We forget just how we used to laugh at this man. This ex-policeman didn’t have a the most polished act but just making an appearance would have audiences giggling.
The producers of Tiswas, the show that made him, noticed this effect even when Bob simply stood in the background. Bob is most famous for his puppet character Spit the Dog but he also had a lot of fun with Charlie the Monkey and a pink lion called Plonky.
Riding this wave of puppet joy, Bob took a daring step and created Cough the Cat, a moggy which did nothing except occasionally cough – gently.
Having grossly misjudged his public’s ability to enjoy the warm comic subtleties of an inert, asthmatic feline, his career soon lost it’s footing. Not even his mind-reading alter ego Houdi Elbow could have foreseen just how much he was going to be surplus to requirement.
To me this is simply what can happen if you are too far ahead of your time. Cough the Cat prefigured all sorts of new comedy that came along a decade later.
(Rumour: the name Carolgees was “borrowed” from friends Carol and George who ran a mobile disco under the name Carol-Gees)