January 9

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1995 Death of Peter Cook

Peter Cook (1937-95) was the most important comedic figure in the English-speaking world in the last half of the 20th century. He may rightly be considered the godfather of satire and the inspiration for innumerable writers, comedians, and producers.

He began his career in the famous Footlights of Cambridge University, an institution that nurtured such talents as Eric Idle, Hugh Laurie, and Douglas Adams. Cook joined with Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller in 1960 to form the revue “Beyond the Fringe” which was a success in London and Broadway. His financial support of the satirical magazine Private Eye allowed that publication to continue through difficult years. Cook’s partnership with Dudley Moore produced classic sketches and a genial collaboration in movies The Wrong Box and Bedazzled but their relationship foundered in later years.

Cook, like many comedic geniuses, was not a happy man and suffered from alcoholism before dying of a gastro-intestinal haemorrhage. 

Here is Cook in one of his most famous moments.

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