CooperToons HomePage Caricatures Alphabetical Index Random Selection Previous Next

Rob Brydon

Rob Brydon

The impression par excellance of Welsh comedian and impersonator Rob Brydon - that is Rob is an impersonator who is Welsh, not a comedian who impersonates the Welsh - is his "Small Man Trapped Inside a Box". It has to be heard to be believed.

At this writing, though, Rob, is host of the BBC's Would I Lie to You where team captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell try to weed out the truth from the claims of the other team. With such volatile and vocal captains the discussions gets quite heady and only Rob's moderation brings them back to the task on hand and averts total mayhem.

Among his many other appearances Rob has been a frequent guest on Qi, Stephen Fry's quite interesting panel/comedy/celebrity quiz program. Because Rob's reaction to barbs and zingers hurled his way is one of wounded sorrow rather than spittle flinging anger, he is a frequent butt of Stephen's pointed but good natured ribbing. Once Rob mentioned his father and Anthony Hopkins grew up in the same street in Cardiff.

"In England," Stephen said, "we usually live in houses."

After making a comment on how the atomic bomb once went off in Cardiff and did £7 worth of damage, Stephen turned toward Rob. "Rob," Stephen asked, "what's the difference between a Carlisle Surprise, a Reverse Canterbury Pleasure, and a sheep tied to a lamppost in Cardiff?"

Somewhat wearily Rob said, "Now this is another example of the institutionalized racism which is accepted when it's directed towards the Welsh."

"Is this a reference to the joke about what is a sheep tied to a lamp post in Cardiff?" Rob asked before answering. "'It's a leisure center.'"

"Well," Rob continued, "I'm not really aware of what a Carlisle Surprise is - other than the shock of finding yourself at Carlisle.'"

"Which is surely," Rob added, "more of a delight than anything else.'"

"Yes," agreed Stephen, "a total delight."

The quite interesting answer, we learn, is a Carlisle Surprise and a Reverse Canterbury Pleasure are permutations of tones used in bell ringing.

We're not so sure about the sheep part, though.