh prop comedian and magician Tommy Cooper (1921-1984). He was certainly colorful and memorable — standing tall, at 6 feet, 4 inches, and wearing his iconic bright red fez, with disheveled dark hair sticking out from the sides of the hat. He was known for performing magic tricks that hilariously went wrong. While he was attempting the magic tricks, he kept his audience laughing with consecutive, rapid-fire one-liners.

Sadly, the final curtain fell on Cooper — literally and figuratively. On April 15, 1984 Cooper suffered a heart attack on live television while performing his act from Her Majesty’s Theatre in Westminster, London. So as not to alarm the audience, who were laughing because they thought his collapse was part of the act, Cooper’s assistant had to drag his body underneath and behind the stage curtains so that he could receive medical care. He was transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital where he was pronounced dead. However, his death was not reported until the next day.

Here are some of Cooper’s most famous Cooperisms:

I slept like a log last night. I woke up in the fireplace.

I’m on a whiskey diet. I’ve lost three days already.

Two fish in a tank, one says to the other “You drive I’ll man the guns.”

I went to the paper shop – it had blown away.

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.

Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks.  They charged one and let the other one off.

A guy walks into a pub with a lump of asphalt on his shoulder.  He says to the barman “Pint please, and one for the road.”

Two rooftop antennas meet on a roof, fall in love, get married. The ceremony was average, but the reception was awesome.

A woman told her doctor, “I’ve got a bad back.” The doctor said, “It’s old age.”  The woman said,”I want a second opinion. The doctor says, “OK. you’re ugly as well.”

A man walked into the doctor’s, he said “I’ve hurt my arm in several places.” The doctor said “well don’t go there any more.”

I went to the corner shop and bought four corners.

Two blondes walked into a building. You’d have thought one would have seen it.

I cleaned the attic with the wife the other day. Now I can’t get the cobwebs out of her hair.

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