Mr Bernard Manning: And so he is dead…May God rest his soul?


I can remember as a young child watching with family members, Mr. Manning on TV telling his jokes.  There would always be a silence that I could never understand. There were even cases where I would laugh but I learnt later, much to my own embarrassment that the jokes were based on me, and many other people like me!  I thought there was something wrong as he was popular and enjoyed by millions of people. Why couldn’t I see the funny side of Me?   Then I realised there wasn’t anything wrong after all I was able to enjoy comedians like Tommy Cooper, Morecombe and Wise, The Goodies etc.  So a sense of humour did exist!! 

 But I thought jokes, humour was meant to be shared and to involve as well include, but Manning’s (and to a certain extent Jim Davidson) humour succeeded in excluding and offending sections of the community.   

 Did Mr. Manning expect that I should be able to identify with his humour?  That he should see no reason why I shouldn’t ‘take it as a joke’?  I always felt that underneath all those jokes was his contempt and disdain for minorities and disabled people; and the fact that he was from a Jewish background, makes me wonder if, by picking on the black community, it was a way of divesting himself of his own inadequacies and inferiority complex.

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5 thoughts on “Mr Bernard Manning: And so he is dead…May God rest his soul?

  1. is he any more racist,and picking on the disabled than say Little Britain or catherine tate or league of gentleman or pretty much every comedy ever made.

    fawlty towers …………racist?………..manuel charachter and the german episode.

    ann robinson on room 101….the welsh should be put in there ,she said.

    do you think the programme would have been transmitted if she had said blacks or jews or muslims or scots.

    well i think she would have got away with the scots.

    why is it more acceptable for a non scot to wear a see you jimmy hat(complete with ginger hair) than any non black to don minstrel make upi?

    i have no idea like,just askin.

  2. I figure he was most certainly racist but the lack of popularity in later years demonstrates that such racism is out-dated and non-mainstream. But the saddest thing was really that his jokes just weren’t funny.

  3. Thanks for your comments. Yes, I have to admit that Britain/England has moved on, thank God. But such ‘jokes’ did have an impact on me/my identity etc. It is interesting that you say his humour/jokes were ‘non-mainstream’. But if that is the case, then why is Jim Davidson still so popular??

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