by Hans ten Cate
Wednesday, 27 March 2002

British-born actor and comedian Dudley Moore died at his home in New Jersey this morning.

What a blow to British comedy. First Spike and now Dudley. Both paved paths for the Pythons to do their stuff.

All of the British Pythons began their comedy careers in the revue shows put on by university societies, such as the Cambridge Footlights. Undergraduate revues attracted an audience beyond the college walls in the 1960s - thanks in part to the success of Oxbridge old boys Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett (see photo left). The quartet's celebrated 1960 show Beyond the Fringe had concentrated attention on the comic talents yet to 'come down' from the two respected institutions. Beyond the Fringe is often held up as the best and funniest college revue ever.

The Pythons have frequently cited the influence of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as well as the Goons. So another chapter has quickly ended.

The April 16, 2001 tribute to Dudley Moore at Carnegie Hall. Eric Idle (left) participated in person while John Cleese provided a video taped speech

Last year, April 16, John Cleese and Eric Idle participated in a Star-Studded Benefit Tribute For Dudley Moore entitled "A Man For All Seasons." Eric Idle and "Saturday Night Live's" Jimmy Fallon together performed the famous one-legged "Tarzan" sketch Moore originated and John Cleese, via a video link from Los Angeles, told the audience: 'Dudley is one of the few men who makes me look good because he has been married more times than I have!'

I'll never forget that when Peter Cook died in 1995, Moore, upon hearing the news, reacted "Oh God. There's a fucking hole in the universe."

Now there are two.