Hancock & Barnard

"It is 1958. It is also Soho, and the area's resident wit and prime soak Mr Jeffrey Barnard is on a jag with Tony Hancock, Britain's leading comic and eponymous star of TV and radio's Hancock's Half Hour.

"Despite his national fame, Hancock is so absolutely soused that it takes some time before they can find a taxi which will take him home -- the cabbies' reluctance due in no small part to the fact that Hancock has quite obviously pissed his pants. Finally they stop a cab and Hancock immediately collapses onto the floor. Barnard, leaning against the door, is surprised to see Hancock offer him his card and say, 'If you ever need my help, just call me.'

"'Why on earth,' asks Barnard, looking at the urine-soaked clown with incredulity, 'should I want help from you?' 'Because,' replied Hancock, 'I think you might have a drinking problem.'"

[The actress Liz Fraser joined Hancock for her first ever drink. "All I can remember," she later remarked, "is staggering up my steps [and] dropping an armful of these tiny sherry bottles."]

[Hancock created the Daleks for Dr. Who -- while drunk one day in 1962. He killed himself in 1968. Among his last words? "Why kill time when you can kill yourself?"]

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