Gerard Hoffnung - Cartoonist, Humorist and Musician Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Gerard Hoffnung - Cartoonist, Humorist and Musician

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Naturualised British cartoonist, humorist and musician, Gerard Hoffnung was born in Germany in 1925, and although he died just 34 years later he managed to appear to be a crusty old man for most of his life.

His most famous recorded item is probably his 'barrel' monologue, one of his many spoof letters, this one purporting to be from a builder excusing himself from work. Space and copyright forbid complete reproduction herein, but a taster will give you a pretty good idea:

'At this point I must have lost my presence of mind. I let go of the rope and the barrel, [freed of his weight] descended...'

It's a shame that this work is one of his most famous recordings because his first love was music. His Festival of Music (followed by the Interplanetary and Astronautical music festivals) include fine performances on the vacuum cleaner and Vespa, and the exceptional 'Concerto for Double Bass Tuba and Piccolo'.

His cartoons have a distinctive style, often with a musical theme, and are still beloved of musicians everywhere. Few people achieve as much as Hoffnung did even though he had such a tragically short life.

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