I heard from my old pal Tank Sherman the other day. For those who don’t know him…where’ve you been? Tank is a much loved and respected comedian in the West Country. He’s worked alongside Jethro live, on Tv and on 5 DVD’s, won an ITV Talent Contest and performed on Sky. He’s done panto with Jimmy Osmond, headlined shows at the Babbacombe Theatre and lest we should forget was the star act at the Osmington Pigeon fanciers Ball where ..wait for it… he had the audience eating out of his hand! He is the master of silliness, which is why despite having interviewed him on many occasions I still don’t really know how he got started in the business. He says that at school he no idea of what he wanted to be and ended up getting a job selling ball bearings in Exeter. It was whilst on holiday in Weymouth that he entered and won a talent contest which, he points out, is not quite as impressive as it sounds as the other contestants included a one-legged tap dancer (suffering from an ingrowing toenail at the time ) and a secretary who had learned to sing in short-hand! Whilst Tank might be bit ‘cheeky ’ at private gigs (his version of Peggy Lee’s Fever never ceases to make me laugh) you will never hear him swear or use foul language! He also has a reputation for being the ‘go-to’ man when it comes to raising funds for charity. He’s done two skydives, abseiled down the UK’s tallest waterfall for Children’s Hospice South West, appeared at endless fundraisers and in 2014 proposed and helped organise concerts including 2 for people in and around the Somerset Levels whose homes were destroyed by horrendous flooding. He is at pains to point out that these huge concerts only took place once the Rotary Club backed him and 20 artistes, all members of the Entertainers Union Equity, responded to his ‘call to arms’ and travelled across the country to perform free of charge even refusing travel expenses. Which brings me to the reason I am talking about Tank Sherman this week. On 20th February Tank is doing a Comedy Zoom Show to raise funds for members of Equity whose lives have been hit by Covid. The membership has been sadly depleted due to the fact that most of the members now have no work and are desperately short of money. Their panto/summer season/ gigs wiped out of their diaries with one stroke of a pen. We’re not talking ‘stars’ of stage and screen, we’re talking the thousands of actors, singers, dancers, designers, directors, stage managers, puppeteers, comedians, variety performers and voice artists whose names you may not be familiar with who, in the good times, bring such pleasure to us all but who now seem to be the forgotten workforce. Equity did give out benefits payments to its members in March last year but that severely depleted its resources and its ability to keep handing out a lifeline. Hence this big-hearted, gentle giant has stepped forward for,
‘An Hour With Tank’ or ‘60 minutes of Stupidity with Sherman!’ on Saturday 20th February. Something to put in the diary that won’t be cancelled. I’ll leave you with a taste of Tank.
Yesterday, the local Priest was trying to reverse his car into a parking spot, so I thought I would help. Where did I go wrong? What were the right words?