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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bob Monkhouse now (a)Live on the Tube

Early last month,
CBS Outdoor, the people who manage the ads that you see on the London Underground, announced the winners of their Underground Writers Competition. The overall winning campaign was the concept of comedian Bob Monkhouse talking to commuters after his death from Prostate Cancer. Well, every pun intended, the ad is now alive and well on the Tube itself.

Bob Monkhouse Live on the Tube

It was fab to see it actually on the Tube, which was part of the prize for the agency that created the ad - The Communications Agency.

Bob Monkhouse (who died in 2003) was an all time great comedian - the godfather of the cheesy joke who had enough of a sense of his own cheesiness to survive (just about) into the 21st century. He left a living obituary as part of a TV ad as knew his prostate cancer would kill him.

The underground treatment works perfectly with Bob pushing up daisies and making jokes about the Northern Line. "To cut a long story short I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and two years later I was dead (It's a bit like travelling on the Northern Line only quieter)".

I said it before and I'll say it again, it's a brill campaign. How many of us will ever be lucky enough to continue to make people laugh after we've died? How many of us will know that we're also raising awareness of how to fight the disease that killed us, at the same time?

Seeing the ad in the flesh brought up a mixture of emotions in me. I genuinely get upset when comedians die. There's not enough laughter in this world & I can honestly remember where I was when I heard that many comedy legends had died.

The ad made me think of all the people I know who have died of some form of cancer. It made me think of all the people I know who have died. It made me think about my own death. Yet Bob's cheery face pointing out at me from the grave, making a corny joke about having a finger inserted in his nether regions, made me silently chuckle too.

Rest in peace Bob & keep cracking jokes while you're 6ft under.


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