Wednesday 29 July 2015

That's What You Are

It takes a worried man to sing a worried song
In 1974 Peter Sellers gave a very rare television interview to Michael Parkinson. Sellers was a troubled man - and it showed. Parkinson gently cajoled him and with the help of a few props, including his beloved ukulele, and maybe a livener or two beforehand in the Green Room, Sellers soon loosened up and within minutes the pair were getting on like the proverbial house on fire.

Sellers had been a struggling musician before the smell of the greasepaint took him over and among the many stories he told was one that, of course, had happened to a good friend of his. At one of their gigs a smartly dressed chap comes up to the bandstand with a young lady on his arm and asks them if the band can play That's What You Are. The pianist cum band leader, having never heard of it, looks through his book in a vain attempt to find it. 'I'm afraid I don't know it' he confessed. 'What?!' says the man incredulously. 'I'll tell you something, what's the world coming to when a band leader can't play That's What You Are?'

'Maybe if you sing the first couple of bars' said the band leader, 'we may be able to improvise.'

'Very well'' the man says, clearing his throat. 'Unforgettable - that's what you are.'


  1. That is so Peter Sellers. It’s the sort of very clever humour that seems to be sadly lacking in any modern comic performers.

  2. That's right. Sellers didn't tell gags, he told stories.