OK, so we all know the tired old trope that everyone in Liverpool thinks they’re a comedian, but the city does have a rich tradition of producing comedic talent.
I’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most famous comedians from the city here (ironically, this piece isn’t funny….)
- Ken Dodd: Sir Ken Dodd was a legendary English comedian, & performer, best known for his stand-up comedy and unique style characterised by his bucked front teeth and wild hair, the use of his ‘tickling stick’ and the famous ‘Diddy Men’. Hailing from Knotty Ash, it was not uncommon for Dodd’s shows to last more than 3 hours! Watch him here.
- John Bishop: Contrary to local belief that he is from Runcorn (he moved there when he was 10…), John Bishop is Scouse, having been born in Mill Road Hospital, West Derby. Gaining widespread popularity for his observational humour and long-form storytelling, he is a hugely successful National comic.
- Jimmy Tarbuck: Jimmy Tarbuck is a veteran comedian and television host who was prominent in British entertainment throughout the 70s & 80s. His daughter Liza also subsequently became a TV host and entertainer in her own right in the 00s,
- Stan Boardman: Stan Boardman is a Liverpool-born comedian known for his stand-up comedy and television appearances. He gained fame in the 1970s and 1980s. At his peak, Boardman was a national TV personality known for his material about WW2.
- Tom O’Connor: Tom O’Connor was a comedian and television presenter born in Bootle, Liverpool 1939. He was known for his quick wit and hosted several TV game shows like ‘Name That Tune’.
- Alexei Sayle: Born in Anfield in 1952, Alexei Sayle is known for his alternative comedy style. He was a crucial figure in the alternative comedy movement of the 1980s, appearing in shows such as ‘The Young Ones’.
- Les Dennis: Hailing from Garston, on the south end of Liverpool, Dennis was most famous for hosting the hit quiz show Family Fortunes. Born in 1953, he forged his showbiz career in the clubs as a stand-up comedian and an impressionist before breaking onto TV. There are some Family Fortunes classics here Family Fortunes classics.
- Mick Miller: Mick Miller was a prominent comedian across the clubs and on TV in a decades-long career. Mick was born in Liverpool in 1950 and has a more traditional style than other names. Known for his trademark silly hair and his daft jokes, he has (in my opinion) one of the funniest, legendary ‘bits’ in comedy, known as the Noddy sketch. You can watch this here.
- Adam Rowe: Hailing from Dovecot, Adam Rowe is the youngest on the list by a fair distance, at just 31 years old. He has grown a huge following over his career, which has already spanned over a decade. Adam hosts the hit comedy podcast ‘Have A Word’ with fellow comedian Dan Nightingale.
- Freddy Starr: Freddy Starr was a British comedian and impressionist who gained fame in the 1970s and 1980s. Born on January 9, 1943, in Liverpool, England, he became known for his eccentric and often unpredictable comedic style, involving interactions with the watching crowds. Starr’s performances included a mix of stand-up comedy, impressions, and musical acts.