Mike and Bernie Winters really were brothers, though their stage personas were of chalk and cheese.
Like Morcambe & Wise, they performed as a typical comedy duo in which one played 'straight' and the other a clown. Perhaps they were a little too extreme. Bernie was so clownish as to be almost child-like. He had big baleful eyes and buck-teeth. Mike was so straight he was scarcely funny at all, being little more than a foil for his brother.
They worked their way through the system, appearing on such essentials as 'Sunday Night At The London Palladium' until eventually they got their own show. By then, they were so well known that their act was contracted to just 'Mike & Bernie'.
As also-rans to Morcambe & Wise, they were very popular. Perhaps their script-writers were not as good, but however popular they became, they were never particularly memorable. Nevertheless, their show had a prime-time viewing schedule.
After about a decade, something went drastically wrong with their relationship. They had a very public splitting-up and passed into history. I remember Bernie being interviewed at the time and he was almost inconsolable, quite close to tears. He had the shocked, uncomprehending look of an accident victim. His brother, on the other hand, seemed contemptuously indifferent. I believe he thought he had much more talent than he actually possessed, and his continuing brotherly association was holding him back. He moved to the USA but I never heard any more about him.
At the time of writing I cannot think of any particular sketch that justified their success. So it doesn't really surprise me that I'm the first to write a comment.
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