The Magic of Tommy Cooper
Any magician wishing to add comedy to their show should watch and study the antics of the late Tommy Cooper, known in the history of magic as someone who mixed his comedy with magic tricks that always went wrong. Born in Glamorgan Wales in 1921, he and family soon moved to Devon in the UK. His aunt gave him a magic set at age 8 that he spent hours perfecting. His brother David opened a magic shop in 1930 that was to further influence Tommy’s career. With the advent of the Second World War he signed up and served under General Montgomery in Egypt. He joined the NAAFI, entertaining the troops, revolving around a comedy act that involved bungled magic. Performing one night in Cairo he reached out and stole a passing waiter’s red, fez hat that got huge laughs and became synonymous with his act. He went on to become one of the funniest variety concert performers of all time and would perform as many as 50 shows a week. On Christmas Eve 1947 he began his professional career as a music hall entertainer in the United Kingdom.