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Can we have an Academy of Comedy please...

Mike Brown (our much missed news hound from Liverpool) wrote a compelling letter in an earlier Newsletter (no: 128 October 2009 issue) calling for some kind of Comedy Academy, a showcase for all that's good in British Humour. Sadly Mike passed away before anything came of his plea.

Read what he said;

[rather than re-type his letter verbatim, I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing it with the addition of my own words on the subject, purely to make it an interesting read on behalf of our world wide members and those of you out there in the ether who just like to read about the Goon Show in general.]

"Having just agreed to house the Society's vast book collection, it occurred to me that the archives in themselves are just too huge for one person to be in control of. Along with other comedy fan clubs out there in the Universe, we all have the same problem. Lots of lovely preserved material (tapes, films, books, photos etc) but nowhere to display it (or store it) for the benefit of future generations. For the GSPS itself our archive is enormous as has been seen at previous Conventions and the logistics of getting it all in one place for the members to really appreciate its scope and grandeur, is, well, nigh on impossible.

The Hancock Society, the Steptoe & Son people, the Peter Sellers Society, we all of us in some form or another have vast collections of precious material which needs to be, nay should be, properly looked after and respected for what it has brought, and still continues to bring, to the world.

The truly ideal solution would be the establishment of an Academy of Comedy, we all understand the importance of comedy to everyone, yet no such institution exists.

It could be where the History of Comedy would be created and where societies like ours could house their collections for members of the public to visit. For researchers, writers and fans, all would be welcome.

Where a Library of Comedy could be founded, with books, CDs, films and so on which would be available to all, with links to the BFI with all their recent input into restoring old British comedy films back to their former glory. Projects could be worked on jointly. TV companies would be able to use the facilities when making documentaries such as Channel 4's Heroes of Comedy series.

A Comedy Hall of Fame could be established.

A comedy club could be created to give young performers a start in life, where, like Paul McCartney's LIPA in Liverpool, comedy professionals could give tutorials and master-classes in the finer art of  all things comedic.

The list is endless and only goes to show that such an Establishment is long overdue.

What we need is support, from you, the general masses, and from you, the already famous celebrities, some of whom are great Goon fans' already.

Let's get this petition going, let's get an Academy of Comedy into the spotlight, sign up now, just email your support to and let's see what we can achieve.

From Chris Butcher by email March 2010.
"I'd like to add my voice to the Academy of Comedy proposal. Also, what form would this proposed Academy take?  Would it be at a University, or in a purpose-built unit somewhere. Would it be possible to get original work appraised?  I'd be interested in any response via this article, thanks."

From Keith Bennett  by email February 2010
"Can I sign-up to the Campaign for an Academy of Comedy. Thanks."