Tuesday, 23 April 2013
He was clearly more famous in his native country in latter years, but Jonathan Winters was part of that generation of American comedians who broke the mould in the 1950s and 1960s. I remember BBC Radio introducing us to him along with Lennie Bruce, Elaine May, Bob Newhart and Shelly Burman through Monday Night at Home. It isn't obvious why Winters failed to establish a transatlantic audience where the others succeeded, especially as he inspired a succeeding generation who we do know. Perhaps Winters' references were too local - rather like May, who is better known here, like her then comedy partner Mike Nichols, for her film work.