Mike & Bernie Winters
Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.
The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.
A3 Pencil Print-Price £20.00-Purchase
A4 Pencil Print-Price £15.00-Purchase
*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*
All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.
P&P is not included in the above prices.
In an industry where comedy double acts have always been an integral mainstay, certain partnerships – while undoubtedly successful – have nevertheless found their talent eclipsed by those all too rare true giants of the genre. In the case of brothers Mike and Bernie Winters, they had the rare misfortune to find themselves standing in the shadows cast by the titanic comedy duo of the all-powerful and incomparable…Morecambe and Wise.
In the pre-television era, Music Hall comedians thrived. There were hundreds of such venues around the UK and a comedian could sustain a lengthy career with the same act as they moved continually around the circuit of available halls. Television offered national exposure but also the professional need to constantly evolve. The more resourceful acts started to employ scriptwriters in order to change their gags and routines more regularly. What they couldn’t change though was their ‘schtick’. Once the gimmick, comic routine, and style of performance was well known, comedians needed to explore fresh nuances to their personalities or perish. Some were highly successful – one thinks of how Eddie Braben changed and significantly improved the dynamics in the Morecambe and Wise relationship after their initial wave of success in the 60’s – whilst others remained static and faded away. The Winters brothers fitted into neither camp, yet sustained a near twenty year career on prime time television.
Mike was the straight man whose main, in fact only, skill was playing the clarinet. When this instrument was inevitably produced, audiences took their cue to exit the living room and prepare a warm brew. Whatever his musical skills, Mike just wasn’t top drawer. In contrast, Dudley Moore was a pianistic virtuoso whose musical interludes enhanced the comedy shows he recorded with Peter Cook. In contrast, Bernie was the funny man who played a guy who was ‘not the full shilling.’ Bernie would wear a battered old coat, a bowler hat pulled down over his head and had a number of catchphrases (well, three) which took the place of real gags. His most famous one was ‘Eeeeeeeehhhhhh!’ Another was ‘I’ll smash your face in!’ and the other one was when he pulled Mike’s (face)cheeks apart and said “Eeeehhh, choochie face!’ And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, was about it. Their career always suffered because Morecambe and Wise were so much better, and clearly had superior scriptwriters. Of course, being critically dismissive requires humility, for I’ve never been famous and you – dear reader – probably haven’t either. Whatever the Winter Brothers position in the pantheon of comedic greats, there’s still a story to tell…………….