Cannon and Ball

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1978 to 1990 on ITV (LWT) and also ITV (Yorkshire)

Sorry girls, they're taken. By Jesus.“TO BE HONEST,” they would proclaim, “the fuss that is sometimes made when we’re playing the theatres scares us. It’s like The Beatles.” The Bootleg Beatles, that is. Walking (just) embodiment of what went wrong with comedy in the 80s, now born-again Christians but still happy to lap it up at the Blackpool Winter Gardens. Enjoyed astonishing exposure off the back of amusingly failed appearances on BRUCE FORSYTH’S BIG NIGHT doing sub-sub-sub Morecambe and Wise variety with a curly-haired noisy little sod with braces (“Rock on, Tommy!”) and tall dull stooge. Own show weirdly mutated into a sitcom for a bit, then ended up – oh god – Cannon And Ball’s Casino with a young Steve Coogan cashing his chips. Not the nadir, though; that was spin-off film The Boys In Blue, done ten years after ITV spin-off films had a) stopped being funny and b) just stopped. An appearance in 2000 onĀ  J** D*******’sĀ Generation Game was arduous: Cannon sings song “for all the ladies and gentlemen here tonight”, Ball accompanies on toy trumpet, Cannon gets gradually more agitated with Ball’s erratic behaviour, audience sympathises with Ball… They hadn’t learned.


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15 responses to “Cannon and Ball”

  1. Arthur Nibble says:

    You forgot to mention their security guard ‘comedy’ series, Plaza Patrol – as funny as eating pins – and I can’t say I blame you.

  2. Glenn Aylett says:

    if they were supposed to be the new Morecambe and Wise, as were the equally hopeless Lenny and Jerry, then either they bribed Morecambe and Wise to say this or ITV was so short of comedic talent in the eighties they would say anything to get viewers. Another reason why I was never struck on LWT and was a Thames man.

  3. Bob says:

    oh yes Plaza Patrol, christ I forgot that (thankfully). Were they worse than Les Dennis & Dustin Gee though? Probably.

  4. Glenn Aylett says:

    Les Dennis and Dustin Gee were quite good, their impersonations of female cast members of Corrie were very good. Cannon and Ball are only remembered now for that irritating catchphrase Rock on Tommy. Repeats on ITV3 are unlikely.,

  5. Jakey Doodles says:

    Why the hell did ITV keep giving the terminally unfunny Cannon and Ball airtime?. I have had viruses that have been more entertaining than them. By far the unfunniest people ever to grace our screens with the possible exception of Jo Brand and Hardeep Singh kolhi

  6. iStuart says:

    For anyone lucky enough never to have experienced the humour delivered by this pair of Uber dull gits, it falls considerably lower than you could expect at the funeral of your wife and newborn twins after they’d all died in the house fire you could have saved all three from if you hadn’t been on the piss down the local. They are that bad.

  7. Rock on Tommy! What a very good idea! Now where’s a beach when need one?

  8. The only laugh this pair of twats have ever given me is indirectly, when a letter to Viz described Tommy Cannon as having “a face like a kicked-in fridge door, the sour faced bastard”.

  9. Sid says:

    Bobby Ball lives in Blackpool and can often be seen strutting around the town – He claims to have found Jesus but that hasn’t stopped him being a rude, obnoxious, foul mouthed little git.

  10. DarrenM says:

    If you think the TV show was like undergoing dental surgery, you should have seen them live in panto.

  11. iStuart says:

    In their favour it it is well known that the regular appearance of these two men on our TVs accelerated considerably, the invention of the wireless (or Infrared) remote control and made redundant the previous method of removing them from the television by throwing a brick at the screen.

  12. Morgan says:

    People! You have to remember the eighties were a period of great social division: Thatcher, the miners, the rise of the yuppie, North v South, the far right, militant tendency. Cannon and Ball brought this great nation together, everyone thought they were shite.

  13. David says:

    Bobby ball is the most unfunny person ever

  14. Droogie says:

    Roy Walker told an anecdote about appearing on a Radio 2 comedy panel quiz show a few years back and cringing at Ball’s obnoxious behaviour to the other panellists. The show had a mix of old school comedians and newer younger acts. Apparently every time Ball made a joke and got a mild laugh from the audience, he’d turn to the newer acts and say “What’s it like to see a REAL comedian at work?” with no hint of irony. You’d think the bitter little twot would’ve been grateful for some rare paid work.

  15. George White says:

    A Yank friend of mine recently watched the Boys in Blue, and asked “why were they popular?”
    I had to explain to him that Ball’s obnoxious aggressive character was something “new” on the club scene, and therefore they became popular.

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