The following ridiculous letter — and I mean that in the best possible sense — was written in 1982 by chat show host Michael Parkinson, and sent to a friend and much-loved comedian who was an interviewee of his on numerous occasions: Spike Milligan. I’m afraid I have nothing to offer in terms of context, however after reading a few lines of this enjoyably absurd missive you’ll come to realise that such a thing really isn’t important.
Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Bonhams.
16th March, 1982.
Mr. Spike Milligan,
Dear Spike Milligan,
The last man I know who stood in front of a mirror looking at his wedding appendage was my Uncle Athelston. He went on a self improvement course involving weights and ended up with a very long appendage but very short bandy legs and a hunch back. Moreover, I must object to you mentioning my mother in the same breath as your appendage. What would your own dear mother, far away in Woy-Woy think if she were to learn of your behaviour? How could she hold her head high as Australia’s first lady when her son is impersonating anothers mother? Your trouble Sir is you care more about woodpeckers and badgers than you do about people. I’ll bet you don’t stand naked in front of a mirror while thinking of the sperm whale! You are an imposter sir, a charlatan and ne’er do well. No wonder Her Gracious Majesty never knighted you like she did that nice Mr. Secombe. She knows what she’s doing, unlike some I could mention.
Yours in sport,
P.S. Is the Oliver Reed you mention in your letter the big fat one or the short silly one who keeps snivelling?
P.P.S. Have just been informed that a sudden attack of the squitters prevented you from meeting me for dinner. That’s what happens when you wear frocks and sit on cold doorsteps. We must stop not meeting like this. I will contact you on Mothering Sunday or when your piles return to their home. Whichever is the soonest and the most pleasant!