Major new exhibition celebrates Sir Ken Dodd

The unique humour and influence of Liverpool legend, Sir Ken Dodd, in the first major exhibition on a British comic in a national museum.

A laughter-filled exhibition, celebrating one of the UK’s best-loved and most influential comedians, Sir Ken Dodd, opens at the Museum of Liverpool on 9 September (until 3 March 2024).

‘Happiness!’, the first major exhibition on a comedian in a national museum, is steeped in Doddy’s unique blend of whimsical, physical, surreal and theatrical humour, which transformed the UK comedy scene.

From the Diddymen to the Broken Biscuit Repair Works, Ken’s imagination was both endless and infectious. Through never-before-seen personal objects, film, photography, interactives and of course many, many jokes, this ‘tattyfilarious’ show is guaranteed to raise a smile!

Ken’s early ventriloquist figure, Charlie Brown. Ken’s father bought him his first figure when he was just a young boy. © Gareth Jones

Karen O’Rourke, Curator (Sport, Music & Performance) said, “Sir Ken Dodd remains one of Liverpool’s most famous sons, so we’re very excited to be sharing his incredible career and achievements at Museum of Liverpool. ‘Happiness!’ explores the two sides of the much-loved Doddy, from the larger than life, quick-witted performer we know best, to the deep-thinker and private man off stage, who diligently filled more than a thousand notebooks with his jokes, observations, and philosophy of comedy.”

“An exhibition about Ken would be incomplete without trying to capture his irresistible spirit. Expect plenty of gags and some of his most memorable props and costumes, as we celebrate Ken’s humour and lifelong passion for spreading happiness and laughter.”

Many of the objects featured in ‘Happiness!’ have been kindly loaned to the museum by Ken’s wife, Anne, Lady Dodd. National Museums Liverpool is hugely grateful for her support and generosity towards the exhibition.

Main image: Ken and Dicky Mint

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