TOP comic Phil Cool bids farewell to the stand up circuit with his final live tour, which stops at Venue Cymru on February 22 and Galeri Caernarfon on April 5.
While Phil will soon release his autobiography, children’s audio books and work on song writing, this will be the last chance to catch him on tour.
How did you discover your talent for mimicry?
When I was at school I used to take the mickey out of the teachers, and when I left, I would do impressions of the foreman or my boss and make all my workmates laugh.
Then I started doing the cowboys like John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and James Stewart, and that’s when I found I had a flair for it. As the years went on my repertoire expanded and expanded.
Which impressions do you enjoy the most?
I’ve had great fun with lots of people, and of course Rolf Harris is the one I’m known for.
I’ve done Rolf Harris impressions every which way, from painting the Sistine Chapel to painting the Queen gags.
I’m still doing Rolf because he’s still going strong and he’s such an interesting character that is just tailored made for me.
I know Rolf and he really appreciates me having a little jibe at him.
He dragged me up on stage at his 70th birthday party, and got me to do him.
President Bush, I quite enjoyed doing - all the presidents actually. Ronny Reagan I used to like because he was a dozy beggar, wasn’t he?
That gormless expression and the “search me look”, (Phil does a spot-on Reagan voice) “I didn’t know what was going on!” - that sort of thing.
I’m having a go at Obama, but it’s quite difficult for obvious reasons - he’s young and slim and I’m not!
I tend in the act to stay with the iconic figures, like David Attenborough in the jungle, surrounded by all these weird animals.
What will you miss about touring?
Well I won’t miss the live experience because I’ll still do gigs around where I live, folk clubs and stuff like that.
Going out on tour and doing proper theatres, I’ll probably miss that because my ambition was to make the transition from doing nightclubs, strip joints and political clubs and get into the theatres.
They’re built for the job so I’ll miss that.
Comedy fans might not know you as a songwriter...
I started off as a songwriter, and I had these notions of writing songs which would be covered by famous, and I would just sit at home waiting for all these big to land on the doormat.
Of course it doesn’t work out like that, so I got up on stage and sung them myself, but the comedy took over.
My song writing took a back seat to the comedy. Being what it is, it’s like a sledgehammer to anything delicate like song writing.
I play guitar and mouth organ, and I’m a big fan of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Donovan and all that sixties stuff.
I still write songs - as we speak I’ve got two guiitars beside me, and I’m going to try and reintroduce the songs into my shows.
For more information, visit www.venuecymru.co.uk or www.galericaernarfon.com.