The Misadventures of Mr. Wilt (1989) - News Poster

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Wilt-a-Whirl

Wilt by Tom Sharpe

There are a lot of definitions of comedy floating around out there. My personal favorite is the theory of "bad to worse." There's something about watching someone go from bad to worse, but still bring cheerful, even upbeat about it, that just cracks me up. It certainly works in Curb Your Enthusiasm, the reigning heavyweight champ. You'll also see it on The Simpsons. Family Guy, ditto. The hell with the three-act, Robert McKee, story-structure hoo-haa. Instead of getting someone up a tree, throwing sticks at him, and getting him back down again, in comedy, for me, it's just about throwing sticks at him. Then trees. Then the whole frickin' Great North Woods. You get the idea.

Wilt, a book by a Brit named Tom Sharpe, a book written way back in the mid-'80s when women's lib and sexual lib and educational lib were all the rage,
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Mel Smith remembered: 'A gentleman and a scholar, a gambler and a wit'

Griff Rhys Jones talks about his shock at the news of his former comedy partner's death from a heart attack at home

Mel Smith, the British comedian, writer, actor, producer and film director, known for his long and popular television partnership with Griff Rhys Jones, died on Friday at the age of 60. He suffered a heart attack at his London home.

Smith's deadpan style, along with his lugubrious manner and large build, quickly established him as one of the country's favourite television performers in the early 1980s.

Jones, his friend for 35 years, said he had lost "a gentleman and a scholar, a gambler and a wit" and that he was in a state of shock. "I still can't believe this has happened. To everybody who ever met him, Mel was a force for life. He had a relish for it that seemed utterly inexhaustible.

"He inspired love and utter loyalty
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Mel Smith: 1952-2013

News Den Of Geek 20 Jul 2013 - 14:44

The writer, actor and director Mel Smith has died at the age of 60.

Some really sad news to report. The actor, writer and director Mel Smith has died, at the age of 60. The news has now been officially confirmed by the BBC. A heart attack is believed to be the cause of his death.

Smith sprung to fame in the groundbreaking and hugely influential Not The Nine O'Clock News, and then he joined up with Griff Rhys-Jones for a long running and fruitful partnership, the highlight of which being Alas Smith And Jones. The pair's monologues were so popular, they even become part and parcel of the annual build up to the F.A. Cup Final. They also joined together for the movie of Tom Sharpe's Wilt.

Smith co-wrote and starred in the movie Morons From Outer Space too, and he made
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Tom Sharpe obituary

Comic novelist in the mould of Wodehouse and Waugh, he was best known for Wilt and Porterhouse Blue

Tom Sharpe, who has died aged 85, was in the great tradition of English comic novelists and his bawdy style and vulgar approach were said to have made bad taste into an art form – like "PG Wodehouse on acid", in the words of one critic. Sharpe did not start writing comic novels until 1971, when he was 43, but once he got going he gained a large readership. He was a huge bestseller whose hardback editions sold like most authors only sell in paperback.

Wilt (1976) introduced perhaps his most popular character: Henry Wilt, a mild-mannered teacher of literature at the fictional Fenland College of Arts and Technology, who gets involved in a murder investigation. Sharpe claimed that the account of teaching day-release apprentice butchers and tradesmen in classes timetabled as "Meat One" and "Plasterers Two
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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