Just this morning I received the devastating news that a good pal and comedy writing legend, Charlie Adams, passed away. When I say ‘good pal’, Charlie and I only met once in June of this year, but had the modern equivalent of a friendship – starting with a Tweet, moving on to a LinkedIn hello and then an eighteen month series of emails where he imparted a wealth of comedy writing genius and advice.
From the moment I learned of his passing, I spent a good while reading through all of our email chats again, wanting to ‘hear’ his voice again and have a good cry into the bargain, but finding nothing but laugh after laugh after laugh. Because that was what Charlie always brought to my day and I loved him for it. I only wish I’d held tighter on that first hug that turned out to be our last.
Charlie wrote for all the greats – Bob Hope, Bob Monkhouse, Les Dawson, Paul O’Grady to name but a few. As a comedy writer myself, I once complained to him about comedians taking my work and then refusing to give me credit or a recommendation. He told me simply that as a comedy writer you can become a person known by everybody in the comedy business and nobody in the comedy watching world, shortly before telling me to stop complaining and get back to gag writing. ‘Oh,’ he added. ‘And stop giving your stuff away for nothing. Bob Monkhouse once nearly broke my arm when he heard me giving a free gag to a fellow comedian.’
Many of you reading this won’t have heard of Charlie. Let me tell you all he was a genius, a lovely, giving man and in my most humble opinion – as well as the opinion of those really in the know – he was the king of the one liner.
He was an avid reader of my blog, offering a guest post himself – TOP TIPS FOR COMEDY WRITING – as well as the odd comment to keep me in check. The blog posts I toiled and sweated over to make funny, he would trump with a single comment at the bottom – see here: http://hell4heather.com/2013/04/18/treadmill-fails/
And when I told him, just one week ago, that I’d finally secured an agent for my novel, he told me, ‘we all knew you’d do it.’ It was said in the very last email I received from him, alongside his assurance that he wasn’t ill after I’d asked after his health. So at least one of these things was a lie 😉
An excerpt from one of his recent COMCOMCOM blogs:
‘My Dad always had a good attitude to health matters. If I’d been put to bed to recover from an ailment the minute he got in from work he’d come to my room. Still in his overalls and carrying his tool bag – he was some sort of engineer. He’d take a stub of pencil, stick it under my tongue, hold my wrist and look off into the distance, counting. Then he’d remove the pencil, study it and say ‘Hmmm, 2B, that’s normal.’
Other times he’d lay a cool hand on my forehead and say ‘Auch, you’re dying fine.’
I laughed myself better.’
I wish you could have done that this time, C.
I still can’t believe I am writing this – RIP Charlie Adams. I will never forget you XXX
READ COMEDY PRODUCER & BUSINESS PARTNER ALAN NIXON’S TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE HERE