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Bernard Manning
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Comedian
    (August 13, 1930-June 18, 2007)
    Born in Manchester, England, United Kingdom
    British stand up comedian
    Appeared on the Granada TV show 'The Comedians' (1971)
    Fixture on the Northern England Working Men's Club Circuit
    Owned and frequently appeared at the Embassy in Manchester
    He weighed over 300 pounds.
    In interviews, he would constantly boast about his wealth and his Rolls Royce.
    His act featured jokes based on ethnic and racial stereotyping.
    He said he would never use the word 'wogs' in his act, but 'niggers' and 'coons' were acceptable.
    He was denounced in Parliament after he was secretly taped telling racist jokes at a police function (1996).
    He was banned from performing at the seaside resort of Weymouth (2002).
    He told a reporter, 'I am an admirer of Adolf Hitler. Not everything about him of course.... But I admire him for the things he got right, which I reckon was about 50%.'
    He denied being racist, saying 'I get up on stage and do an act. It's not me, just as an actor playing a part in a film isn't the character.'
    He lived next door to an Indian doctor and his family, who repeatedly defended Manning in the press as 'a perfect gentleman.'
    His biographer said, 'He was a man of his age -- and as people of his age went, he was relatively un-racist.'
    He said, 'I dragged myself up by my bootlaces. I don't drink or smoke, I don't take drugs. I have never been a womaniser. I was brought up right with good parents and I have never been in trouble or harmed no-one.'
    He refused to tone down his act, costing him television gigs.
    If the audience reacted badly to his Jewish jokes, he would note, 'One of my relatives died at Auschwitz.' And then add, 'He fell out of one of the watchtowers.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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